The CranioSacral System is a physiological system that exists in humans as well as those animals possessing a brain and spinal cord. Its formation begins in the womb; its function continues until death. Its name is derived from the bones involved. Included are the bones of your skull, face and mouth which make up the 'cranium' and extend down the spinal cord to the 'sacrum'. It is connected by membranes enclosing a hydraulic system. An imbalance in the CranioSacral System can adversely affect the development and function of the brain and spinal cord which can result in sensory, motor and intellectual dysfunction.
The positive effect of CranioSacral Therapy relies to a large extent upon the patient's natural self-corrective physiological activities. The therapist's light, hands-on approach assists the hydraulic forces inherent within the CranioSacral System to improve the body's internal environment.
Because of its influence on many body functions, CranioSacral Therapy is being used by various healthcare professionals.
CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive manipulative technique. Seldom does the therapist apply pressures which exceed '5' grams or the equivalent weight of a nickel. Examination is done by testing for movements in various parts of the system. Oftentimes when movement testing is completed, the restricting obstacle has been removed. The system is then able to complete its self-correction.
Trained therapists are able to palpate the CranioSacral motion anywhere on a patient's body. Valuable information can be gained very quickly by palpating the CranioSacral motion for rate, amplitude, symmetry and quality.
The parts of the CranioSacral System which can easily be palpated are the bones of the skull, sacrum and coccyx because they attach to the membranes which enclose the cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid is filtered out of the blood in a dynamic feedback loop. Acting like a semi-closed hydraulic system, pressures build as the amount of cerebrospinal fluid increases, thereby bathing the brain and spinal cord. When the fluid moves, the membranes containing the fluid move, normally at a rate of 6 to 12 cycles per minute.
Palpation is possible with all of the other bones of the spine and pelvis but because of their less direct effect upon the hydraulic system, it is more difficult to detect the rhythmical motion. The same is true of the facial bones and TMJ joints.
CranioSacral Therapy is used to locate and solve problems. It encourages your own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning of your brain and spinal cord, to dissipate the negative effects of stress, and to enhance your general health and resistance to disease.