Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle, non-manipulative and non-invasive approach to whole-body treatment.
Based on the work of Dr William Sutherland, an American Osteopath in the 1930’s, Craniosacral Therapy works directly with the bodies physiological, energetic and psycho-emotional systems.
The dynamic system in which every cell in the body expresses a rhythmic movement fundamental to life, is called craniosacral motion. Felt as specific patterns of motion within all of our tissues, bones and fluids, this primary or constitutional energy has powerful integrative and healing functions.
When our health is compromised, there are changes within the body’s natural rhythmic movements, which are recognised by the experienced practitioner. In Craniosacral Therapy, the practitioner listens through a light touch of their hands to these patterns of motion and the body is empowered to move toward health.
The treatment is led by the client and supports the body to spontaneously re-organise those systems which are out of balance, by integrating held patterns within the tissues. This in turn leads to the potential for a lasting return to health of these systems. The patients overall health and functioning can be powerfully enhanced and fundamental positive changes are possible.
How can Craniosacral Therapy help my child ?
Birth is one of our most formative, and sometimes distressing, experiences, which can leave the new-born in need of support to integrate the experience. For this reason, Craniosacral Therapy is especially useful for babies.
Whilst a baby’s body is well designed to meet the requirements of being born, such as softness in the bones of their heads to assist in negotiating the birth canal, and the ability to subsequently recover from this process, discomfort or displacement may remain within the body. This may show itself, for example, as a reluctance to lie in a particular position, difficulty establishing breastfeeding, or tension and distress that interrupts sleeping.
Craniosacral Therapy is particularly useful for babies, as it is does not use any manipulation of any kind, and is therefore extremely gentle and safe for their delicate bodies.
Craniosacral Therapy in the hands of a registered practitioner is a safe and highly effective way of assisting babies to return to a comfortable, happy and healthy state of being.
Common reasons Babies may need Craniosacral Therapy
- Premature birth
- Assisted births
- Caesarean births
- Very long or very short fast labours
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Unsettled or uncomfortable babies
- Sleep issues
- Head shape irregularity.
Preschool or school age children can also benefit from this gentle and enjoyable therapy.
Common reasons Children may need a Craniosacral Therapy session
- Sleep pattern disturbances
- Digestive system issues
- After an accident or surgery to assist recovery
- Migraines and headaches
- Stress and anxiety management
- Behaviour management
- Ear or eye infections
How can Craniosacral Therapy help parents?
Having a baby or child’s health improve or recover can be a great relief for a parent! Since the baby relates to its world through the felt sense and primarily through the contact with the mother, they often present with similar patterns to their mother. Treating the mother or parents at the same time as the baby can significantly enhance the babies response to treatment.
Adults have also gone through the birth process and have usually endured a few traumatic experiences, physical or emotional, at some time in their lives. Any imbalances remaining in the body can be improved using Craniosacral Therapy.
For women in the child-bearing years, Craniosacral Therapy is a lovely way of maintaining comfort and health, avoiding the so-called minor discomforts of pregnancy. It is also a very relaxing and enjoyable way of supporting the return to a non-pregnant state, helping your body to adjust after birth, so you can more easily meet the demands of parenting a newborn.
Fathers can also be supported to adjust to the demands of their new role, as craniosacral therapy can be a very helpful way to support the management of stress caused by the addition of a baby to the household.
Often what people attribute to ageing is simply your body’s way of saying that some maintenance and support to let go of patterns of tension or pain is required.
What should I expect during our first visit to a Craniosacral Therapist ?
The duration of appointment sessions will vary, and may last for anything from 20 to 40 minutes for a baby or child, always in the presence of the parent or parents, who can be included in the treatment if they wish.
Initial visits for an adult are about 1-1½ hours and then 45-60 minutes, but will vary considerably between individual practitioners.
A short history of the child’s health to date, birth story, and the reason for appointment will be taken. Hands-on contact time may vary depending on the appropriateness for each individual baby or child. Usually babies and young children will be treated on their mum or dad’s lap. Toddlers may be worked with sitting beside a parent or, on the floor as they play or are amused by a parent. For children of School age, the practitioner is able to use the treatment table.
How do I find a Craniosacral Therapist ?
The Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapist website has a practitioners page to enable you to find a fully qualified and registered therapist in your area. Visit www.craniosacral.co.nz for more information.
Try the yellow or white pages of the local telephone directory.
Midwives, Plunket Nurses, General Practitioners or other health related therapists can be a good referral source
Helpful Websites and Articles
Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists
The Craniosacral Therapy Association of the UK