CST: A Natural Option
By: Carolyn Sanftleben
You have maybe never heard of CranioSarcral Therapy (CST), but it offers a chance at an improved quality of life – no matter what level a person is functioning. People of all ages from newborn to the last days of life can benefit from CST and it is the number one alternative therapy for migraine headaches. Children and adults suffering from ADD, learning disabilities, dyslexia, autism, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, headache pain, allergies, ear infections, scoliosis, sleep disorders and many other conditions, have experience the benefits of CranioSarcral Therapy.
I discovered CST after my son had six sets of tubes in his ears between the ages of three and ten. That, in addition to a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at the age of ten, led me to research any and all therapies available for children with ADHD. CranioSarcral Therapy is what I found.
CST dates back to 1970 when Dr. John E. Upledger first witnessed the rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system during a spinal surgery. By 1975, he was testing and documenting the influence of CranioSarcral Therapy on children that were having trouble in school and by 1985, Dr. Upledger established the Upledger Institute to teach the public and healthcare practitioners about the benefits of the therapy.
CranioSarcral Therapy is a gentle way of healing often yielding dramatic results. “Cranio” refers to the head and “sacral” refers to the base of the spine and tailbone. The craniosacral system is made up of the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system), the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord, the surrounding membranes that enclose the brain, the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid, and the bones of the spine and skull that house these membranes.
How It Works
Using a light touch, generally no more than the weight of a nickel, the practitioner monitors the rhythm of the craniosacral system to detect potential restrictions and imbalances. Delicate manual techniques are then used to release those problem areas.
A typical session lasts approximately one hour. During this time the client lies on a massage table fully clothes and will usually become very relaxed. Children can color, play with a favorite toy, site on a parent’s lap or do whatever makes them comfortable. It is not uncommon for typically active children to relax and sit sill, but it is okay if they don’t. Results are often seen after the first appointment with a goal to remedy the symptoms.
As the years have gone by, I have seen dramatic results with CST with many different people in many different walks of life. And even though my son is no longer a child, the benefits of CranioSarcral Therapy for him are still helping his way of life. Once we started CST with my son, he no longer needed tubes in his ears and all the ear infections went away.
Some Other Results
- I have treated babies who are colicky and who have a slight head tip and after only a few sessions of CranioSarcral Therapy, both were corrected
- Children with math and reading difficulties will improve dramatically – my sons reading went up three grades after having the CST therapy
- CranioSarcral Therapy has helped many kids with behavior issues at school – it improves their attention in class, helps them sit still for longer periods of time and helps them stay focused while studying
- CranioSarcral Therapy works wonders for people who have headaches and sinus infections – after a few treatments, patients will notice a vast improvement with both – I work hard to provide services to correct the issues so my patients will not need therapy all of their life.