Helen is a cranial-sacral therapist currently working from our therapy rooms in High Wycombe and also in her therapy space in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.
CRANIAL-SACRAL THERAPY (CST) is sometimes also referred to as cranial-sacral therapy.
It’s a type of bodywork that relieves compression in the bones of the head, sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower
back), and spinal column.
CST is noninvasive. It uses gentle pressure on the head, neck, and back to relieve the stress and pain caused by compression. It can, as a result, help to treat a number of conditions.
It’s thought that through the gentle manipulation of the bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system can be normalised.
This removes “blockages” from the normal flow, which enhances the body’s ability to heal.
Many massage therapists, physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors are able to perform
cranial sacral therapy.
It can be part of an already-scheduled treatment visit or the sole purpose for your appointment.
Depending on what you’re using CST to treat, you may benefit from between 3 and 10 sessions, or you may benefit from maintenance sessions. Your healthcare provider will help you determine
what’s right for you.
Benefits and uses
CST is thought to relieve compression in the head, neck, and back. This can soothe pain and release
both emotional and physical stress and tension. It’s also thought to help restore cranial mobility and
ease or release restrictions of the head, neck, and nerves.
Cranial sacral therapy can be used for people of all ages. It may be part of your treatment for
migraines and headaches
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
disturbed sleep cycles and insomnia
recurrent ear infections or colic in infants
trauma recovery, including trauma from whiplash
mood disorders like anxiety or depression
There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that CST is an effective treatment, but more research is needed to scientifically determine this.
There’s evidence that it can relieve stress and tension, though some research suggests that it may only be effective for infants, toddlers, and children.
Other studies, however, indicate that CST may be an effective treatment — or part of an effective
treatment plan — for certain conditions.
One 2012 study found that it was effective at reducing symptoms in those with severe migraines.
Another study found that people with fibromyalgia experienced relief from symptoms (including pain and anxiety) thanks to CST.
Side effects and risks.
The most common side effect of cranial sacral therapy with a licensed practitioner is mild discomfort
following the treatment. This is often temporary and will fade within 24 hours.
There are certain individuals who shouldn’t use CST.
These include people who have:
severe bleeding disorders
a diagnosed aneurysm
a history of recent traumatic head injuries, which may include cranial bleeding or skull fractures.
You can learn more about Helen and cranial-sacral therapy on her website.