Craniosacral Therapy

Naturopathic Healing Through Craniosacral Therapy

woman with arms open by beachCraniosacral Therapy is a gentle form of bodywork that works directly on the craniosacral system to re-balance the body and clear up restrictions within the central nervous system.  Practitioners use light touch, the body’s own healing capacity, and a series of manual techniques to bring the body back into balance.

Craniosacral Therapy is used for preventative health practices as well as for alleviating:

  • body pain
  • fatigue
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • emotional trauma and blockages
  • headaches/migraines
  • TMJ
  • post-surgery dysfunction
  • motor coordination impairments
  • and more…

Portland Craniosacral Therapy Naturopaths

Heart Spring Health offers naturopathic craniosacral therapy to help our patients get back to a balanced state. We provide gentle bodywork massage that provides a sense of deep relaxation, relief from pain, decreased tension, and expansion in the body.

Craniosacral Therapy Providers:
Serron Wilkie, ND, LAc – Cranial Fluid Dynamics
Teresa Laughlin, LMT – Cranial Fluid Dynamics
Emerald Mansfield, ND -Craniosacral Therapy
Talula Kana, LMT – Craniosacral Therapy

History of Craniosacral Therapy

CraniosacralThe cranial fluid system is a powerful self-organizing homeostatic system inherent in all of us. American Osteopath, John Upledger, pioneered Craniosacral Therapy. Upledger, an osteopathic surgeon, noticed a rhythmical motility of the spinal cord while observing spinal surgery.

Early osteopaths of the 1950’s, headed by the founder of Cranial work, William Sutherland, introduced the idea that the cranial and spinal dura of the body moves in rhythm. They also concluded that the cranial and all other bones are reciprocated this innate movement.

Through his study, he found that all tissue can be palpated as possessing a very small or minute movement, and all tissue—whether bone, ligament, muscle, or viscera—moves at the same time and in various, particular planes of motion. This movement has its prime origin in the cranium from a filling and partial emptying of the fluid spaces (ventricles) within the brain, as well as the brain tissue itself.

This summated rhythm is palpable at the rate of about 10 cycles per minute, but may be different in some individuals. It can act as an indicator of wellbeing when the rhythm is lower or faster than this norm. Osteopaths refer to this process as the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (CRI) and believe that it is an innate rhythm which provides a pump for the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, much like the heart rate which occurs as a response to the heart pumping blood throughout the vessels of the body.

The ventricles are the motive power of this movement and this fluid flow:

  • augments healing
  • induces homeostasis
  • alters tissue tensity
  • quiets noxious stimuli in the sympathetic system

Influences on the Cranial System

balanced rocks in mistPhysical trauma, poor diet, posture, and visceral ptosis alter the structure of the body. In turn, this dis-organizes the musculature and its attendant fascia. These aberrant structures then cause feedback up into the spinal cord through nerve receptors relaying altered structural tone and position.

If the physical body becomes disturbed, physiology also becomes disturbed. This changes our internal environment, and consequently, our altered biochemistry disturbs our movement, how we act, and how we think. Correcting the disturbed structures initiates changes so that our body moves back into homeostasis and balance. Cranial work that uses a fluid approach believes that trauma and other accidents alter the relationship of the fluid body at cellular, tissue, and organ levels, putting us out of rhythm with a primary organizing tide.

Cranial Fluid Dynamics

people walking on the beach at sunset

Many osteopaths recognize that external forces impose themselves upon the human body and the underlying fluid body, causing illness and dysfunction.  Structure governs function; however, “forces” govern everything and impose their will upon the structures.

A simple example would be how a person holds their posture when they wear a purse or satchel over their shoulder.   That bag exerts a force that the body needs to overcome or balance, causing a fundamental change in how the person carries themselves.  A practitioner could provide a treatment, but unless they stop carrying that bag every day to the office, or change the way they are carrying that bag, the external force will remain and it will return to its old compensation pattern.

You may change the structure time and again, but unless the underlying forces are dealt with, the pattern returns.  It is advantageous to tend to causal effects of the unseen that press quietly and constantly upon the body, until the organism becomes disorganized, causing illness.

Cranial Fluid Dynamics, founded by Solihin Thom, further expands Sutherland’s and Upledger’s work by introducing the idea that it is human consciousness that governs structures, and ultimately alters the function of the human being, creating states of dysfunction and disease.

This additional perspective brings in the power that the mind has over the body.  For example, when we are under extreme stress we may become aware that the thoughts causing our stress result in muscle tension.  For some the jaw becomes clenched, for others their shoulders and neck become tense, and others notice that their chest is tight, in some cases leading to asthma.  Some people hold tension in their stomach that may result in nausea, diarrhea, bloating, or trouble with digestion. In other words, how we think affects our bodies and how they work.  Cranial fluid dynamics works on this level to expand our awareness and allow for ease and flow in our minds and therefore our bodies.

Cranial Fluid Dynamics:

  • brings awareness to the causative forces that have influence on or disrupt the system
  • offers hope for chronic conditions and mental health conditions such as anxiety, trauma, etc.
  • gives patients freedom from pain and dis-ease by supporting the body in accessing and restoring dynamic function
  • reduces stress by allowing and showing patients how they may access a sense of peace
  • rebalances the system providing the individual with a sustainable long term solution to working with their pain or condition
  • empowers patients to reclaim health through offering insight into the patterns that are causing the underlying imbalance
  • offers patients a choice, they may not have been aware of, in how they may want to move forward

Contact Heart Spring Health today to find out more about craniosacral therapy from our Portland naturopaths.