CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY Overview Information
Craniosacral therapy is a form of massage therapy that focuses on the skull and the spine. It was developed by an American osteopath, Dr. John Upledger. Today craniosacral therapy is used by massage therapists, chiropractors, naturopathy practitioners, and others. However, there are no consistent educational or practice standards for craniosacral therapy, and it is not a licensed or regulated practice in North America.
Craniosacral therapy is used for a variety of painful conditions including headache, migraine, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), back pain, neck pain, general pain, fibromyalgia, and “slipped disks” in the spine. It is also used for stress, fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), spinal cord injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, dizziness (vertigo), autism, learning disabilities, and other conditions.
How does it work?
Craniosacral therapy is a form of massage therapy focusing on the skull and spine. Practitioners of craniosacral therapy believe that the bones of the skull are movable or that they can be manipulated in a way that treats a variety of medical conditions. Some practitioners believe that they can touch the head and become attuned to the patient's rhythm. They believe this connection results in improved energy flow, removal of energy blockages, or improved flow of cerebrospinal fluid for the patient.
However, bones of the skull are not movable and cannot be manipulated by touch. There is no reliable scientific evidence to support craniosacral therapy.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
- Back pain.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Spinal cord injury.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- “Slipped disks” in the spine.
- Dizziness (vertigo).
- Neck pain.
- Learning disabilities.
- Other conditions.
CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY Side Effects & Safety
There isn’t enough information to know if craniosacral therapy is safe. It has not been scientifically studied.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of craniosacral therapy during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Brain injury: There are reports that craniosacral therapy might make symptoms of traumatic brain injury worse. Some people with brain injury have reported that craniosacral therapy worsened their head pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, psychiatric disturbances, and other symptoms.