Cranio Sacral Oxford

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What is CST?

Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy – a summary:

  •  Cranio-Sacral Therapy is an extremely gentle, non-invasive, hands-on treatment that helps to:  
  • create a state of deep relaxation in the recipient,
  • calm the nervous system,
  • facilitate the release of tension and ‘holding patterns’ from old injuries, stress or emotional wounds,
  • improve overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
  • Cranio-Sacral Therapy focuses primarily on the bones, membranes and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord (the ‘cranio-sacral system) and their subtle, rhythmic motions – in order to pinpoint areas of restricted motion and to support the body to re-establish healthy functioning.
  • In a quiet and peaceful environment, your therapist will use their hands to make gentle contact with your feet, head, spine and other parts of your body as appropriate, ‘listening’ to its subtle rhythmic motions (to areas of ease and of inertia), and supporting a natural process of relaxation, release, repair and rebalancing.

Additional Information:

  • A wide variety of health issues are now known to be related to stress / nervous system dysfunction: therefore improving the functioning of the nervous system also leads to greater physical/mental/emotional balance.
  • Being a ‘holistic’ therapy, Cranio Sacral Therapy takes all aspects of a person into account in order to understand where any possible imbalances may lie and on which level/s healing may be needed (physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually).
  • The client is encouraged to stay present and aware throughout the session, making it 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  – including babies and children, the elderly and those in acutely painful situations.

The theory of Cranio-Sacral Therapy in more detail:

  • The ‘Cranio-Sacral System’ comprises the bones, membranes and cerebro-spinal fluid that envelop the brain and spinal cord. Their role is to protect and nourish our whole central nervous system. Collectively these structures have been found to express a subtle, continuous rhythmic motion of expansion and contraction. Referred to as the ‘cranio-sacral rhythm’ (or, less technically, ‘the Breath of Life’), this motion can be felt in any part of the body by trained hands.
  • The Breath of Life is separate from our regular breathing/respiration. It can be said to be a physical expression of our ‘vital life-force energy’ and is as essential to life as our heartbeat or respiration. Crucially, it is also a partly fluctuating and self-regulating force – always striving to maintain health and balance in the whole system.
  • 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 – therefore 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 their sensitivity to tune into the cranio-sacral system and ‘listen’ to its subtle rhythms, in order to identify any areas of restriction, tension or inertia, as well as its overall health and potential.
  • This process helps to facilitate a natural process of healing and re-balancing, as prioritised by the client’s own system.

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.”