Cranio Sacral Oxford

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What is CST?

Cranio Sacral Therapy – a summary:

  •  Cranio Sacral Therapy is an extremely gentle, non-invasive, hands-on treatment that helps to: release tension, reduce stress, induce a state of deep relaxation, and improve your sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being.
  • I provide a safe, supportive and nurturing space in which you are invited to gradually ‘let go’ of tension and mental/emotional stress, and allow your body to rebalance and repair itself with the help of nurturing touch, deep rest and stillness.
  • Cranio-Sacral therapy focuses predominantly on the structures surrounding the brain and spinal cord (or central nervous system) and on re-establishing healthy functioning. A wide variety of health issues are recognised by the medical profession as being related to stress and nervous system dysfunction: therefore therapies that focus on relaxation and calming the nervous system can help to promote improved health and greater physical/mental/emotional balance.
  • Being a ‘holistic’ therapy, Cranio Sacral Therapy pays attention to all aspects of a person – physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically – to understand where any possible imbalances may lie and on which level/s healing may be needed. It can also be a great tool for increased self awareness/understanding.
  • Cranio Sacral Therapy is suitable for almost everyone who would like to improve their sense of well being and inner peace – including babies and children, the elderly and those in acutely painful situations.

The theory of Cranio Sacral Therapy:

  • The central focus of Cranio Sacral Therapy is on the ‘cranio sacral system’ – the bones, membranes and cerebro-spinal fluid that envelop the brain and spinal cord, or central nervous system. Significantly, all these structures have been found to express a continuous, rhythmic motion of expansion and contraction, often called the ‘cranio sacral rhythm’, which can be felt in every cell of the body. This is a physical expression of our ‘vital life-force energy’ and is as essential to life as our heartbeat or breathing.
  • Since the central nervous system is the ‘central control system’ for the whole body, and linked to every other part of the body via a complex matrix of connective tissue and fascia, its healthy functioning is essential. Restrictions in the cranio-sacral / central nervous systems indicate imbalances/stress in other areas of the person’s being – whether physical, mental, emotional and/or energetic.
  • Cranio Sacral therapists use gentle touch and highly-developed sensitivity to tune into the different structures of the cranio-sacral system and ‘listen’ to their subtle rhythms, in order to identify any areas of restriction, tension or inertia.
  • The combination of the gentle, supportive touch, mindful presence and listening to the person’s system on this deep level helps to induce a sense of deep relaxation, peace and well being in the client, stimulates their body’s own re-balancing ability and allows them to release any deep-seated tensions or ‘holding patterns’ that they are ready to let go of. This process also often results in increased self-awareness on the part of the client about their situation.

Additional information about the link between stress and illness, and the benefit of relaxation therapies:

NHS Direct clearly explains the link between stress and our nervous system/related symptoms:

Stress causes a surge of hormones in your body. These stress hormones are released to enable you to deal with pressures or threats – the so-called “fight or flight” response. Once the pressure or threat has passed, your stress hormone levels will usually return to normal. However, if you’re constantly under stress, these hormones will remain in your body, leading to the symptoms of stress… Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works…common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may feel anxious, irritable or low in self esteem, and you may have racing thoughts, worry constantly or go over things in your head. You may notice that you lose your temper more easily, drink more or act unreasonably. You may also experience headaches, muscle tension or pain, or dizziness.”

NHS Direct also gives suggestions for effective stress management:

“Stress is not an illness itself, but it can cause serious illness if it isn’t addressed. It’s important to recognise the symptoms of stress early… There are many things you can do to manage stress more effectively, such as learning how to relax, taking regular exercise and adopting good time-management techniques. Studies have found that mindfulness courses…can also help to reduce stress and improve mood.”