So How Did It Evolve…?
Dr John Upledger developed Upledger CranioSacral Therapy (CST), which has some distinct differences from other cranial approaches, in America. As a practising osteopathic physician he was intrigued by a ‘phenomenon’ he observed in the 1970’s whilst assisting in a surgical procedure on a patient’s neck. The membranes surrounding the spinal cord appeared to be moving of their own accord. His curiosity piqued he decided to investigate further and discovered the work of Osteopath, William Sutherland. Dr Sutherland had also been intrigued but by the design and shape of the various bones of the head. His curiosity and inquiring mind lead to the development of Cranial Osteopathy.
Upledger lead a team of scientists at Michigan State University in exploring his ‘phenomenon’. In so doing he discovered more about the mechanics of the “CranioSacral System” and its influences over the body as a whole and not just the head.
In 1985, so inspired by his findings, he set up the Upledger Institute in Florida. Upledger’s hand picked lecturers now teach this pioneering work all over the world.
The CranioSacral System is a core system in the human body. In my view it is the place where body, mind and spirit reside independently and communally at the same time….
It is quite fascinating to consider that all the very deep work is done within the confines of an anatomically defined physiological system. It suggests that the CranioSacral System and the techniques involved offer a bridge between objective science and spiritual healing.
CranioSacral Therapy accesses the total human being’s self-corrective and self-healing processes. Further, the therapeutic approach attempts to maximise patient/client responsibility for their overall well-being
John E Upledger (1995)
What is it?
CranioSacral Therapy, or CST, is a gentle, empowering therapy used in the treatment of a number of different complaints. The craniosacral system is made up of: - cerebrospinal fluid – the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord - and the membranes containing that fluid, which travel from the head (cranium) to the base of the spine (sacrum). Dr Upledger hypothesised that the movement he felt in the membranes, was created by the movement of the cerebrospinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord. He also found from using touch to investigate this that there is regularity to this movement and we call this the craniosacral rhythm.
The bones of the head act as ‘handles’, which we use when ‘listening to’ or palpating the membranes of the craniosacral system and the craniosacral rhythm. The rhythm can be felt by experienced practitioners anywhere on the body. Our bodies are largely made up of fluid (between 60 and 70%, and up to 75% in newborn babies) and I like to think this makes us great conductors! As with a pebble creating ripples across a pond, information from deep within the nervous system is transmitted via the fascial system throughout the body.
CST teaches practitioners to palpate the craniosacral rhythm from anywhere on the body and make adjustments necessary to improve the vitality and symmetry of that rhythm. We often find that the ‘listening’ is enough on it’s own. This is particularly true of babies – perhaps because they are more fluid than adults?
The body has an innate ability to heal itself, if we cut ourselves, the process begins immediately to repair the damage. However, if the body is weakened in any way by long-term illness, chronic conditions or impaired immunity, the body struggles to get back to its previous state of wellness. CST can often facilitate this healing process by improving vitality within the body’s major systems.
What Should I Expect?
During the treatment, you may feel relaxed, even sleepy. You may also experience sensations similar to past injuries or remember events from the past. Everybody is different and each persons experience is unique to them.
After the treatment you may feel invigorated or a little dozy or tired. People often report that they slept heavily or even that they felt worse for 24 hours. In order for change to occur sometimes discomfort is felt. As with going for a run and feeling stiff afterwards, the rewards are often felt a few days later. Indeed, the process of change often continues for many days (or longer) after the treatment as the body adapts to the subtle changes that have been made.
Adults - £50
Children - £40
Consessions - £45
Depending on your reason for coming and for how long you have suffered with your condition will affect the amount of treatments you require. As a general rule of thumb, the longer you have had a condition, the more treatment you require. However, this is by no means always the case. It simply means that your body has got used to its current state and put in place coping strategies for dealing with it, so the problem becomes multifaceted. I will always review the treatment plan after four sessions and suggest alternative treatment if I feel progress is not being made. I find that most people know if this therapy is going to work for them after the first treatment.
If at any stage during the course of your treatment I feel concerned about your progress, I will always refer you back to your GP.
I treat the individual rather than the condition. People come to see me for a variety of reasons. I listen to them, take their case history and ask them to lie on the couch. The actual therapy allows their body to do the talking as they relax while I listen with my hands. CST is not a prescriptive therapy; there is no one technique for one symptom. Each person is unique and their complaint needs to be addressed in a way that is unique to them.
In my practice I see people suffering with a wide variety of conditions for example:
Headache and migraine
TMJ, facial pain, dental malocclusion
Anxiety and panic attacks
Depression, insomnia and stress
ME, chronic fatigue
Parents bring their babies if they are suffering with colic, sleeping difficulties, teething problems or have had a ‘tricky birth’. I see children who have been diagnosed Autistic, have learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Some parents feel that it is simply calming and balancing for them.
I am always happy to discuss your particular case prior to making an appointment.
What Sort Of Conditions Do You Treat?
Multi-Hands CranioSacral Therapy
Multi-hands CST offers a synergistic approach.
The concept of practitioners working together with more than one therapist per client is unique to Upledger Craniosacral Therapy.
During a ‘multi-hands’ session the client is supported by two or more therapists, one of whom acts as the ‘primary’ therapist. The benefits of this approach are significant and may appeal to those who feel they have reached a ‘plateau’ in their healing or physically need the support of more than one person in order to fully ‘unwind’ or express themselves on the couch.
Upledger therapists are taught to work in groups of three or more during their training and it is an approach that allows them to truly work as a team for the benefit of the client. Extraordinary results can be achieved using this dynamic yet supportive method.
If you are interested in experiencing this approach please let me know. I offer regular multi hands clinics at my Holsworthy practice.
The cost for this type of treatment is: