Craniosacral Therapy ResearchJune 2, 2013 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Cheerio! I’m back in jolly old England to share some of the local healing tradition. The inspiration for today’s column comes courtesy of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM). There, patients are offered the best of both complementary and conventional care in an outpatient setting. The RLHIM administers an impressive array of holistic healing modalities including aromatherapy, homeopathy and reflexology. Also popular at this healing institution is a form of bodywork known as craniosacral therapy or CST.
During a typical CST session, a practitioner gently manipulates the cranium in order to facilitate the proper flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Some researchers theorize that stasis of the cerebrospinal fluid can negatively influence the human body by affecting cellular metabolism, impeding the removal of waste products and even interfering with transport of hormones and neurotransmitters. It should also be noted that the exact application of CST varies considerably. In many instances, emotional comforting and counseling is simultaneously provided alongside the customary light physical touch, making this a true mind-body experience.
Over the last several years, numerous studies have been published attesting to the relative efficacy and safety of craniosacral therapy. Some of the highlights of the trials report that CST: a) improves pain-related conditions such as fibromyalgic soreness and tenderness, migraine symptoms and pelvic girdle pain which affects upwards of 30% of pregnant women; b) additionally reduces anxiety, depression and insomnia in patients living with fibromyalgia; c) was found to benefit the quality of life in asthmatics; d) decreases the incidence of lower urinary tract symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. Most of the studies, even the most promising of the lot, concluded that CST should be used in conjunction with other care. It is rarely used as a solitary approach for chronic conditions or diseases.
Documented reports of harm caused by craniosacral therapy do exist. However, they appear to be exceedingly rare and can most likely be avoided by seeking out reputable practitioners. The best way to find just such a person is to get a referral from an integrative physician. There are also organizations based in the United States and in England that can assist anyone interested in giving CST a trial. A few of the better known contacts are: The American Craniosacral Therapy Association (www.acsta.com) and The Craniosacral Therapy Association of the UK (www.craniosacral.co.uk). As is often the case, finding the right practitioner can make all the difference. Recently, Dr. Wayne Dyer reported his first success with CST after many years of failed, sporadic attempts. A CST practitioner by the name of Kate Mackinnon was the key to his CST success. For anyone interested, Kate recently published a book (“From My Hands and Heart”) about how to apply CST to any comprehensive wellness routine.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Cerebrospinal Fluid Stasis and Its Clinical Significance … (link)
Study 2 – Effects of Craniosacral Therapy as Adjunct to Standard Treatment for … (link)
Study 3 – Is Craniosacral Therapy Effective for Migraine? Tested with HIT-6 … (link)
Study 4 – Credibility of Low-Strength Static Magnet Therapy as an Attention … (link)
Study 5 – A Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Effects of Craniosacral … (link)
Study 6 – Influence of Craniosacral Therapy on Anxiety, Depression and Quality of … (link)
Study 7 – Effect of Craniosacral Therapy on Lower Urinary Tract Signs and … (link)
Study 9 – Death of an Infant Following ‘Craniosacral’ Manipulation of the Neck … (link)
Study 10 – Chiropractic Care, Including Craniosacral Therapy, During Pregnancy … (link)
Craniosacral Therapy May Improve Fibromyalgia-Related Quality of Life
Source: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:178769. (link)
Tags: Anxiety, asthma, Fibromyalgia
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Women's Health