Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy – HICI Go

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Client at spa feeling refreshed after craniosacral therapy

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

Massage therapists regularly look for new approaches to help their clients, such as craniosacral therapy. This massage therapy provides relief from many types of pain, including headaches and complications from some cancer treatments.

HICI Go is an online education platform that connects learners with a diverse array of live webinars, on-demand online courses, and in-person courses. We offer a range of health and beauty courses to help professionals learn massage techniques and a wealth of other skills. Discover more about craniosacral therapy and its benefits.

How Does Craniosacral Therapy Work?

The origins of craniosacral therapy (CST) stem back to the 1930s, when William Sutherland, a doctor of osteopathy, realized that gentle manipulation of the head and neck could benefit people with different health concerns. In the 1970s, another doctor of osteopathy, John Upledger, reintroduced cranial osteopathy. He theorized that the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (the craniosacral system) were heavily related to the central nervous system. That helped advance CST as a legitimate method of treatment.

Also called cranial sacral therapy, CST is a hands-on massage therapy technique that seeks to enhance the function of internal systems. Massage therapists gently place their hands on the body to release tension in the fascia, connective tissue surrounding the brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, and other organs. This “casing” creates an interconnected network throughout the body. In alleviating tension, CST promotes natural healing and regulation.

What Are the Health Benefits of Craniosacral Massage?

Studies have found that craniosacral therapy provides pain relief in individuals with a variety of health conditions, such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Migraine headaches
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stroke
  • Scoliosis
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
  • Post-surgical recovery

In addition to physical health, CST can help improve mental and emotional well-being. By relieving tension, the massage therapy technique promotes relaxation and stress relief. It may also help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other kinds of trauma.

The results of CST may differ from client to client. Doctors and medical researchers continue to investigate the effectiveness of CST in treating physical and mental health conditions. Individuals should consult their physicians to see if CST is a viable treatment for their illness or disorder. For instance, CST doesn’t match well with some symptoms, like blood clots, brain swelling, or a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid.

What Happens During Craniosacral Therapy?

A typical craniosacral therapy session takes 30 minutes to one hour. It begins like any other massage therapy session, with the massage therapist asking the client about their concerns and goals for CST. Clients remain fully clothed during CST and lie on their backs on the treatment table.

The massage therapist applies gentle pressure to the head, neck, spinal column, and other areas where the client has symptoms. As the massage therapist palpates the body, they note areas of tension and work to alleviate it. That helps remove restrictions and improve nervous system function. Massage therapists may treat clients with CST alone or alongside other modalities.

As with other types of massage therapy, the massage therapist should communicate with the client throughout the session. The best massage therapists begin by explaining what they will do and the areas where they will touch. These massage therapists check in with the client each time they transition to the next movement to ensure the client is comfortable.

Who Should Consider Craniosacral Therapy?

Even if a person hasn’t been diagnosed with a medical condition, they may consider craniosacral therapy for general pain relief. Some types of pain CST helps alleviate include:

  • Neck and shoulder
  • Lower back
  • Head (from migraines and tension headaches)
  • Joint (temporomandibular joint)

Individuals with anxiety and stress problems, as well as those who have difficulty with memory and concentration, may also benefit from CST.

What Are the Complications of Craniosacral Therapy?

Since craniosacral therapy is a gentler form of massage therapy, it carries few side effects and risks. Some clients report feeling lightheaded and dizzy after a session, and some experience mild discomfort. Massage therapists should encourage clients to contact their physician if more serious complications follow a CST session.

Learn New Massage Techniques With HICI Go

Offering different massage therapies, such as craniosacral therapy, can set you apart from other massage therapists in your area. If you want to learn techniques like these and provide more services to your clients, choose HICI Go to build your massage therapy skills. We offer online courses and live webinars covering various topics in massage therapy, as well as in-person courses at partnering institutions in Florida and other states.

The diverse catalog of courses includes multiple massage therapy techniques in addition to CST, such as cupping therapy, Chakra, and lymphatic drainage. What’s more, our catalog frequently changes, so we encourage you to check back often and see the new listings. Contact us today for more information about our continuing education courses for beauty and wellness professionals.