Craniosacral therapy is a form of hands-on healing that relies on gentle manipulation of your skeleton and connective tissues. As the name of the therapy implies, this manipulation focuses on two main areas: your cranium (i.e., your skull) and your sacrum, a prominent triangular bone that forms the base of your spinal column. You may receive craniosacral therapy as a treatment for a broad range of conditions, including depression, trauma, anxiety and chronic pain.
The underlying principle of craniosacral therapy is that your central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) produces very small, rhythmic vibrations that you rely on to maintain good health. When various kinds of ailments occur, they disrupt these vibrations and throw your system out of balance. A trained craniosacral therapist attempts to correct the distortions in your central nervous system by releasing any restrictions in the ultrafine movements between your cranial bones, as well as any restrictions in the soft connective tissues linked to these bones. In turn, the release of restrictions in your cranium and connective tissues encourages the proper flow of the cerebrospinal fluid that cushions and protects your central nervous system.
During a typical craniosacral therapy session, you will lie on your back fully clothed. As you remain still in this position, your therapist will use light touch in several body areas (e.g., your cranium, sacrum, knees and feet) to detect and correct any distortions in the vibrations emanating from your central nervous system. A session may last anywhere from one to two hours. Unlike chiropractors, who sometimes use forceful movements to manipulate your skeletal system, practitioners of craniosacral therapy never apply anything more than gentle pressure to your body. As a result, unpleasant treatment side effects are uncommon.
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