Craniosacral Therapy is a profound form of therapy that can be a treatment on its own, or is often used as a complementary therapy along side acupuncture, massage, and other bodywork modalities. Through gentle touch, the practitioner releases tension in the soft tissue that surrounds the central nervous system.
Craniosacral Therapy was pioneered by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger, following the work of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy who practiced and researched in the early 1900s. There are many schools of Craniosacral Therapy, but the two most common in the United States are “Upledger” and “Biodynamic”.
Craniosacral Therapy is especially suited for relieving the discomfort of mental stress and anxiety, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ syndrome, and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. It is increasingly being used as a preventative method to increase whole-body function and health, and improve one’s immune system. Many clients report a feeling of lightness, groundedness, and immense clarity following a Craniosacral Therapy session.
While living in Santa Fe, surrounded by a vibrant community of healers and medical practitioners, Tanner met Etienne Peirsman and became inspired to study Craniosacral Therapy. Etienne is among the first generation of Craniosacral teachers, and opened his own schools in Belgium and The Netherlands after examining the Upledger and Biodynamic schools of thought. Etienne’s approach is heart-centered and emphasizes the idea that “Cranio is for Everybody!” Tanner has over 250 hours in Craniosacral Therapy education from the New Mexico Academy of Healing Arts, and often uses it during private acupuncture treatments.
From The Upledger Institute:
How does CranioSacral Therapy Work?
Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the Craniosacral Therapy practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.