It can seem surprising that the one therapy can treat so many different issues, but as mother of two and PBB presenter Kimberley Lipschus puts it "I go to a craniosacral therapist before I go to any doctor."
A big claim, but whenever she puts her back out, when she was struggling with fertility issues, when her baby was well overdue and not well positioned in utero, craniosacral therapy (CST) keeps delivering results. "They were treating inflammation in my body... and I have two children now" says Kimberley. It wasn't the only therapy she used during this period, but she credits the results in large part to CST. She also believes it allowed her to have a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) for her second birth. "And it's so gentle, you can hardly feel their manipulations."
So, I was keen to know more.
Chris Teale, Craniosacral therapist and Physiotherapist explains in this new podcast how CST works, and how a crucial aspect of this modality is its holistic approach in which a person's emotional state is considered, as well as their physical issues. This can be particularly powerful for unsettled, colicky, refluxy babies. Through her career Chris has treated about 1000 babies and has come to see how many of these babies are suffering from birth trauma, either from a medicalised birth, but also from unmedicalised births, which might have been very quick, or very long.
During sessions "you can acknowledge to the baby that... it (the birth) wasn't how they wanted... and the mother too is also feeling sad, so you've got these two energies caught up in this emotion, and there's no validation" says Chris. CST takes all this into account when treating the physical condition.
CST is an osteopathic technique developed initially by the father of Osteopathy, Andrew Still in the late 1880's who discovered through personal experimentation that our cranial bones do not fuse in adult life, that in fact we keep a certain amount of movement or 'give' in between the cranial sutures. In the 1930's William Sutherland developed CST further, followed by John Upledger, who coined the term "CranioSacral Therapy" in the 1970's when he discovered the link between the membranes in the head, the dura in the spine, which leads all the way down to the sacrum. CST differs to other techniques such as Craniopathy and Sacral Occipital techniques, as it works with the and membranes not just bony structures of the craniosacral system.
There are numerous ways to be trained in CST, but not all craniosacral therapists have foundation training in anatomy prior to their accreditation. If you want to find a therapist with anatomical training as well, such as physiotherapy or osteopathy, one way to find them is via the Upledger Institute website (for your country).
After speaking with Chris, and hearing of Kimberley's experiences with CST, I reckon I'll be off to find a craniosacral therapist next time I have a health issue.
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