Craniosacral therapy is a technique that descends from Dr. William Sutherland’s work in cranial osteopathy. Similar techniques include sacro-occipital technique and craniopathy. Pioneered and developed by osteopaths, these techniques have more recently been embraced by the wider medical community.
Like osteopathic medicine, cranial work is based on the premise that the tendency in a person’s body is always toward the normal. As Sutherland put it, “the body is a self-healing and self-regulating entity.” Craniosacral therapists are trained to “listen” with their hands to evaluate movement restriction, congestion in fluid dynamics, and the potency of health in the cranial, venous, lymphatic, visceral, and central nervous systems in order to facilitate healing.
Cranial work is not aggressive in nature. Eight cranial bones and 14 facial bones articulate together in harmony. Sutures tie the cranial vault together and have specific movement patterns. When the clinician finds limitations in these movement patterns, the treatment can then be focused on relieving the restriction in movement of the sutures and increasing blood and lymphatic flow. Inflammation and pathology are often the result of decreased blood and lymphatic flow to certain areas. Craniosacral therapy increases fluid dynamics throughout the body, thereby improving tissue hydration.