While many people are familiar with the term cranium, most are unfamiliar with the craniosacral system. The membrane which is the central element in this system clothes the brain, the spinal cord, and extends to the sacrum. It has three layers. Often referred to in general as the "dura", the dura mater is actually only one of the three layers in this membrane. Each layer functions in a specialized way, and together they allow the spinal cord to bend and twist without injury. A somewhat elastic and very strong membrane, its existence and nature was discovered during the early years of brain surgery when those involved in the surgical procedures realized the rhythmic nature and function of the membrane. Since those early days, researchers have come to more fully understand the significance and complex character of this system.
The craniosacral system affects all other systems in the body, including the nervous, musculoskeletal, endocrine, vascular, lymph, and respiratory systems. The rhythmic nature, not unlike that of the heart, which moves fluid and pressure along its length. This movement needs a free flow in order to function effectively in aiding the other systems of the body. Blockages can occur, whether from injury or some kind of trauma to a system. These blockages can then serve to create or exacerbate problems such as lower back pain, knee problems, headaches, or bronchitis that just won´t go away. Whatever the situation, if the craniosacral system is indicated, work to clear blockages or congestion can aid the body in its healing process.
In terms of treatment, as is always true in my practice, I examine a patient to diagnose his or her condition and determine what the most effective approach will be. Should the craniosacral system need work, we will proceed with that approach. There are no special requirements for this therapy, however patients are asked to wear loose clothing. The procedures themselves are very gentle and soothing. Treatments usually last from 1 to 11/2 hours.
Among the situations for which this approach is helpful are recovery from injury, recovery from illness, before and after surgery, and before and after childbirth. An interesting dimension of this approach is its efficacy for children. Because a healthy craniosacral system can be so beneficial during the years of growth and development, this can be especially helpful to infants and young children.
One of the reasons why I use the craniosacral modality is because it allows me to treat patients as integrated beings. Because of this perspective, the therapy allows me to get to deeper levels of healing and provide especially effective long-lasting treatment.