By Sarah Grumbling, LMT
A craniosacral therapy (CST) session can look very different day to day, patient to patient. Often times I treat people who suffer from migraines, jaw pain/tension, concussion, whiplash or low back pain (areas specific to the cranium or sacrum), but truly, this treatment can address a number of issues throughout the entire body ranging from muskulo-skeletal pain to post traumatic stress to digestive disorders. By approaching the body with a light touch, we can feel into the layers of restriction, and once identified, let the body guide us — sometimes it pulls you in quite deep, and other times there are layers closer to the surface that require an attentive presence before unwinding. In a way CST is like a mirror in that we try to match or ‘blend and meld’ to the tissue’s movement, depth, tension, and then, as the area of restriction begins to move, we follow.
This is essentially how we approach the bones of the craniosacral sysyem — your 16 cranial/facial bones, your 24 vertebrae, sacrum, and coccyx (tailbone) — as restrictions in this system transfer via the body’s fascial network, often leading to pain and tension in the muscular system. If you have ever had a concussion or experienced trauma to the face, there could be restrictions in the “joints” (sutures) of the cranial bones that typically don’t get addressed in a massage session. These restrictions can lead to chronic headaches, eye strain, jaw tension, neck pain, even depression.
But craniosacral also can work directly with the muscles, connective tissue, organs, and all the systems throughout the body. Guided by the premise of facilitating rather than “doing,” the body will lead your craniosacral therapist to the area of most significant restriction. For example, a patient with ongoing digestive distress may also have chronic low back pain. If the body leads me to the abdomen, it’s possible I might find restriction in say, the small intestine. Since this organ is surrounded by strong layers of connective tissue that directly link it to the lumbar spine, it is very plausible that a restriction in the small intestine could be the source of the back pain. I often like to remind my clients that we are not simply made up of front, back and sides — we have a middle! Your body is a whole, three dimensional creation. Our many layers extend down the core where ‘front’ and ‘back’ meet and intertwine, concocting our ‘middle’ and influencing the entire system.
Here are some benefits clients have reported after craniosacral therapy:
- deep, profound relaxation (release of stress)
- pain relief of acute car accident injury
- fewer (to none!) and less severe migraines
- improved digestion
- decreased anxiety
- increased body awareness
- release of old scar tissue — particularly from appendectomy surgery
- improved mobility around areas of injury or surgery
- more ease in the breath
- the feeling of very deep massage, “from the inside out”
- more grounded, connected and a sense of wholeness — feeling ‘put back together’
By facilitating the body’s release from deep within the craniosacral system, changes can be felt throughout the entire body, from head to feet, and everywhere in between. Come see me for a session and feel how it works!
— Sarah Grumbling, LMT
To schedule a craniosacral therapy session with Sarah, please visit our online scheduler here.