Holistic Medicine: CranioSacral Therapy

By: Elizabeth Donatelli Email
By: Elizabeth Donatelli Email

February 5, 2007

It's a gentle procedure that works on the skull and under the spine through a series of gentle touching and rubbing. It's called CranioSacral therapy.

"I had a horse step on my sacrum when I was 12 and when I was in my early 20s I started developing lower back problems. I had been treated by chiropractors, but the problem came right back as soon as I left their office," said Kate Shumate.

Kate Shumate went to her first session of CranioSacral therapy in the mid 90s and hasn't stopped since.

"It was the first time in probably 20 years that I was without pain," Shumate said.

It's a non-invasive form of therapy that uses osteopathic techniques.

"Pain happens when there is no movement of tissue. Be it a shoulder, be it any part of the body, you can't move it, it hurts," said CranioSacral Therapist Suzanne Bovenizer.

Bovenizer doesn't press, but stretches the bones and encourages them to move naturally.

"So we're going to take the frontal plate and just by gently, by 5 grams of pressure, hardly any pressure at all, the weight of the nickel. We are going to encourage movement through the bone, which then pulls the soft tissue out to where it needs to be," said Bovenizer.

This allows lubricating fluid to move throughout the head and down the spine, which connects to the nervous system. Problems occur when the fluid can't flow properly and areas are essentially dry. One part of the body often affects others.

"if I have a restriction here, look where it's pulling. It's pulling all the way down here. If I pull on the shirt down here, I can actually feel where the restriction is in the body. So one of the great things with CranioSacrial is that we're able to access where the restrictions are by pulling on the facia," said Bovenizer.

The facia is a sheet of connective tissue that moves throughout the body and when allowed to move properly, it can heal places that have been neglected.

"If she finds a restriction in the head and releases that, sometimes the knee will release or you'll feel something within your belly release," Shumate said.

I got a chance to lay on the table and although I didn't have a specific ailment the whole process was very relaxing.

People can feel results right away--but deeper results can take some time.

The sessions usually run an hour and cost between $70-90, which can be covered by insurance.

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