The Craniosacral therapy has many names. It is also called as cranial massage therapy, cranial osteopathy or CST. This therapy is considered as an alternative therapy being used by many types of therapists such as physical therapists and osteopaths. The craniosacral massage is very gentle and the therapist works with the skull and spine to treat stress, back pain and neck discomfort and many others. It is also believed to relieve migraine, fibromyalgia and even TMJ Syndrome.
The craniosacral therapy does not have a good scientific support to back its claims of treatment. In fact, it received numerous criticisms and opinions about this treatment are equally divided amongst doctors and osteopaths. Some say that there is not enough evidence to prove that there is indeed a therapeutic benefit from this practice. Others say that the so-called “cranial bone movement” does not exist and they don’t have enough evidence that there is such type of movement in our bones. Some also say that even the cranial rhythm does not have enough evidence to prove its existence and therefore, the link between the cranial movements to other claims of practitioners are also being criticized.
Craniosacral therapy or cranial osteopathy originated back in 1898 to 1900 by William Sutherland, DO, a physicist. He was observing a disjointed skull and got an idea that the sutures on the temporal bones indicate cranial movements. His idea was in contrast to the anatomical belief of the North Americans. It is this cranial rhythm idea that paved for the Craniosacral therapy as Sutherland started teaching his work to other Osteo therapists in the 1930’s until his death in 1954. His teachings were rejected at first but slowly, it became accepted and taught in osteopathy schools in the United States.
The craniosacral treatment is done with the patient on a supine position with his/her clothes on. The session usually lasts for an hour and the therapist proceed with the 10-step protocol that starts with the analysis of the person’s cranial rhythm. The therapist tunes in to the rhythm of the body by listening using their hands only. The fingers touch the patient’s body lightly as the therapist is in tuned with the patient’s body rhythm and in turn, the patient feel so relaxed during and even after the session.
Some would attest to the effects of Craniosacral therapy. Some say their stress and back problems are totally gone after every session with the therapists. Some feel a bit light headed after a session and they say this is due to the increased production of endorphins in the body. Autistic children can also benefit from this type of therapy. The therapy does not pose a threat to the patient although some may not feel any changes in their bodies. Because this type of therapy is not scientifically proven, scientists could still not explain why many people feel great changes in their body after getting the treatment.
In the United Kingdom, practitioners of this type of treatment is being regulated by a program where they need to have full professional and public liability insurance to be a registered practitioner.