What Is Craniosacral Therapy? And What Does it Treat Exactly?

From taking ashwagandha capsules for anxiety to easing aches and pains with arnica gel, homeopathic and osteopathic treatments are very au courant. One we recently heard about for the first time? Craniosacral therapy. Here’s what you need to know.

What is Craniosacral therapy exactly?

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork that’s mainly provided by osteopaths, massage therapists and a few chiropractors. It was developed in the 1970s by John E. Upledger, an osteopathic physician and former professor of biomechanics at Michigan State University.

And what’s a typical session like?

During a CST session, a practitioner applies gentle hand pressure to the skeleton and connective tissues, especially the skull and sacrum (the large bone at the base of the spinal column). Because the pressure is so light, it feels more like a light massage than an intense medical treatment. It’s used to treat a range of problems in children and adults, including constipation, IBS, seizures, migraines, sleep problems, sinus infections and more.

Does Craniosacral therapy work?

Depends on who you ask. Science-wise, there hasn’t been much evidence supporting CST’s efficacy. Because research is sparse, it’s sometimes characterized as pseudoscience. On the other hand, a few studies have shown promising results, including findings by researchers at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, who discovered that CST could be effective in treating migraines. Like acupuncture, massage therapy and other alternative health care treatments, CST is only sometimes covered by insurance. There are CST practitioners all over the country (a full list of licensed practitioners is available through the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners).

So…would you try it?

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