Craniosacral therapy benefits

Overview of Craniosacral Therapy

A personal account of immediate pain relief from a single craniosacral therapy treatment from a chronic pain warrior.

A 2016 National Health Interview Survey notes that about 20.4%, or about fifty million American adults experience chronic pain. Additionally, chronic pain and its origin – or diagnosis – differ amongst individuals reporting chronic pain. Still, chronic pain manifests differently for each person. No wonder traditional allopathic doctors have a difficult time recommending treatments and prescriptions for patients due to the profound differences amongst chronic pain warriors.

Albeit that doctors are up against a conundrum, some are willing to recommend alternative holistic treatments in the hopes that they will help ease, if not relieve, pain and other associated symptoms for their patients. One such type of alternative treatment is called Craniosacral Therapy.

What exactly is this type of therapy?

According to  Dr. Milne of The Cranial Therapy Centre,

“You might think of it as a gentle massage technique, or a cross between chiropractic or osteopathic maneuvers and hands-on healing. Quiet and relaxing, inducing restful sleep, it has been labeled mysterious. In reality, craniosacral therapy addresses a rhythmic system at the core of our physiology – the pulse of energy that flows between our head and pelvic area. It’s as essential, measurable, and tangible as our breath and heart rate.

The craniosacral system follows a rhythm, and the skull bones accommodate its pulse. Just as a cardiologist seeks to improve the cardiovascular system, a craniosacral practitioner evaluates and optimizes the pulse of the craniosacral rhythm. This is a gentle, often deeply intuitive technique. I is a form of bodywork ,consisting of exceedingly light finger and hand pressure upon the cranial bones and the sacrum, and upon the involuntary movements of these bones.”

Why would someone try this technique in the first place?

As someone who suffers from chronic pain on a daily basis and refuses to live on medication for the rest of her life, I am always searching for something to help improve the comfort level inside my body. It is rare to have a day when I’m not uncomfortable. This is the reason I fidget all the time in my seat, and why I can’t sit still for long periods of time. You may be wondering where my pain comes from. I experienced a trampoline accident at the age of sixteen, was rear-ended in two car accidents, (one in August 2016 and one in August 2020), and I continue to experience symptoms of fibromyalgia for which I was diagnosed around the age of twenty-six.

The most recent car accident triggered the onset of fibro symptoms, as well as the not-so-great version of muscle memory – meaning that my body quickly reverted back to its pain cycle from previous injuries thus leaving me in my current onslaught of constant pain.

I already know that chiropractic adjustments help ease my pain, almost instantly, and that massage helps my muscles relax. Plus, yoga helps my body find peace and flexibility. It’s been a month and a half since my second car accident; using the tools and treatments I already know help, my body still feels stuck like nothing is working, again.

That’s when the idea of finally trying craniosacral therapy popped into my head. It had been recommended several times by massage therapists in the past. I just had never found someone I trusted to really listen to me and treat my symptoms properly, until now.

Caroline Allen is the newest hire (not new to massage therapy, though!) at the chiropractic office I work out of in Janesville, Wisconsin. When talking with her about my accident and fibromyalgia, she recommended I try craniosacral therapy at least once to see how my body would respond regarding the issues I had been experiencing.

Our session began with her analysis of my posture while standing still. She analyzed me from all angles – front, profile, and back. Caroline explained that this would help to understand the mechanics of my body before we even began. During the session, I was fully clothed and lay face-up on top of a covered massage table. Being an energy healer myself, as soon as Caroline laid her hands on my head, I felt that this therapy was more of an energetic than a manipulative type, based on the heat from her hands and the sensations felt instantly.

Please note that Caroline did inform me ahead of time that some people do not feel anything right away during a session, and that it can take several for someone to feel the sensations I was experiencing. Because I am already very sensitive to energy, it is likely the reason I was able to feel what was going on right away.

Some of the sensations I felt during the session included heat from her hands, a building pressure in my head, and a shot of energy that started at my head and moved down to my tailbone. I was able to feel the movement of cerebrospinal fluid up and down my spine at times, but it was extremely subtle and very hard to notice if I was not paying attention. Also, I was apparently really relaxed because I woke up several times to my snoring! LOL! So, if that’s how I felt during the session, you may be asking…How did your pain and body feel after the first session?

I’m so glad you asked! Immediately, I could feel that the tender points, the ones associated with fibromyalgia around my sacrum and knees had immediate relief, as well as my shoulders, my upper back area, and my quads. The next day, my boss noticed that my posture looked much better and that the area between my shoulder blades had loosened up when he went to adjust me. After just one session of craniosacral therapy, I can say without a doubt that it does help chronic pain relief.

A note from Caroline: A treatment protocol for craniosacral therapy involves several sessions in order to achieve effective and lasting results. Therapists tend to recommend 6-10 visits to achieve the desired results, and it will differ depending upon the person, the current symptoms, and the desired results. Needless to say, I have already booked my second session and will continue with a treatment protocol until my body maintains and holds the results, bringing me back to a “normal state”.

Chronic pain is extremely subjective, so it’s important for you to understand what it feels like to be in your body and know what works to alleviate pain and what does not. Additionally, it can get complicated when something known to work for you previously suddenly isn’t doing it anymore. As noted, I know that chiropractic, massage, and yoga were working without a doubt, until they weren’t. That’s when I decided to add something new by simply being open to trying something different like craniosacral therapy. I felt results immediately, so I am choosing to continue.

Craniosacral therapy is fairly new so for the scientific-minded skeptic, there is limited research out there right now demonstrating clear evidence that it does work to alleviate symptoms. Regardless, I encourage you to get out of your head and try something new, even without significant evidence-based research. It takes time for any treatment to demonstrate effectiveness, and craniosacral therapy is still in its infancy stages. It continues to be an adjunct treatment that many healing professionals are adding to their toolbox.

I hope my story has opened your eyes to something new and gives you a reason to just try it.

Namaste lovelies,

The Meesh

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