If the heart is the engine of the human body, then the central nervous system might be its control room. The practice of craniosacral therapy (CST) focuses on using gentle manipulations to release areas of tension that are creating dysfunction in the central nervous system.
Although the craniosacral system specifically refers to the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds, supports and protects the central nervous system, it is a whole-body therapy. Robyn Rose, the owner of Intentional Wellness, is a licensed physical therapist and an advanced craniosacral therapy practitioner and educator with 18 years of experience in the field.
She says that restrictions anywhere in the body may distort the craniosacral system, thereby altering the ability of the central nervous system, which regulates all body systems, to function as it should. CST empowers the body to regain its adaptability in all areas.
CST therapists evaluate a patient by placing their hands in a variety of positions on the body. They assess each area for imbalances within the fascial, fluid, musculoskeletal and energy systems, pinpointing areas of dysfunction or restrictions that create physiological stress.
“Chronic, prolonged physical or mental stress creates tightening and immobility within the body, which can accumulate and take its toll,” Rose says. “Like a pebble thrown in water, there is a ripple effect, which can impact other body areas. Stress, whether from an illness, physical injury, trauma or emotional imbalance is the pebble, or source, while the symptoms are the ripples,” she says.
The guiding principles of CST are founded in osteopathy. Despite research and numerous case studies that support the effectiveness of CST, many don’t believe it until they try it for themselves. Those who use CST say this gentle approach to physical and emotional wellness can be profound.