Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on deep-healing process that has been developed over the last 100 years or so, primarily by osteopaths. It is based on a number of findings that show that every cell in a healthy person expresses a rhythmic movement which is fundamental to life. Trained therapists are able to work with these subtle rhythms to help restore balance and health.
CST has a wide application for many conditions (see below). Craniosacral therapy is practised worldwide by various healthcare professionals including osteopaths, medical doctors, physiotherapists, dentists, massage therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and occupational therapists. CST therapists are also independently licensed to practise after having appropriate training in anatomy, physiology, pathology, counselling, and craniosacral therapy.
The craniosacral system
The CS system is a physiological system like the digestive or respiratory systems, and exists in humans as well as in those animals possessing a brain and spinal cord. It is supported by membranes (dura) surrounding a semi-closed hydraulic system containing cerebro-spinal fluid which bathes and cushions the brain and spinal cord. Its name is derived from the bones to which the dural membrane attaches and where craniosacral motion may be most easily felt. These are bones of the head – cranium, and the triangular bone at the base of the spine – sacrum.
‘Motion’ has an important meaning in craniosacral therapy. At the core of the body the cerebro-spinal fluid expresses motion in a tide-like ebb and flow, while bones, organs and other body structures each follow their own particular pattern of movement. This is called craniosacral motion. This motion is so subtle that it is barely measurable with instruments, but the hands of a trained therapist are able to perceive it in considerable detail anywhere on the body.
How does cranioscral therapy work?
In response to physical trauma (accidents, injuries, violence) or emotional stress, the body’s tissues contract. Any stresses, strains, tensions, or traumas which have been ‘stored’ in the body and not naturally released will restrict the body’s normal functioning and may cause health problems sooner or later. The effects may be physical (such as back pain, headaches or digestive disorders) and psychological (such as anxiety or depression).
These conditions lead to blockage of the body’s energy and restrictions in CS motion. By using very gentle palpation, the trained therapist is able to detect disturbances in the CS motion and build up a holographic image of underlying trauma patterns. He or she then facilitates their release by reflecting these restrictive patterns back to the body ( rather like counsellors who verbally instil awareness to the client of their process). Sometimes the process of release may be accompanied by associated emotions and memories connected to the trauma. This is all part of the phenomenon of healing.
Craniosacral therapy is client-led. That is, CST encourages your body to tell its own story rather than meeting presenting symptoms with a pre-ordained treatment regimen. Since it is your body (rather than your mind) that sets the priorities for healing, you may find that the condition for which you came for treatment is not what improves first. Therefore, it may be necessary to consider having a series of treatments to gain the full benefit of CST and its cumulative effects.
|chronic pain||whiplash||head injuries|
|falls, especially on coccyx or on feet|
|Mind and emotions|
|irritability||attention deficit disorder|
|post-traumatic stress disorder|
|learning disabilities||abnormal fear||bedwetting|
|hyperkinetic behaviour (due to CS system dysfunction)|
|colic||sucking problems||breathing difficulties|
|restlessness and irritability||birth and uterine trauma|
|Illnesses & other conditions|
|ear infections||chronic sinus||squint|
|TMJ (jaw) problems and teeth-grinding|
|brain and spinal cord dysfunction|
|chronic fatigue syndrome||addictions|
Harold Epstein has studied various holistic therapies over many years in Canada, USA and South Africa. He now lives and practises in Cape Town. Craniosacral therapy remains a focal point for his work although he incorporates various techniques as required.
- Registered massage therapist (Canada 1978 / S. Africa 2001)
- Reiki – master level (Canada 1982 – 1999)
- Clinical hypnotherapist and counsellor (Canada 1989)
- Yoga and mediation instructor (USA 1991)
- Bowen therapist (S. Africa 2001)
- Craniosacral therapist (Canada 1993, S. Africa 2002)
For appointments and further information please phone Harold Epstein at:
+27 83 613 8094 (9am – 9pm)