Understanding Craniosacral Therapy and Its Benefits


Resources > Understanding Craniosacral Therapy and Its Benefits



May 20, 2024


cst treatment for headaches

In the world of complementary and alternative medicine, craniosacral therapy (CST) stands out as a gentle, impactful method for promoting health and well-being. With roots in osteopathic medicine, CST can address many physical issues and difficulties. For some people, it even helps with emotional regulation. Understanding craniosacral therapy and its benefits can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

At Jewell Chiropractic in Portland, OR, our goal is to treat the whole person with compassion, respect, and expertise. Craniosacral therapy is one type of treatment we offer, along with chiropractic care, massage therapy, and group support sessions and classes. We invite you to book your next appointment today to get the support your body needs.

Understanding Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy involves light touch to relieve pressure and compression in the skull and spine. The CST provider gently manipulates the joints of the skull, the sacrum, and the fascia. The sacrum is the large, triangular bone at the base of your spine, and the fascia is your body’s connective tissue.

Understanding craniosacral therapy can help you feel ready to receive its benefits.

Osteopathic physician Dr. John Upledger developed CST in the 1970s based on the idea that the craniosacral system has its own rhythm and subtle motion. This system includes the brain, spinal cord, cerebrospinal fluid, and surrounding membranes. 

When something disrupts this rhythm, such as stress or trauma, dysfunction manifests in the body. This disruption can trigger pain, headaches, limited range of motion, and even emotional distress. 

CST recognizes that tension in one part of the body can cause pain and discomfort in entirely different areas of the body. By gently manipulating the craniosacral system, CST practitioners help restore balance and facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal.

How Does Craniosacral Therapy Work?

During a CST session, the practitioner uses delicate touch and palpation to find imbalances and restrictions in the craniosacral system. This involves gently holding different parts of the body, such as the head, spine, or pelvis to “unkink” the fascia, allowing better function throughout the body.

Through precise and gentle movements, the practitioner encourages the release of tension to allow the body to self-correct. This adjustment can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, improve mobility, and enhance overall health and well-being. 

Image of woman outside, smiling and with outstretched arms.

Patients typically remain clothed during CST treatments, making these sessions ideal for many people who are uncomfortable disrobing for treatment. Craniosacral therapy is non-invasive and very gentle. It’s even appropriate for infants and young children due to its subtle nature.

The Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

Understanding craniosacral therapy helps us see the wide range of potential benefits for people of all ages and health conditions. Here are four of the key CST benefits to consider:

  • Pain Relief – CST can help alleviate chronic pain conditions such as headaches, migraines, back pain, and autoimmune disorders by addressing underlying imbalances in the body. 
  • Stress Reduction – The gentle touch and rhythmic movements are typically very calming. CST can induce a deep state of relaxation that reduces stress and promotes a sense of calm and well-being. Returning the fascia and craniosacral system to proper harmony can boost your mental wellness.
  • Improved Mobility – By releasing restrictions in the craniosacral system and surrounding tissues, CST can improve joint mobility and range of motion. Treatments make movement easier and more comfortable.
  • Emotional Healing – CST facilitates emotional healing and wellness by releasing stored tension and trauma from the body’s tissues.

Image of several diverse men and women practicing yoga outdoors

Help Is Near!

A staggering number of people in the United States live with chronic pain. Nearly 21% of American adults experience ongoing, deeply disruptive pain. With this many people living in pain, Jewell Chiropractic wants to help. Through CST, traditional massage, and consistent chiropractic adjustments, many patients can find a life free of chronic pain.

Schedule your visit with our team today to take the first step toward feeling your absolute best.

Posted in

Take care and live a life of wellness.