Frequently asked questions
Migraines, an alternative treatment.
Migraine sufferers are finding relief with CranioSacral Therapy as a alternative modality.
Migraine statistics: One in five women, sixteen men, eleven children suffer from migraines (1). Treatment options provide varied results dependent on etiology. Learning to avoid triggers or prescribed medications can reduce attack frequency, duration, or intensity.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is “improving the quality of life of patients with migraine.” (2) In addition, CST is a popular non-pharmacological approach to treatment or prevention of migraines. Mechanism of treatment is enhancing the function of the autonomic nervous system and the cerebral spinal fluid balance and regulation (3) resulting in sought-after relief.
As a CranioSacral Therapist we have seen life qualities improve in our clients after a few sessions. With my specialization in CST, from the Upledger Institute the home of CranioSacral Therapy, it has been rewarding to see positive outcomes from this and other health challenges.
With a collaborative treatment plan, including medical standard of care complemented with CranioSacral Therapy, will result in the best possible outcome for Migraine sufferers.
At Opt For CanioSacral Therapy we look forward to help you get relief from Migraines.
- American Migrane Foundation; Web page.
- Manual Therapy as a Proposed Treatment for Chronic Migraine; Aug 2017; Espi-Lopez, Bermell-Salvador, Cortes-Amadoer.
- John Upledger DO; CranioSacral Therapy, 1983.
The Use of CranioSacral therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): Benefits from the viewpoints of parents, clients, and therapists.
The objectives of this preliminary study were to explore: the use of CranioSacral Therapy for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the demographics of participants, and the retrospective interpretation of reported changes related to the intervention. Participants included therapists, parents, and clients.
Recruitment of participants was conducted through electronic social and professional networks. Online questionnaire surveys were provided. Demographic questions were posed to understand both the extent of clinical use and the rationales for such treatment, and surveys were unique to each subject groups. All participants were given a 20-item functional behavior checklist as a means to measure their perception of change attributed to this intervention. Open-ended comments were also encouraged to explore perspectives from their experiential treatments. The Qualitative data collected was analyzed via Inductive Content Analysis. The data was stored on excel and analyzed manually and independently by all 3 authors.
A total of 405 people responded to the recruitments and of the participants who completed surveys, 264 were therapists and 124 parents. Only a small sampling of clients responded. The demographics of professionals using CST for ASD, their level of CST training, and their qualifications to work with ASD were reflected. Demographics and referral sources of parents, and other details of their experiences, were surveyed. Perceived changes to the use of CST were explored through analysis of responses to both the Likert scale as well as the open comments.
This preliminary study introduces the concept of CranioSacral Therapy as a treatment option for symptoms associated with ASD. Its clinical use has been available for three decades but few empirical studies exist. The results of the survey suggest that CST is already being professionally recommended as a treatment. This study found that there were positive responses observed by all 3 targeted groups leading to the authors concluding that there is worthy cause to further investigate how CST benefits Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation: A New Treatment Intervention for Concussion Recovery
Military service members and veterans face health issues related to traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially during combat, use of heavy equipment, and exposures to environmental hazards and explosives. There were 400,000 TBIs reported in deployed U.S. troops in 2012. Athletes are also subject to TBI. Studies have indicated that some manual therapies could be helpful for treating patients who have post-concussive syndrome.
This case series report describes the effects of CranioSacral Therapy (CST), Visceral Manipulation (VM), and Neural Manipulation (NM) modalities for treating patients who have post-concussion syndrome. The goal of this study was to evaluate these effects on immobility, pain intensity, quality of life, sleep disorders, and cognition in these patients.
Materials and Methods:
This single-blinded case series was conducted at the Upledger Institute, in West Palm Beach, FL. The patients were 11 male retired professional football players from the National Football League and the Canadian Football League who had been medically diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Each participant received a morning and afternoon 2-hour session of these three specific manual therapies, which were capable of accessing and addressing the structural, vascular, and neurologic tissues of the cranium and brain-as well addressing far-reaching ramifications throughout the body following trauma. The main outcome measures were scores on the: Impact Neurocognitive Test; Dynavisiontm Test; Short Form-36 Quality of Life Survey, Headache Impact Test, Dizziness Handicap Inventory; a numeric pain rating scale; orthopedic range of motion tests (ROM); and vestibular testing. Hours of sleep were also checked. These outcome measures were registered at baseline, after treatment, and after a 3-month follow up.
Statistically significant differences were seen with a decrease in overall pain rating scale scores (P = 0.0448), and cervicogenic pain levels decreased (P = 0.0486). There were statistically significant increases in Dynavision Average Reaction Time (P = 0.0332), Memory Test (P = 0.0156) scores, and cervical ROM scores (P = 0.0377). Hours of sleep averaged 2 hours on the first day of treatment and increased to 4.0 hours at the end of treatment and were continuing to increase, as noted at a 3-month evaluation.
Ten sessions of specific CST/VM/NM therapy resulted in statistically greater improvements in pain intensity, ROM, memory, cognition, and sleep in concussed patients.
Craniosacral still point technique: exploring its effects in individuals with dementia.
A mixed methodology was used to explore the effects of craniosacral still point technique (CSPT) in 9 older adults with dementia. Participants were monitored at baseline (3 weeks), intervention (6 weeks), and postintervention (3 weeks) using the modified Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory (M-CMAI). CSPT was implemented daily for 6 weeks by a certified craniosacral therapist. Findings indicated a statistically significant reduction in M-CMAI total and subscale scores during the intervention period. This reduction continued during postintervention for subscale scores of physical nonaggression and verbal agitation. Staff and family interviews provided convergent validity to the quantitative findings. Participants were also more cooperative during caregiving activities and displayed meaningful interactions.
Helping the Brain Drain: How CranioSacral Therapy Aids ADD/ADHD
CranioSacral Therapy can have a profoundly positive effect on brain and spinal cord function. It has been used successfully in the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since 1975.
Our clinical experience suggests that structural restrictions in the body, especially in the bones and membrane layers surrounding the brain and spinal cord, may be the primary factor in a significant number of such cases. These restrictions can interfere with the normal movement of fluids and vital nutrients into and out of the brain, which enable it to function properly.
In a gentle manner, CranioSacral Therapy can help release restrictions to naturally enhance brain function, decrease levels of ADD and ADHD, and in many cases, alleviate the disorders altogether.
Craniosacral Therapy for Fibromyalgia
The root causes of fibromyalgia are still unknown. It is attributed to a dysfunction of nerve signals, hormones, or spinal fluid pressure. Because the causes are not completely understood, it makes treatment difficult. There are several treatments and methods for controlling the symptoms of fybromyalgia, and whole websites dedicated to fibromyalgia treating. Craniosacral therapy is a method used to treat all of the causes with some promising results. Here is a closer look at what we know about craniosacral therapy.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY FOR FIBROMYALGIA PAIN
One study in Spain showed that CST improved the pain symptoms in fibromyalgia patients. The relief was experienced immediately and lasted for up to two months afterward. The effects of the intensive therapy were not detected to be different from the control group after a year. This study suggests that CST may have important implications in treating fibromyalgia sufferers when used regularly.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY FOR ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, SLEEP QUALITY, AND QUALITY OF LIFE WITH FIBROMYALGIA
Another study tested CST on anxiety, depression, sleep quality, and overall quality of life in fibromyalgia patients. This study found that CST did in fact aid in depression, anxiety, and sleep quality, and therefore, improved the quality of life for fibromyalgia patients. This improvement was maintained for up to six months after the initial intensive treatment, but only sleep quality was still improved at the one year mark after treatment. Again, this study suggests that the regular use of CST may mark a substantial improvement in anxiety, depression, and sleep quality.
The results of CST may in fact reduce pain, anxiety, and depression, while improving sleep quality. The list of benefits make craniosacral therapy worth a try. To experience this treatment for yourself, you will need to search out practitioners in your area, and schedule an appointment with them for treatment.
I have fibromyalgia and CST changed my life so dramatically that I no longer have to take pain meds. I was diagnosised 36 years ago and had been on every drug under the sun. CST made such a difference that I decided learn CST and now I use it in my practice.
Craniosacral Therapy for PTSD
PTSD and its symptoms can place your nervous system on an “always-on” mode. It can make completing everyday activities along with meeting work and home expectations challenging. Craniosacral therapy can be very beneficial for those living with PTSD.
There have been many different cases and research studies focused on craniosacral therapy and PTSD. The focus of the studies has been primarily on military veterans living with PTSD. However, one study has explored craniosacral therapy and its effects on Tibetan ex-political prisoners with PTSD.
15 Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy for PTSD
Here is a list of fifteen benefits that may be experienced when using craniosacral therapy for PTSD:
- Discomfort: Overall discomfort may see positive change and reduction
- Pain:Physical sensations of pain may be lowered
- Panic attack:The intensity and number of panic attacks may be observed as lessening
- Sleep: Insomnia dissipated and regular sleep patterns may become more prevalent
- Hypervigilance:Alleviation may be seen and felt, and responses to the world around may become more appropriate; less fight/flight focused.
- Flashbacks: A reduction in flashbacks may be experienced
- Recollection:Ability to remember traumatic effects without being triggered may occur
- Participation: Participation in social events and activities may be less stressful
- Depression: Feelings of depression may be reduced
- Suicide:Suicidal thoughts may be lessened
- Medications: The need for medications for symptoms may become less
- Brain fog:Feelings of forgetfulness, confusion, lack of focus may dissipate
- Clear thinking: Clear thinking and functioning can increase
- Relationships:Greater connection and meaning may be experienced
- Community:Work and community may be more easily connected.
Improved Health Conditions With CST
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by Dr. John Upledger, after extensive scientific studies between 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the physiological functioning of the most complex organ system in the body, the central nervous system.
This system is comprised of brain and the spinal cord and several layers of membranes, connective tissue, and cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid bathes the nerves while protecting, supporting, and circulating nutrients in addition to removing waste products about the nerve cells and surrounding membranes. The name “central” nervous system is used because nerve impulses control almost everything in the body such as breathing, heart rate, hormones, temperature, movement, thought, desire, emotions, etc. The treatment assists in releasing restrictions within or about the central nervous system restoring the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which in turn, can enhance the performance of the many body’s functions. By complementing the body’s natural healing process, CST is used as a preventive health measure and treatment approach for it can support disease resistance, enhance natural homeostasis, balance physiological function, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain, dysfunction, and complications associated with medically diagnosed conditions.
Come about 15 minutes early to fill out come paperwork. However, you can make this easier if you go to Forms Tab and fill out the forms on-line on the secured site.
The therapist will review your Intake Form before you start and perhaps ask some follow up questions. This is a good time to ask your questions of the therapist.
The therapy session is gentle and non-invasive as you will remain fully clothed lying on a massage table. A thin air mattress is used for your comfort, Pillows and bolsters and blankets are available as you need them, just ask. You are asked to wear loose fitting comfortable clothes and remove your shoes.
Sometimes the therapist will play some soft meditative music. If this is objectionable and you would rather have quiet,. just ask.
The treatment consists of gentle holding techniques that engage the body’s natural ability to release restricted connective tissue, muscle, and facia. Pain often dissipates and range of motion increases as these tissues release. During the tissue release, you may not feel anything or you could feel a tingle or a little twinge. You might experience a slight warmth or the need to move a finger, toe, arm, or leg to kind of “shake off” the bound energy.
With the reduction of these restrictive tissues pullin the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is expected to improve in the craniosacral system, resulting in greater energy flow and improved well being and health. Depending on the depth to which work is being done, sometimes relief is not felt immediately but may be delayed. This delay is dependent on your body’s ability to incorporate the changes made during a therapy session and a new homeostasis is found within your body’s systems.
You will, however, come away with a very deep sense of relaxation as many of my clients report the feeling of a wakeful deep sleep with a rejuvenating effect.
No, CranioSacral Therapy is considered to be a non-covered service, so private payment will be required and due at the time of service.
Treatment age limits:
At this time I do not treat children below age 2 due to the physiological differences compared to more developed bodies of older children, teens, and adults. I do look forward to obtaining additional certification in the future. However, I will be glad to refer you to a specialist with CST for this younger age group.
Our profession is bound by HIPAA regulations assuring your records and therapy sessions are confidential according to the rules. You will be asked to sign a form to this end.
Let me assure you that any information you share with me in private and belongs to you. What you tell me and what happens in a session, and anything else about you will remain solely between us; unless I’m required by law to share this information according to rules set out by HIPAA and/or the State of Florida. Should you wish for me to share any information with another practitioner, I will need you to authorize, in writing, the sharing of information, this authorization will be kept in your file.
Are you experiencing a slower than normal healing process from an injury and perhaps was told, it should have been straightforward? Do you continue to suffer from pain or discomfort from trauma, headache, or difficult diagnosis that continue to influence your quality of life and perhaps limit what you do? You are truly learning that stress is growing and “eating away” at your life. However, you have an inkling that you not only would like that to be different, but that you think it actually could be different but just don’t know how to get there. With CranioSacral Therapy you will connect with your body’s own wisdom and resilience, if you are ready to “hear” your body’s side of the story. During the session, your body has the opportunity to shift away from the stress patterns that keep one locked into disharmony and dis-ease and focus on releasing into better health. Working together we can often discover a key to unlock the issues using your own body’s intelligence. I welcome the opportunity to make great changes and increase your capacity to live your life to its fullest.
Because of the gentle nature and positive effects on all of the body’s systems, CST can be helpful in a large variety of conditions and situations and can be used for clients of all ages. CST can be part of a wellness or preventative health care plan or an integrative therapy as part of a medical treatment program.
Here is a list of conditions that have used CST and have shown improvements. The Upledger Institute continues to research on the efficacy of this type of treatment and has made great strides to underscore positive results worldwide. Some conditions are listed below but is not all inclusive. Please call our office for more guidance if your condition is not listed.
(LINKS in gray- click for more information)
- Migraine Headaches (Click to go to BLOG page)
- Chronic Neck and Back Pain
- Motor-Coordination Impairments
- Central Nervous System Disorders
- Orthopedic Problems
- Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Learning Disabilities
- Chronic Fatigue
- Emotional Difficulties
- Stress and Tension-Related Problems
- Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
- Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
- Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
- PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Post-Surgical Dysfunction
- Essential Tremors
Each session is typically one hour. However, clients may be seen from 1/2 hour up to 2 hour session. All new client intakes are 1 1/4 hours long including an evaluation and a treatment session.
There is no simple answer. Clients come in with unique sets of symptoms and history, each and every session is unique, each client responds to the therapy in differing degrees, it is therefor not possible to give a concrete timeline. What I can say is most clients feel some relief that brings a good deal of hope even after just one session. In my experience, if after 3 sessions, either of us feels the therapy is not addressing your needs, I will refer you to another practitioner who I feel would be a better match. Meeting your needs is my priority.
I have clients that come as they need a “tune-up” or, for example, have a migraine headache that needs to be treated. In most cases this can be done in one session. Other clients come every 2 to 4 weeks, like clockwork due to ongoing health challenges that are not curable but require regular treatment. With some health challenges, an initial 2-3 times a week is needed for the first 2 weeks, as an example, and then taper off, to 1 time a week for 3-4 weeks to perhaps a maintenance program of 1-2 times a month. All are very much depended on the type of health challenge and your own specific response to the treatment.
There are only a few contraindications to this therapy. Because we work with the cerebral spinal fluid, any physiological condition that would change or hamper the flow of this fluid is considered a contraindication. Some conditions listed are: Recent stroke or brain hemorrhage; Recent fracture/insult to the vertebral column, sacrum, ribs, or skull bones; Recent spinal tap or puncture anywhere along the dura or Arnold Chiari Malformation. Should you have any concerns or questions regarding your condition or other conditions not listed, please reach out to our Therapist. (Understanding the Contraindications, by John Upledger, DO, OMM; Massage Today, 2019)
Your body has a unique frequency or energy that is flowing throughout your body’s tissues. Craniosacral Therapy therefore is more than therapeutic, it also influences the body’s energetics. Your body becomes a storehouse of your experiences/memories/tensions that are held in your body’s tissues, these are called energy cysts when they interfere with your function. Eventually, these stored tensions lead to some type of symptomatology when you are no longer able to compensate for them.
Craniosacral Therapy’s goal is to free you of these tensions held in your tissues, restoring balance and function.
Your practitioner will assist you in releasing the energy cysts and even their precipitating experiences. Your body is the guide for your therapist, always working within your level of comfort. We work together with your body creating a full life of health, peace and joy!