William Sutherland, D.O. first theorized about cranial osteopathy in 1900 while looking at a disarticulated skull. He was inspired by the idea that the bones of the skull can move much like the respiratory system by mimicking inhalation and exhalation, what he called Primary Respiration. For the most part mainstream science rejected his ideas of movement in the cranial bones and fluctuating cerebral spinal fluid.
A Craniosacral therapist gently contacts areas of the body including the feet, arms, along the spine, the skull, and the cranial sutures. By doing this they can witness the state of the central nervous system and help support it's proper functioning by improving functions such as the passing of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord, realigning the spinal column, and easing inhibitions on the nervous system. This treatment is used to treat a wide variety of maladies such as mental stress, neck and back pain, migraines, TMJ syndrome, and other chronic pains.
Providers of Craniosacral therapy complete coursework in the field while in a natural setting, thus taking advantage of the connection between mind and nature. Students of Craniosacral therapy include nurses, massage therapists, physicians, and acupuncturists, to name a few. Providers receive training at schools, which provides certification upon completion of the coursework and a passing score on the Craniosacral Certification Exam.
Credentials and Regulation Bodies
Craniosacral Therapists can hold a certificate in Craniosacral Therapy Techniques and/or earn a Craniosacral Therapy Diploma. Therapists are required to hold a certification and be licensed by a state in order to be certified. It is recommended a patient only go to a certified provider.Two of the governing bodies in this field are the American CranioSacral Therapy Association, which works with Upledger graduates and The Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA) which works with practitioners trained in the 2-3 year program set as the standard for their therapists. The BCTA/NA sets base regulations for practitioners of Craniosacral Biodynamics.
The Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA), The Northwest Craniosacral Therapy Association and the American CranioSacral Association are the main professional associations for individual Biodynamic and other Craniosacral therapists in America. These organizations aim to increase awareness, improve education, and advance the science of Craniosacral therapy. The International Affiliate of Biodynamic Training certifies schools of Biodynamic Therapy (IABT).
Craniosacral Therapy sessions usually start with an initial consultation and the follow-up sessions. An average session can cost on average, $70 to $150. Many Craniosacral Therapy practitioners will integrate CST into bodywork therapies like massage. Prices for those services will vary according to the main treatment they are providing.