Craniosacral Therapy—Gentle, Healing Touch
Craniosacral Therapy is a form of Bodywork that focuses on the Central Nervous System. By tuning into the body, through “listening” with the hands, the therapist can assess the Craniosacral Rhythm and areas of the body impacted by stresses and tension. The therapist works on releasing the tension and strain, and often works at the level of the fascia. The fascia is connective tissue, and is continuous throughout the entire human body.
As the name suggests, there is inter-relationship between the cranium and sacrum, via the CNS or Central Nervous System. A fall or injury in your past can cause symptoms even decades later. For example, a fall or trauma to your head can manifest in symptoms in the low back or sacrum, and you may not immediately realize the connection.
Because the cranial bones contain the brain and its surrounding meninges, gentle tractioning at specific bony locations on the head can effect immediate releases, even when caused in the distant past. Some of these strains may even occur at birth.
The pituitary is housed in the sphenoid bone, and when this structure is “released,” many pleasant responses can occur. As we know, the pituitary produces several hormones that control the activity of endocrine glands, through feed-back loops. Hormonal disruptions can thus cause far-ranging effects in the body. Sphenoid releases can directly affect emotional issues.
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, non-invasive treatment which can actually effect movement of cranial bones. Andrea has studied with the Upledger Institute, and these techniques trace their origin to osteopathic theory, which indicates that the cranial bones DO actually move: for example, they may glide or slide or interdigitate.
Through craniosacral therapy, areas of stagnant energy can be “unwound” leading to pain relief. As expected, the mind-body connection is also central to Bodywork therapies. Chakra balancing may be offered during the treatment session. Chakras are energy centers in a subtle layer of the body, and are not actually located in the physical level. It is at this same energetic level where the meridians of Acupuncture theory and the nadis in Yoga theory are located.
Some of the many conditions treated by Craniosacral Therapy include:
- Migraines and headache, TMJ Syndrome, facial and trigeminal pain.
- Neck and back pain, orthopedic issues.
- Infant and childhood disorders.
- Learning disabilities, ADD and ADHD, autism spectrum, sensory processing disorders.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and emotional issues
- Brain and spinal cord injuries.
- Certain visual issues, lack of smell, sinusitis, allergies.
- Chronic ear infections, vertigo, infant colic.
Prolonged dental procedures and braces can cause on-going issues due to restrictions induced on one side of the face. Andrea suggests that craniosacral therapy can correct these side-effects of orthodontia, dental extractions, and other dental procedures. These gentle corrections can prevent further, serious long-term symptoms that you might not link to dental work.
Craniosacral Therapy for Children consists of adapted, gentle releases that are appropriate for immediately after birth until 8 years of age. Many of the problems caused by childbirth can be easily alleviated when newborns are provided with craniosacral therapy. The actual physical dynamics of childbirth, maternal drug usage (during gestation and birthing), and emotional issues engendered during gestation are best treated very early in life. Please Note: Children in this age group must only be treated by a therapist who has taken this advanced course.
Andrea has studied many levels of Craniosacral Therapy, including Cranial I and II, Craniosacral for Children and SomatoEmotional Release.
Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) – Subtle, Healing Touch through our Water Element and the Fluids of the body
Andrea has studied LDT I, II and III as taught in Dr. Bruno Chikly’s system. LDT is extremely gentle touch, connecting with the Waters of the body. Targeted systems include the fluid, lymphatic and circulatory systems, the immune system, the nervous system and the visceral system. LDT III provides connective tissue releases, scar-release therapy, and techniques for restricted joints, including embryologic articulations. The pressure applied may be slightly more with the fascial techniques.
The gentle techniques in LDT facilitate drainage in the lymphatic system, which can become compromised from surgery, trauma, burns, infections and stress. The practitioner “connects” through the hands to the lymphatic system: the rhythm, direction and quality of flow. Gentle hand maneuvers can recirculate and redirect body fluids. This assists the lymphatics in the elimination of toxins and accumulated waste products.
Some of the conditions which Andrea treats using LDT include:
- Edema and swelling
- Chronic pain relief
- Detoxification, vertigo
- Stimulation of the immune system; chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
- Fascia, visceral and joint release
- Scar release
Andrea will frequently combine acupuncture, craniosacral and lymph drainage treatments in the same session; separate, longer sessions may be indicated for individualized bodywork treatments.