What to expect from a CST session

Why is craniosacral therapy so effective?

In simple terms, if the cranial bones are not in the right place, then the brain and central nervous system cannot be in the right place. The hormonal system cannot perform optimally.

Even though the cranial bones only move half the thickness of a sheet of writing paper, the human head is so delicate, and so suffused with vital nerve pathways, that even slight deformations of a bone’s movement or position can produce physical or psychological symptoms, and often both.

What to expect from Craniosacral Therapy session

  • Appointments are approximately 45 minutes in length (with breaks for babies/ children), and require a full medical history of ailments and medication.
  • The session is performed with the client reclining on a treatment table while the Craniosacral Therapist sits, positioned at various times throughout the session at the client’s head, middle torso or feet. The client remains fully clothed.
  • If it is your child (under 16) or infant that is being worked on, you are required to be present during the entire treatment.There is plenty of room in the treatment rooms and I often have Mum, Dad and baby all in the room together.

What you may experience during a CST treatment session

Most people feel a general sense of relaxation (in fact some fall asleep during the treatment). This is popularly associated with an increase of endorphins.

Experiences during a CST session are as individual as the clients and practitioners themselves. Experiences can even vary from session to session. At times a client may fall asleep, may recall memories or may see colours. Others will experience sensations within the body such as tingling, hot/cold, pins & needles, pulsations, a stretching of tissues in particular parts of the body, increased fluid flow or increased energy flow.

At various times the practitioner will support a client’s limb and spine while facilitating release of accumulated tension. The process is called tissue release.

Back to top

What you may experience after a CST treatment session

Just as individual experiences can differ, so can the immediate results. This relaxed state may cause some to sleep for many hours after a session. Others may experience an increase in energy. Some people report that they feel as if somebody had moved things about in their body.

Reduction of pain or an increase in function may occur immediately after the session or it may develop gradually over the next few days. For some there may be a reorganization phase as the body adapts to the release of previously held patterns.

The client will be well capable of driving.

Occasionally, certain CST techniques will dredge up “old pains” that had gone away. This is a good thing!! The old pains hadn’t disappeared; they were simply dormant and waiting to reappear at another time. The dredging up offers an opportunity for total correction of the problem at that time.

Back to top

What a CST therapist does during a session

Like the pulse of the cardiovascular and respiratory system, the craniosacral system has a rhythm that can be felt throughout the body.The therapist can tune into the patient’s body ‘listening’ with their hands or, in Sutherland’s words, “with thinking fingers”. This non-intrusive palpation permits examination without evoking resistance.

When I feel the rhythm on a person’s body and it is non-synchronous, slow or has a poor quality feel, it indicates that there is a physical restriction nearby that affects how the nerves and how that body part is functioning. My job as a Craniosacral Therapist is to work with the person’s body to release the restriction and restore the body part to better health. My role as a therapist is to only do this at the pace the person’s body wants to work at – not to force anything.

By gently working with the spine, the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, the restrictions of nerve passages are eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal chord can be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position.

Back to top

How safe is Craniosacral Therapy?

CST is a non-directive, non-analytical, non-invasive approach – essentially the art of listening and enabling the body to heal itself. It is not contra-indicated with any medications nor would we expect any client to cease medication use without conferring with their Medical Practionner.

Contraindications for CST:

  • Recent Head Trauma
  • Skull Fracture
  • Acute Stroke
  • Cerebral Aneurysm
  • Or any other condition in which fluid pressure changes within the skull could prove detrimental.

These will all be covered in the Medical History Section with your first session. I will refer you back to your Medical Practioner should there be any cause for concern.

Back to top

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required depends entirely on the condition being treated. Acute injury and disease states can benefit enormously from 2 – 6 sessions; with chronic debilitating disease or severe injury, it is usually necessary to work for longer.

What is the recommended interval between sessions?

Initially sessions are usually a week to a fortnight apart. Term maintenance treatments may be required for longstanding problems or the management of a particular condition – although it is difficult to generalise and each individual situation needs to assessed on it’s own merit.

Back to top

Will CST treatments help a healthy/uninjured person?

Yes, many people find that craniosacral therapy helps them feel better in a general sense. Patients of mine have reported:

  • increased energy levels
  • improved well being
  • better sleeping pattern
  • mental clarity
  • and female clients always comment on how settled their hormonal levels have become
  • people are able to deal with everyday stress more positively
  • people often find it easier to fight off minor infections
  • regular treatments may help prevent more serious conditions from developing in the future
  • It also helps increase physical vitality and well-being not only effecting structural change but also having much wider implications, emotionally and spiritually.

FOOD FOR THE BRAIN……Bear in mind that the brain requires 750 ml of oxygenated blood every minute to maintain normal activity. Balancing the craniosacral rhythm increases the production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This in turn enables the adequate nourishment and maintenance of the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Back to top

CST for Babies, Infants and Children – what to expect

A baby can be treated at any stage but generally ‘the earlier the better‘; even as early as as a few days old. This helps to prevent many difficulties with infants before they take root. Their cranial experience tends to differ from adults as they have ‘no layers’ and they generally ‘feel’ everything as a result. Instinctively, they trust it.

After the initial session, some babies continue to improve. However, some babies respond by improving after all the treatments are completed and this can be quite normal. As a parent, its important to know this so as not to get frustrated.

Craniosacral treatment can become undone:

  • during times of “growth spurts” which can often bring back symptoms experienced immediately after birth
  • after injections
  • a heavy fall
  • teething

When this occurs, I would encourage the parent to bring their little one back for a “top-up” session to restore homeostasis in the body.

Back to top