What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

The idea behind craniosacral therapy is that there’s fluid that circulates around the spinal cord (CSF, or cerebrospinal fluid) and that a trained therapist can manipulate the flow of that fluid. This healing art was perfected by John Upledger in the 1970s. So basically someone gets ahold of your head and uses pressure on the plates of the skull to help pump CSF around your spinal cord and nerve roots.

Craniosacral therapy has caught much flack through the years for having little craniosacral therapy research. The Wikipedia page on the therapy, for example, says that “‘available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating…disease’. CST has been characterized as pseudoscience and its practice has been called quackery.”

However, there’s been a Renaissance, of sorts, in the last decade in MRI imaging that for the first time lets us observe how the CSF moves. 

I had seen these CSF flow studies at medical conferences and knew that they opened up a whole new world of study in how certain diseases, like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and certain pain conditions, may be linked to blockages in this flow. Why? The CSF is both the cooling system and waste removal for the brain, spinal cord, and nerve roots.

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

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