What is Craniosacral therapy?

Written by Ayla Bolstad | Craniosacral practitioner at NE Wellness

Do you suffer from migraines? Back or neck pain? TMJ syndrome? Tinnitus? Chronic fatigue?

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on method of reducing pain and improving mobility in the body, by evaluation and normalization of the bones, tissues and fluid that protect the central nervous system - our brain and spinal cord.

Skull. jpg

Cerebral Spinal Fluid

The production and reabsorption of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (or CSF) is a metabolic process that takes place deep within the brain, and can be felt as a wave of expansion and contraction throughout the entire body; we call this the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse. When this rhythm is disturbed, vitality and immunity are affected on local and systemic levels, resulting in pain and dysfunction. The CSF has a couple different functions in the body - one is to surround and protect the brain against trauma, and the other is to carry nutrients throughout the central nervous system and the rest of the body, by means of the connective tissue or fascia.

So, naturally, we want this fluid doing its job optimally - and how do we achieve that?

The answer is to maintain mobility in the system that houses the fluid - the skull, spine and sacrum (a bone comprised of 5 fused vertebrae at the base of the spine). Anywhere that this system is immobile or contracted, the pathways for the flow of CSF will be obstructed. Craniosacral practitioners are trained to feel for these areas of immobility and restore their motion; which reduces pain and dysfunction.

What causes immobility?


1) Any trauma to the skull or spine

The skull is comprised of multiples plates, with joints called sutures. These joints are held together by connective tissue, and contain blood, lymph and nerve vessels. These sutures are there to allow space for movement and pressure changes within the skull, as well as to provide more protection to the brain in case of external concussion, by giving the skull more flexibility and adaptation possibility. Imagine dropping a basketball versus a clay bowl - which one would survive the fall? The more pliable one, of course! Therefore, we want our skull (and our bones in general) to be flexible as well as strong. When trauma does occur, these sutures react by contracting, or even calcifying over time. Resulting in a skull that is less adaptable, a brain that is more susceptible to injury and an inhibited flow of CSF.

2) Toxins!

Our bodies accumulate toxins in our connective tissue system, which also compromises the pliability of the sutures in our skulls.

3) Emotional distress

Emotions are not only experienced in the mind, but also in the entire body. And when we don’t process them in the moment we store them in our tissues, where they continue to affect us on physical, mental and emotional levels until they are released.

Some more specific situations that can be improved with Craniosacral therapy:

  • Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • TMJ syndrome

  • Tinnitus

  • Headaches and Migraines

  • Back and Neck Pain

  • Learning disabilities

  • Dyslexia

  • Stress

  • Fatigue and Brain Fog

  • Fibromyalgia

  • PTSD

  • Vertigo

  • And much more

If you are experiencing any of these problems, Craniosacral may be for you!

Lucy Robertscraniosacral