We are all familiar with the cardiovascular
and respiratory rhythms. Like them, another body rhythm - the CranioSacral
system, somewhat like a semi-closed hydraulic system, operating
between the cranium (bones of the skull and sacrum (base of the
spine) - influences many body functions. First identified in 1970
by Osteopath John Upledger, D.O.: the CranioSacral rhythm is a regular
pulsation of cerebrospinal fluid at the rate of 6 to 12 cycles per
The CranioSacral system is the primary system of the
body because the health and well being of this system determines
the functioning of all others. The brain and spinal cord need to
function optimally to ensure the health of the rest of the body.
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSC) is contained within the membranes
enveloping the cranium, spine and sacrum. The CSC is filtered from
the blood to bathe and protect the brain and spinal cord, then returned
again to the blood, making a regularly cycling feedback loop. According
to Dr. Upledger's theory, disturbances in the crania sacral rhythm
can indicate dysfunction in the body. This rhythm may be monitored,
just as the pulse may be monitored by a trained medical technician.
The skull bones are joined by soft tissue, (sutures), and these
are subject to internal pressure changes capable of producing small
angular motions or "strain patterns" across the cranium.
The mechanical displacement is noticeable and measurable.
The easiest places to monitor the rhythm are on the bones of the
skull, sacrum and coccyx (tailbone). CranioSacral therapy "improves
the functioning of the nervous system by releasing the brain and
spinal cord using the skull and sacrum as hand holds." Dr.
Upledger developed an ultra light touch technique for restoring
the CranioSacral rhythm, applying pressure no heavier than a nickel.
WHAT IS IT - An imbalance in this system can adversely
affect the development of the brain and spinal cord, which can result
in sensory, motor and neurological dysfunction. The CranioSacral
system is a physiological system that exists in all humans. Its
formation begins in the womb and its function continues until death.
The positive effect of CranioSacral Therapy relies to a large extent
upon the client's natural self-corrective physiological activities.
The therapist's light, hands-on approach assists the hydraulic forces
inherent in the CranioSacral system to improve the body's internal
environment. CranioSacral Therapy is used to locate and solve problems.
It encourages your own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning
of your brain and spinal cord, to dissipate the negative effects
of stress, and to enhance your general health and resistance to
disease. Clinical work with the CranioSacral rhythm has led to the
development of a light-touch manipulative therapy that has been
effective in treating poorly understood dysfunction such as chronic
pain, lowered vitality and recurring infections.
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