Common steps and sub-activities
Craniosacral therapy - CST
Craniosacral therapy (also called CST) is an Osteopathic technique devised by William Garner Sutherland. It makes use of the craniosacral system. It is a whole body form of treatment, principally used in healing. Craniosacral osteopaths use the therapy to treat mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ Syndrome, and for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia.
You will not, incidentally generally find any unbiased or objective reporting of this approach on sites like Wikipedia or even in Pubmed. Because a few scientists appear not to be able to explain it, they have dismissed it – which is a bit like saying lightning doesn’t exist because there is no explanation for it.
But a few valuable studies have been done, for example:
Multipractitioner Upledger CranioSacral Therapy: descriptive outcome study 2007-2008. - Harrison RE, Page JS - General Practice, National Health Service, Edinburgh, UK.
This study describes patients presenting for CranioSacral treatment, the conditions they present with, and the impact of treatment on both their symptoms and lives.
The records of 157 patients treated with Upledger CranioSacral Therapy (UCST) were reviewed. Seventy-three (73) patients had been treated by 10 different practitioners working independently and 84 patients were treated by a single practitioner working within the National Health Service.
Patients' ages ranged from neonates to 68 years. Seventy-four percent (74%) of patients reported a valuable improvement in their presenting problem. Sixty-seven percent (67%) also reported a valuable improvement in their general well-being and/or a second health problem. Outcome by diagnostic groups suggested that UCST is particularly effective for patients with headaches and migraine, neck and back pain, anxiety and depression, and unsettled babies. Seventy percent (70%) of patients on medication decreased or discontinued it, and patients' average general practitioner consultation rate fell by 60% in the 6 months following treatment.
The study suggests that further research into UCST as a treatment modality would be valuable for the above mentioned problems in particular.
Towards the end of his life Sutherland believed that he began to sense a "power" which generated corrections from inside his patients' bodies without the influence of external forces applied by him as the therapist.
This contact with what he perceived to be the ‘Breath of Life’ changed his entire treatment focus to one of spiritual reverence and subtle touch. This spiritual approach to the work has come to be known as both 'biodynamic' craniosacral therapy and 'biodynamic' osteopathy.
The techniques have been described and expanded by Dr John Upledger whose books are referenced below [note that these are good books – but very technical].
- Craniosacral therapy – John Upledger
- Your Inner Physician and You: Craniosacral Therapy and Somato Emotional Release - John E. Upledger
- Craniosacral Therapy II : beyond the Dura - John E. Upledger
- The Handbook of Osteopathic techniques – Laurie Hartman