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What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Manipulation free, drug free, gentle but powerful

Craniosacral Releases & Realigns The Body

When you have an injury or experience trauma – whether it’s physical or emotional, recent or way back in the past – your body remembers.

It’s a natural reaction for your body and its tissues to contract in order to protect us during these events. The healthy response after the event is for the body to let go of this contraction, but sometimes it isn’t able to do so by itself. This is where Craniosacral Therapy comes in.

Craniosacral helps to release the underlying patterns of contraction and restriction in the body so it can & physically realign & restore health to the area.

What causes contraction or trauma?

Contraction or trauma can be generated from accidents & injuries, sickness, emotional trauma, sitting posture and even birth!  If unresolved, these areas of contraction can effect some of our natural functions and processes from running smoothly.

For example – unaddressed trauma to shoulder tissue over time can give rise to a frozen shoulder. If trauma impacts the nervous system – anxiety & shallow breathing can be a result.

Over time trauma can cause many symptoms such as migraines, fatigue, chronic pain, digestive problems, back & neck pain, anxiety and many more.  This is why Craniosacral helps with such a wide range of symptoms.


What can i expect from a session?

An initial appointment involves:

  • Discussion on the reasons for the visit and & some medical history
  • An explanation of Craniosacral Therapy and the treament
  • A full Craniosacral Therapy Treatment

A Craniosacral Treatment involves:

  • Client sitting or lying fully clothed on a treatment table
  • Practitioner working with light contact on relevant areas of the body promoting restriction & contraction patterns in the tissue to release
  • Clients often report a number of sensations, such as tingling, heat and small internal movements as the body adjusts

How many sessions will I need?

This is a very common question. However the time it takes for change depends on the individual. People differ in how quickly they are able to release trauma, and what is going on internally to cause symptoms.

Even if the symptoms of two people are very similar, the cause behind the imbalance could be very different.

However, we will provide feedback after each session giving the client a sense of what the body is dealing with and advise a provisional course of treatment so you have a choice on how to continue your treatment plan.

Can I have Craniosacral treatments whilst receiving other therapies?

Absolutely. Craniosacral therapy will not interfere with other therapies or medication. Continue to have other treatments as you feel necessary. The only thing to be aware of is how much your body can handle, and for this reason we recommend spacing treatments out over the week.

What can Craniosacral help with?

Craniosacral Therapy works very deeply to release trauma from the body & its tissues, including the nervous system. So it has far reaching effects on many areas of health. Some of the symptoms that may respond favourably are:

  • Anxiety and Nervousness

  • Back Pain

  • Breathing issues

  • Central Nervous System issues

  • Dental trauma

  • Digestive problems

  • Facial Pain

  • Fatigue

  • Frozen Shoulder

  • Headaches & Migraines

  • Insomnia and sleep issues

  • Jaw Pain

  • Muscular pain

  • Neck Pain

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Recent Injuries

  • Sciatic nerve issues

  • Whiplash

How Craniosacral Therapy Was Discovered

An osteopath by the name of William Garner Sutherland was looking at the shape of a temporal bone of the cranium when a thought struck him that the edges were beveled like the gills of a fish, and were designed for some kind of respiratory motion. At that time, it was commonly taught (and often still is) that the cranial bones were fused in the adult and did not allow movement. He then set out to investigate this, and did a number of experiments to try to prove they didn’t move. He tried to restrict the movement of his own cranial bones by designing a helmet to place on his head, and soon noticed a various responses, from headaches and disorientation to digestive upsets. Sutherland realized that, not only did they move, but they also had some important affects on physiological function. Sutherland spent the next 50 years of his life exploring this motion and its significance. He used his keen knowledge of anatomy and finely tuned tactile senses. He soon discovered that all living tissue exhibited an involuntary “breathing” motion that was important for healing and health of the body. He discovered that the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the central nervous system has a rhythmic fluctuation to it. He termed this “primary respiration”. His perception and skill at palpation improved over time, and he soon began to notice the qualities of primary respiration, calling them “fluid drive” and “potency”.

He realised that people with a compromised primary respiration had health issues, while people with a strong primary respiration had good health.
Another term he coined to describe the healing power and intelligence of this rhythm is the “breath of life”. These concepts were passed on through a number of osteopaths over the years. One such osteopath, Dr John Upledger, was responsible for increasing awareness of this therapy in the 1970’s and for teaching non osteopaths the skill. Several models of craniosacral therapy have been derived from osteopathy over the years, leading to the various types: cranial osteopaths, craniosacral therapists & biodynamic craniosacral therapists. There are subtle differences between the types, however at Auckland Craniosacral Therapy we believe “biodynamic craniosacral therapy” to be the most cutting edge and give the best results. The word Biodynamic promotes three key concepts in Craniosacral work, distinguishing it from conventional Craniosacral Therapy:
  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy allows the body to make its own changes. (no practitioner interfering with subtle pressure) This allows the body to adjust at its own pace
  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy always endeavours to keep the whole body in mind (not just focus on individual parts) This promotes more thorough & effective changes
  • Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy aims to focus on the forces that promote health in the body (not just on the problem areas) This stimulates overall health

Book a Craniosacral Treatment

Pain relief doesn’t only have to managed with medication, it can be released by addressing the source of the problem.