Craniosacral Therapy is the peculiar-sounding natural treatment that you’ve probably never
heard of but that could change your life. Not in a magical fairy-dust kind of way, but it can be
equally profound for sufferers of chronic pain, tinnitus, concussion and other medical
conditions. We’ve enlisted the expertise of our resident Craniosacral therapist, Dorine
Siccama, to break down exactly what this up-and-coming modality entails and how it might
just benefit you.
A derivative of osteopathy, Craniosacral Therapy is a method of releasing restrictions in the
body, which are identified by monitoring the bones, fluids and tissues via ‘listening stations’
through sound anatomical skills. By gently holding these various stations throughout the
body, a trained therapist can feel the rhythm of the cerebral spinal fluid, checking for freedom
of movement known as inhalation and exhalation. If, on the contrary, a hinging motion is felt,
it signals a blockage or ‘inertial pattern’.
“It’s like when there’s a pebble in the stream…the water will go around the pebble. It will do a work around job. That is what we’ll feel in the body. It’s doing a work around job, so we’re trying to get it back into balance” Dorine explains.
Once the source of the restriction is identified, the therapists use light touch techniques including Myofascial Release to gently realign the imbalances. Dorine emphasises that there is no manipulation involved in Craniosacral Therapy, distinguishing it from massage; “We look for the wisdom in the body. Cranio is about removing the pebble to allow the bodily fluids and tissues to flow freely again so the body will be able to self-correct. That is what cranio is about.”
In the modern world, most people live their day-to-day lives dominated by the sympathetic nervous system – aka in ‘fight and flight’ mode – and rarely enter the parasympathetic or ‘rest and digest’ phase which is crucial to good health. Part of a Cranioscral therapist’s training is focused on developing extraordinarily sensitive hands, which can actually feel buzzing in the nerves when a body is on high alert. The therapist’s role is to listen to the body’s clues and understand its story in order to lower the tone of the nerves, tight tissues and cranial restriction in order to restore balance.
“The body is such a sea of information… you know when you dive underneath the sea and
you see all of the coral and the fish and all that life that you don’t see from the surface? The
body is the same. The body has an amazing amount of knowledge and streams and tides and
stuff, it’s phenomenal” Dorine says.
People seek Craniosacral Therapy for a variety of conditions and ailments from whiplash, ear ringing, concussion, nerve pain, arthritis, headaches and migraines, jaw problems to chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue and post-traumatic stress. One issue that nearly all of Dorine’s patients have in common when they first meet her, is an imbalance in their nervous system that leads to their symptoms. By resetting the nervous system, patients to become more in tune with their bodies and better equipped to identify warning signs before major flare-ups occur.
Craniosacral Therapy is one of the lesser-known complementary therapies, but has been gaining interest in Australia in recent years and is beginning to be recognised for the benefits it brings in the Mind-Body field. It represents a paradigm shift in the industry but produces solid results in pain and stress reduction for so many of its subjects. Curious? Test it for yourself and let us know how it affects you.