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Craniosacral Therapy

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Craniosacral Therapy

Historical Overview
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.

From Sutherland’s early teachings, many Osteopaths have brought down the lineage of his more mechanistic style including the well-known Dr. Upledger. Dr. Uplegder was instrumental in bringing Craniosacral Therapy out of the osteopathic world and into the hands of other health care providers. He coined his style of work by using a capital “S” in CranioSacral Therapy.

From the later years of Dr Sutherland's teachings, where Sutherland was giving more and more attention to what he called the “Breath of Life”. Other osteopaths practice this style of Craniosacral Therapy including most popularly James Jealous, Rollin Becker and Franklyn Sills. Franklyn Sills has brought this style called Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy to both osteopaths and others, known as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy of Craniosacral Biodynamics.

Treatment Method
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.

Provider’s Training
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.

Professional Associations
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.

To learn more about this modality, visit the BCTA/NA's website or the Upledger Institute.

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