What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle and relaxing hands-on therapy that can promote well-being and a greater sense of connection, grounding and balance. Craniosacral therapists use their hands to ‘listen’ to the mechanisms within your system to sense, for example, patterns that are held in tissues and fluids and where these may be restricting the body from functioning at its best. Craniosacral therapy encourages the conditions that support health and vitality, enabling the body to access its own natural capacity for self-repair.

Craniosacral therapy has its roots in osteopathy, as it was practised and developed by William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954), an American osteopath who was a student of Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy. In the later 1970s, the term ‘Craniosacral Therapy’ was coined by another American osteopath, John Upledger. The practice has evolved into a holistic approach which works with the body’s natural rhythms to return you to a sense of equilibrium, enabling your body to access its own healing resources.

Over time, the physical and emotional ‘knocks’ and stresses we experience can cause discomfort, pain and disease to manifest. Craniosacral therapy can help re-align the body by tuning in to the rhythms in the body – particularly those in the craniosacral fluid which flows along the spinal cord and into the brain – and enable you to gently release these built-up stresses and strains.

Who might benefit from craniosacral therapy?

It is suitable for all ages, and can help with a range of physical, psychological and emotional conditions.

Craniosacral therapy (CST) can be effective in helping with a range of physical conditions, such as backache or migraine. You do not need to have a specific symptom to benefit from a session however – as it is a holistic approach which supports the whole body and the whole person, it can also help with the stresses of life and in restoring energy. It can also be effective in dealing with emotional issues. Although some people come for treatments for specific conditions, others have CST regularly to support their ongoing health and to re-connect with their sense of wellbeing.

For more information, you might find the following two video resources useful:

Short video about craniosacral therapy from the UK Craniosacral Therapy Association, of which I am member.

Kate MacKinnon’s video about her approach to craniosacral therapy.