CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release


Craniosacral therapy (CST) is founded on the belief that the body knows exactly how to heal.  It was developed between 1940 and 1975 by the work and research of William Sutherland, DO, and John Upledger, DO, OMM.  The theory of CST is based on the understanding that restrictions in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) affect the function of the central nervous system, which lead to dis-ease and/or pain.

The craniosacral rhythm is a relatively slow ebb and flow of the CSF that protects and nourishes the brain and spinal cord.  This rhythm is easiest to detect at the cranium, but is palpable almost anywhere on the body.  The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) arises from the cranial and sacral regions of the spinal column and is often referred to as the craniosacral system.  When CSF is blocked by soft tissue restrictions (tightened or contracted muscles or fascia), the parasympathetic response (the ability for the body to resolve stress) is often hindered.  Both massage and craniosacral therapies relieve soft tissue adhesions and restore the systems and energy of the human body. “The role of the practitioner is to help you heal yourself and to facilitate the healing process. The primary goal in a CST session is not only to treat your condition, but to maximize your health overall” (Faith Christensen, 2011).

Common conditions treated by CST:

Headaches, migraines

Jaw Pain or TMJ

Neck Pain

Low back pain

Emotional pain & trauma


Craniosacral Effects on Body Physiology:

  • increase in blood flow to the brain by 20-30%
  • blood pressure & heart rate decrease after session
  • increase in parasympathetic activity/improved digestion
  • increased range of motion in joints
  • increased sinus drainage
  • overall feeling of relaxation and calm
  • improved respiration
  • reduction in wrinkles
  • improved mental clarity
  • increased lymphatic flow
  • pain reduction