The Use of CranioSacral Therapy in Acupuncture
What is CranioSacral Therapy?
Few structures in the human body have as much influence over its ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that comprise the central nervous system. And few systems have as much impact on the brain and spinal cord as the membranes and fluid that surround and protect them — the craniosacral system.
Every day the body endures stresses and strains and the structures compensate. Unfortunately, these compensations can cause fascia to tighten and distort the craniosacral system, which in turn can put pressure on the brain and spinal cord. The result? A barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system — and potentially every other system with which it interacts.
Nearly 30 years ago, osteopathic physician John E. Upledger developed a set of gentle techniques to release those restrictions and imbalances. After years of university research and testing, he named his new method CranioSacral Therapy (CST).
Practitioners use a soft touch — roughly the weight of a 20c coin — to evaluate the craniosacral system. Specific techniques are then used to release any restrictions or imbalances they find, creating the best possible environment for the brain and spinal cord. This naturally helps eliminate the negative effects of stress. It also strengthens resistance to disease and enhances overall health and well-being.
Conditions & Applications for Acupuncturists
Since the craniosacral system directly impacts the central nervous system, an imbalance or obstruction there can cause any number of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities. CranioSacral Therapy helps correct those restrictions so the central nervous system can perform at peak efficiency, and the body can release the effects of stress naturally.
CST has proven effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including: migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, scoliosis, autism, learning disabilities, brain and spinal cord injuries, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), chronic fatigue, neurovascular or immune disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-surgical dysfunction, fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders.
CranioSacral Therapy Complements Acupuncture
Many practitioners find CST an ideal complement to acupuncture. “Applying the points and pathways of acupuncture along with the energy, intention and wisdom of your own hands enhances the effectiveness of each treatment,” says Ken Koles, PhD, DSc, LMT, RAc, Dipl. NCCAOM. Ken is the developer of The Upledger Institute’s Applying Acupuncture Principles to CranioSacral Therapy workshop. “Personally, I like to do my needling first and then do CranioSacral Therapy on each patient,” he says. “This allows the energy to open up on the surface and deeper levels at the same time. The results actually come quicker, and they seem to last longer.”
What Other Professionals Practice CranioSacral Therapy?
· Osteopathic Physician
· Allopathic Physicians
· Doctors of Oriental Medicine
· Naturopathic Physicians
· Doctors of Chiropractic
· Psychiatric Specialists
· Occupational Therapists
· Physical Therapists
· Speech-Language Pathologists
· Massage Therapists
· Other Healthcare Providers
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