Cranial Therapy is so gentle that it is safe for people of all ages. In fact, it is often extremely helpful when other therapies are unsafe, such as after an operation, with fragile or acute conditions, with pregnant women and babies, and with individuals on a complex pharmaceutical regimen. Babies tend to respond very well to Cranial Therapy, and it is terrific for infant problems such as colic and sucking difficulties. It can also help with stress and increase one’s sense of vitality and well-being.
How is Cranial Therapy performed?
The patient lies on a treatment table fully clothed. Using very light touch- generally no more than the weight of a nickel- Dr. Schiavone-Ruthensteiner monitors the rhythm of the craniosacral system to detect potential restrictions and imbalances, and uses delicate manual techniques to release problem areas and relieve undue pressure on the brain and spinal cord.
For what conditions can Cranial Therapy be effective?
- Chronic pain
- Stress, anxiety, tension headaches
- Trauma, including whiplash injury, seatbelt injuries, sports injuries
- Spinal dysfunction
- TMJ disorders (clicking or painful jaws)
- Immune system disorders
- Joint pain, Carpal Tunnel pain
- Learning disabilities and central nervous system disorders
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic fatigue
- Childbirth difficulties (for mom and baby)
- Post-operative scar tissue pain
- Pediatric health challenges
- And more…
A brief history of Cranial Therapy:
Cranial Therapy dates back to the mid-1900’s with Dr. William Sutherland, the first teacher of cranial osteopathy. He demonstrated that the bones of the skull are not fused, as doctors had been taught in medical school. Sutherland kept a precise record of the symptoms that occurred as he created and removed restrictions in his own head. These symptoms included jaw pain, visual impairment, and headaches.
In 1970, osteopathic physician John E. Upledger and the founder of CranioSacral Therapy, witnessed the rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system during spinal surgery. Putting Dr. Sutherland’s information together with the odd pulsing rhythm he’d observed, Dr. Upledger theorized that a hydraulic system of sorts was functioning inside the craniosacral system. Along with a team of scientists he demonstrated the effectiveness of light-touch cranial therapy.
There are more and more studies that demonstrate objective changes in structural and physiological changes with Cranial Therapy. Here is one fascinating study that demonstrated the physiological effect of Cranial Therapy on nitric oxide (NO) production. As nitric oxide plays a powerful role in illnesses including asthma, diabetes, and coronary artery disease (all of which typically are associated with low levels of NO), the NO increase in the study participants can indicate a potential non-pharmaceutical therapy for these chronic diseases!