Craniosacral Therapy developed out of the osteopathic tradition in the United States. Craniosacral Therapy specifically was developed by Dr. William Sutherland who was an osteopathic physician and a professor of Osteopathic medicine. He realized that the shape of the supposedly immobile cranial sutures seemed to be designed for subtle movement.
He experimented on himself and his patients with hands-on therapies eventually discovering the primary respiration that is now the foundation of craniosacral therapy.
It is widely assumed that his work was also inspired by his and his father's medical work with the Shawnee Native American group. There are similarities between cranial osteopathy and traditional Cherokee Bodywork and he is quoted as referring to the particular medicine tradition in his discussions and writing.
In Craniosacral Therapy, we use subtle and sensitive touch to tune into this rhythmic cycle of primary respiration stemming from the central nervous system. As this movement unfolds, the cerebrospinal fluid washes the brain and spinal cord with nutrients and removes waste. We measure the way that the other structures of the skeletal and visceral systems respond to this wave of movement and offer sensitive and receptive feedback to bring balance, alignment, and greater freedom to the system.
Similar and related to myofascial release, craniosacral therapy also offers an integrated, graceful, and non-forceful approach to holistic body/mind/spirit health.
Through sensitive, caring, and sustained touch it is common for people to experience increased embodiment, balance, relief of stress and trauma, and decreased pain. Craniosacral Therapy can also help more specifically with conditions related to the central nervous system such as headaches, vertigo, jaw pain, head injury, attention and behavioral syndromes, chronic pain/chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, and other neurological conditions and symptoms.
Furthermore, Craniosacral Therapy is particularly gentle and well-suited for work with children, the elderly, and those in fragile health. It can also be very supportive to prenatal and postpartum persons and can be useful in preparation, healing, and self-care for those in the birthing season.