A Primer on CranioSacral Therapy

It may seem weird, but it works

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By Lisa Browdy

Health Blogger

I may be in the minority on this issue, but I'm really not wild about massages. I've tried them at different places from different people, but they make me feel more manhandled than mellowed out.

If massage and acupuncture got together and had a baby, the result might be something like CranioSacral Therapy (CST). No needles are involved, just a gentle laying on of hands that seems like it couldn’t possibly be affecting you internally. But it does, in a surprising way.

Nancy Paul, the owner of Lyrical Healing in River Forest, trained in CST after working as a massage therapist. "I like how craniosacral therapy is based on hard fact, but it requires me to be intuitive and really listen."

As the name implies, the head (cranium) and central nervous system are the focus, but since the nerves cover our whole bodies, so does the laying on of hands begin at the feet and (skipping some parts) work its way up to the head. Nancy gave me a sample of the treatment, which had me laying face up on a table with a bolster under my knees. Maybe it was the calming music playing, but as soon as she held my feet, I was instantly relaxed.

Nancy explained that the process works by removing restrictions from the fascia, or connective tissue, that encases our bodies. "Cerebrospinal fluid has a pulse that is separate from the one in our circulatory system," she explains. "When you find that and adjust it, it's a little like restarting your computer."

CranioSacral Therapy can treat a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment. A skilled practitioner can even alleviate symptoms of ADHD and autism. Many of Nancy’s clients suffer from migraines, scoliosis and post-traumatic stress disorder. Normally, clients come once or twice a week if they are having a problem, then once a month for maintenance.

If you aren't familiar with CranioSacral Therapy, that is because it is a relatively new practice. Dr. John E. Upledger, an osteopathic physician, developed it in the 1970s and teaches it at the Upledger Institute (www.upledger.com). If you would like to give it a try you can contact Nancy Paul at Lyrical Healing, 708-289-3899 or see her website at http://www.lyricalhealing.com. From now through August 2012 she is offering one-hour sessions for only $40.

Have you ever tried CranoSacral Therapy? What was your experience like?

Email: healthwithinsight@gmail.com Twitter: LisaBrowdy

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Reader Comments

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kim conner from oak park  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 3:17 PM

Having a CST session with Nancy left me feeling balanced, relaxed and centered!! I can not say enough of what a wonderful healer she is!

Kate C. from Chicago, IL  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 11:00 AM

I have received CST from Nancy on two occasions and found her treatments to be healing on three levels - physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I highly recommend Nancy for CST!

Christina Pippin from OakPark/Shopping/Blogs  

Posted: September 28th, 2011 8:25 AM

I've never been a fan of massages either, but CST sounds like a wonderful alternative. Thanks for the great information, Lisa.


Posted: September 28th, 2011 8:06 AM

Nancy Paul is a great Cranio-Sacral therapist!

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