Craniosacral Therapy – release emotional and physical tension
Author: Hannah Tinn
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle and profound touch-based therapy founded in osteopathy. It recognises that body, mind and feelings are interwoven and so engages with the physical, mental and emotional aspects of a persons being. Whilst the Craniosacral system consists of the bones of the cranium (head) and sacrum (tailbone), the membranous system and cerebrospinal fluid, the treatment considers the whole person in relation to their environment and to everything they have experienced in life so far. As a therapist, I tune into natural forces within the body to enable the system to express and release restrictions. Underlying ‘vitality’ is fundamental to health, development and well-being and this is strengthened through craniosacral integration. By listening to the body, new awareness and perspectives come forward, enabling and empowering a person to overcome and accept past or present challenges whilst building resilience and internal resources.
How can craniosacral therapy help women manage menopause symptoms?
Craniosacral therapy is fantastic in reducing many menopausal symptoms. During all stages of menopause or surgical menopause, women can experience intense mood swings, chronic fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks, hot flushes, night sweats, poor sleep and memory and migraine headaches. This can impact heavily on personal relationships, home life, work and quality of life for those who often have to struggle for years with sometimes really debilitating symptoms. Craniosacral therapy can feel incredibly nurturing, supportive and grounding and gives space and permission for a woman to really let themselves be whatever they need to be in that hour and to feel really listened to. Through gentle hand holds on specific areas of the body and cranium, craniosacral therapy supports increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain, organs and tissues, it improves detoxification from the brain back to the heart, it regulates blood pressure and breathing, it increases serotonin and endorphins (feel good hormones) and reduces pain, anxiety, anger and helps with emotional control.
What happens in a treatment session?
During a one hour treatment, a person will lie face up on comfortable treatment couch fully clothed with shoes removed. With permission, hands are gently placed on different parts of the body to engage with the whole system including the physical, emotional, fluid and energetic layers and in particular, the autonomic nervous system. Experiencing sensations such as changes in body temperature, a sense of the body softening or a feeling of deep inner peace is entirely normal and there is no correct way to feel as the treatment is unique to the person. At the end of the treatment, a few minutes is spent talking about how the person feels and as the therapist, I give feedback before discussing a treatment plan. Some people can benefit in as little as one treatment whilst others may need more regular sessions.
Moving from a ‘stressed or anxious state’ to a ‘rest and digest’ state
Craniosacral therapy enables a person to move from a ‘stressed or anxious state’ to a ‘rest and digest’ state. Experiencing relaxation is key to the nervous system because today’s world is fast paced and stressful with women often juggling many roles and often putting themselves at the back of the queue when it comes to self care. Many health issues that we see today are a consequence of an imbalanced and stressed nervous system and long term imbalance may typically present as symptoms, illness or disease affecting cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, muscular, sexual and reproductive systems and of course immune function. Craniosacral therapy is holistic in it’s approach and heals at many levels but ultimately enables people to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.
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