What is it?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-invasive, yet effective type of hands-on body treatment that is helpful for infants and children as well as adults.
It is an assessment tool, plus corrective and preventive treatment.
CranioSacral Therapy is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
It is a gentle technique with a broad approach, so that the therapist can detect problems without necessarily having the benefit of a specific complaint – often difficult to obtain from very young children.
It is equally beneficial to athletes, whether professional or not; people with problems stemming from a sedentary job or life style; those exposed to professional hazards, and to people suffering from a wide range of traumas.
CranioSacral Therapy accompanies women throughout their pregnancy, and babies immediately after delivery. It can adapt to each individual according to his or her age, physical characteristics and specific reactions to treatments.
CranioSacral Therapy teaches patients to ‘manage’ their own health, so that ‘good health’ is no longer considered as opposed to illness, but as a quality of life and the opportunity to live it to the full.
What is The Craniosacral System?
The craniosacral system consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and support the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the head (cranium) down to the bones at the base of the spine (sacrum).
The fluid within the membranes is continuously draining and refilling. The filling and draining creates gentle, rhythmic, expanding and contracting movements that can be felt anywhere in the body by the trained therapist.
These movements are the craniosacral rhythm.
They occur at a rate of about six to twelve complete cycles per minute. Thus the therapist gains valuable information about where the body would most benefit from change by monitoring the craniosacral rhythm. The source of pain isn’t always obvious.
The Reasons to Treat a Child
Childbirth can mean an initial trauma for the newborn baby, especially to the cranial region. Epidural anaesthesia brings serenity to the mother, but can induce disturbances in the baby that the practitioner will be able to detect.
In difficult cases where it was necessary to use forceps, cupping devices or resuscitation, hands-on treatment becomes an indispensable aid to counteract the traumatism inflicted upon the baby.
Children’s bodies are malleable. They can correct easily and quickly because they have spent less time organizing themselves around their physical and emotional restriction.
Left untreated, these restrictions can take more time and effort to correct in adulthood, causing pain and dysfunction in the interim.
CranioSacral Therapy prevents and treats a wide number of ailments based on the principles of the interdependence of the different structures that make up the human body. In other words, the different components of the body – soft tissue, vital organs, joints, and muscles – are interrelated and constitute a whole.
It recognizes the self-healing mechanism of the body.
Simply put, if any part of the body such as joints, muscles, ligaments or intestines suffers a loss of mobility, this will affect the overall health of the individual.
CranioSacral therapists focus on their profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology, looking on the individual as a whole.
An art, a science and a technique
Hands-on therapy is rooted in the theory that ‘man is an entity’.
The hands are the therapists’ unique tools. Their highly trained sense of touch enables them to perceive tenseness and disturbances in the body, through the specific, precise and thorough palpations which are the foundations of their skill. Through their ability to ‘listen’ to these palpations, they are able to dispense treatment to prevent and to heal.
Treatment is always perfectly measured and requires the practitioner to determine the minimum of therapeutic intervention necessary to provide relief.
by Romain Vallon
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