What is CranioSacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system, which is comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
CranioSacral Therapy practitioners use soft palpation to release restrictions in the craniosacral system, producing profound effects on central nervous system performance, overall body pain, and mobility.
CST complements the body’s natural healing processes and patients report improvement for a wide range of medical problems including headaches, neck and back pain, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), central nervous system disorders, motor-coordination impairments, orthopedic problems, neurovascular or immune disorders, fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders, learning challenges such as ADD and ADHD, emotional difficulties, as well as other ailments.
Because of its light touch (about the weight of a nickel) and noninvasive technique – CST can be safely used on patients of all ages, from newborns to senior citizens – and on those with varying degrees of pain.
Patients find the technique extremely relaxing. It is very effective for reducing stress and is increasingly being used as a preventive health measure to bolster resistance to disease.
Development of CranioSacral Therapy
CranioSacral Therapy was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger (1932-2012) following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics. His success with alleviating pain and dysfunction through the use of CranioSacral Therapy fueled his dream to help vast numbers of people. In 1985, he founded The Upledger Institute (UI) to continue advancing and spreading the word of this effective, light-touch modality to healthcare providers worldwide.
Now, almost 30 years later, UI has become a highly respected provider of continuing healthcare education around the globe. More than 100,000 practitioners of varying disciplines (massage, physical, occupational therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors and osteopathic physicians, doctors of acupuncture, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, dentists, and others) have received their Upledger CranioSacral Therapy training at workshops held in cities and towns – in their native language – in over 100 countries.
From early on in his career, Dr. Upledger’s style of healthcare practice could be termed “inclusive.” From his days at Michigan State where he led the team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers who performed and published the clinical research that formed the basis for CranioSacral Therapy, to teaching his work to the multiple disciplines of healthcare providers, he worked tirelessly to fulfill his desire to “get the work out there to help those who need it.”
To further his cause, Dr. Upledger used the prominence and infrastructure of The Upledger Institute to introduce and support other leading-edge alternative and complementary healthcare modalities and promote the general acceptance of hands-on work. With his leadership, The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators (IAHE) was formed as well as the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP). Today, IAHP has more than 125,000 members.
The development of CranioSacral Therapy and the work of The Upledger Institute led to Dr. Upledger serving on the Alternative Medicine Program Advisory Council for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., and his recognition in TIME magazine as one of America’s “Next Wave of Innovators” for his proven clinical applications of this therapy.
As The Upledger Institute’s reputation has garnered attention worldwide and the benefits of CranioSacral Therapy have become widely accepted, The Upledger Clinic has attracted patients from celebrities to professional athletes to high profile cases such as the conjoined Egyptian twins.
Anyone can learn the light-touch techniques of CranioSacral Therapy but to perform techniques on others, you need to be a licensed therapist (massage, physical, or occupational) or a physician (medical, osteopathic or doctor of acupuncture).
The Upledger Institute offers four, four-day core workshops that lead to Techniques Certification including CranioSacral Therapy 1, CranioSacral Therapy 2, SomatoEmotional Release 1, and SomatoEmotional Release 2. These are followed by two CranioSacral Advanced Classes and Diplomate Certification.
Sukha Wellness Center of Avila Beach will be hosting a CranioSacral Therapy 1 training Oct 2-5. See the ad on the inside back page of the September issue or visit: www.sukhawellnesscenter.com. For more information on the Upledger Institute International and their CranioSacral Therapy classes, visit upledger.com or call 800-233-5880.