Craniosacral therapy is a form of osteopathy treatment that has been around for decades. We have been providing craniosacral osteopathy in Melbourne for many years in the suburb of Balwyn North. Craniosacral therapy was developed after an Osteopath by the name of Dr William Sutherland (DO) established it as a clinical treatment. It focuses on the balance of the bones in relation to your central nervous system. Therapists use highly skilled touch to identify areas of imbalance in the subtlety that is the craniosacral rhythm. Many people are only aware of respiration and circulation as rhythmic motions of the body but yes there is this third rhythm which is the focus of craniosacral therapy.
Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) or craniosacral therapy is a type of bodywork that aims to relieve compression in the bones of the head, sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower back), and spinal column, by using light touch & gentle pressure on the head, neck, and back to relieve imbalances.
It can be used to treat a number of conditions such as direct skull or pelvic trauma for babies to adults. Our craniosacral osteopaths treat clients of all ages including infants.
By gently manipulating the bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system can be normalised which is often felt as less pressure in the body. Restoring balance can removes potential “blockages” from the normal flow, easing the stress on your central nervous system.
When the balance in your body is feeling out of synch, we often describe it as cluttered, emotional, heavy or even just feeling down or flat. Headaches may also appear or you may experience pressure or tension through your skull and jaw. Craniosacral therapy may help to improve your body’s craniosacral rhythm.
The craniosacral rhythm is a unique cycle of movement in the bones and it has a distinct pattern. It’s similar to your breathing pattern but in this case we are mostly exploring your rhythmic movement of the skull and pelvis that is influenced by the cerebrospinal fluid production.
Our Osteopaths commonly treat babies with craniosacral therapy for a number of signs noticed by the parents. Birthing can be stressful for the baby in terms of the pressure imposed on the skull as well as the positions that baby needs to move through in the birth canal. Added to this is the use of forceps or ventouse (vacuum) aiding the birth. Parents seek treatment for babies when they feel something is not quite right. This can look like colic symptoms of crying, unsettled behaviour, feeding difficulty in terms of tongue and jaw mobility, head-turning preferences and uneven use of the limbs or twisting of the body at rest. Our cranio-sacral osteopaths in Balwyn North can assess your baby and provide treatment in the same consultation.
Craniosacral therapy has been a treatment approach with infants with a flat spot on their skull. In some more extensive cases and paediatrician can assess the baby for potential intervention devices such as helmets. Craniosacral therapy may also be sought to work through the mobility patterns of the skull and release tension areas noted by the osteopath. This is a common treatment approach for flat spots on the skull, also called plagiocephaly.
Colic is distressing experience not only for the baby but also the parents. When a baby has colic symptoms it can feel relentless. Looking at what is irritating the baby from a body system approach may provide some answers and therapy to ease the tension. The skull is often a good place to start due to the stresses imposed upon it during birth. Our craniosacral service in Melbourne is available to assess your baby and explain the potential patterns that may be a contributing factor to the infant colic symptoms.
There are a multitude of reason clients seek our craniosacral treatment. The most obvious is anything to do with the head such as headache and migraine, dizziness, sinus trouble and also jaw imbalances such as click, locking or pain. Trauma is another reason we resort to craniosacral treatment especially for old facial fractures or blows to the head. Clients have also asked for therapy for anxiety and low mood, often becasue other avenues have not provided the answers or results they were hoping for.
By treating the joins between the skull bones, known as sutures, we assess and mobilise these bones in distinct patterns that are obvious to a trained craniosacral osteopath.
Headaches are one of the most common reasons people seek out a craniosacral osteopath in Melbourne. It seems obvious becasue of the pain being inside the skull but there is far more to osteopathy in terms of ascertaining what other structures may be affecting the skull and vice versa. The history of the headache is extremely important to work out in a time-line fashion when the headache began and in what other areas of the body it affects ie. neck stiffness. The craniosacral approach is a great place to start looking especially if it hasn’t been investigated before.
The cranial system is of potential significance with gut health and digestion. The nerve that supplies the gut itself is known as the vagus nerve. It is classified as a cranial nerve which simply means it is a nerve that forms directly from the brain tissue itself. There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves and the vagus nerve is number 10. The cranial nerves are of particular significance as they are responsible for our special senses including smell, sight, hearing & taste, and also have such a profound connection to the health of our gut tissue. The vagus nerve makes its way to the gut by exiting the skull from the base through what is known as the jugular foramen (foramen = hole). Issue in the skull and neck at this point may in fact cause an irritation or disturbance to the vague nerve that in turn may affect digestive health.
The range of feelings varies a lot. Some people notice very little but feel relaxed at the end of the treatment. Other people have described feelings of (and this can be anywhere in the body):
You wont know until you experience it for yourself.
Being a clinic that has operated since 2004, our services are highly developed by experienced practitioners. Our care involves musculoskeletal medicine looking for joint restriction and muscular imbalance to work through restoring movement and freedom to the body. Our techniques include a varied approach depending on the issues the client is attending for sports injuries, pregnancy-related pain, headaches, back and neck issues whether acute or chronic in nature, knee and ankle injuries as well as any upper limb problems that are causing issues.
Our service also extends to gait (walking) analysis and reworking movement patterns to ease the pressure of the body using gait. This form of therapy has been established as our Anatomy in Motion approach. Combined with osteopathic manual therapy, it is our in depth approach to looking into more complex and wide spread movement issues. Craniosacral therapy is also a part of this approach.
Please CONTACT us if you have any questions regarding any treatment we provide.
Melbourne Mastitis Clinic is a niche treatment approach developed by our practitioners to treat breast health issues for breastfeeding and pumping mothers. The main issues seen are mastitis, blocked ducts & blebs, as well as engorgement. Our clinic is extremely popular due to the education we provide making sense of the problems mother come in with, from an anatomy background. It’s due to this approach that our osteopaths also developed preventative strategies for theses issues from an in depth look at the breast tissue structure. Mastitis in particular is particularly worrying and stressful in nature for the mother. It is a lovely thing to be able to empower women on their breastfeeding journey with accurate information to work at resolving their struggle. You can read more about our Melbourne Mastitis Clinic here.
If this is put together a specific way there must be a function for it.
Dr. Sutherland, the father of craniosacral osteopathy, is best known for viewing the human body as a sophisticated “machine” believing that dysfunction or impairment in one area was bound to compromise the entire structure.
The craniosacral flow is experienced throughout the body from the interactions of our skull bones down to the lower spine (sacrum), as well as through our limbs. Tuning in to where the rhythm appears blocked is the key to facilitating flow.
It’s the focused listening of the casing that envelopes a phenomenal structure known as our central nervous system (CNS – Brain & Spinal Cord).
We have a deep understanding of the connections and adaptive patterns the body creates in response to injury & trauma, both emotional and physical.
Our collective interest grew in craniosacral from personal experiences working on and understanding our own skull traumas that occurred as youngsters. These injuries have been, on reflection, a blessing in disguise for our insight into craniosacral flow.
“It’s our sensitive and dedicated hands that are attune to the rhythms of the body, that assists us in identifying what path there is to unravel the blockage experienced by our clients.” (Dr Elise Fuller)
The CNS is the hierarchical power in our body, the judge and the facilitator, central to our existence. So what happens when the CNS is too stimulated in one area? It’s possible that it’s under-stimulated in another area, that’s how the scales can balance throughout the entire system; a see-saw of adaptions.
The cranium, as an extension of the rest of the body flow in mechanics, forms part of our whole body approach. Often the craniosacral system is forgotten in everyday treatment. It’s important as practitioners, to include this area in our thinking so we can understand your whole picture.