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What is a Craniosacral Massage

Definition: Craniosacral Massage

Craniosacral therapists work the spine and head to ease the restrictions of nerve passages, reduce pain, and realign bones. According to

The theory behind craniosacral therapy is that when blockages occur in spinal fluid, an unharmonious balance in the body can occur, resulting in muscle and joint strain, emotional disturbances, and the improper operation of the body's organs and central nervous system.

Sounds good, but craniosacral therapy doesn't have much in the way of science to back it up. It does, however, have time on its side. The idea goes back to the turn of the (last) century, when William Sutherland came up with the theory that bones in the skull could move. This led to the idea that by gently touching the different membranes and fluids that surround the brain and spinal cord, therapists could enhance bodily functions.

Craniosacral massage is credited with helping all sorts of maladies, from migraines to autism. Practice of this treatment was once limited to chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists, but because it poses little threat to the body if done incorrectly, it is now offered at a lot of yoga centers and spas. A typical treatment lasts between 20 minutes and an hour with the client lying on his or her back while the therapist lightly touches certain spots.


Join The Conversation
lil11ro lil11ro 8 years
I am a massage therapist and have taken a few classes on crainiosacral. it works especially well for peole who can't have traditional massage. such as someone who has just had sugery, a stroke patient, and babies. it is so light that you think nothing is happening, but it is really good for you.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
you know, i haven't been a believer on the 'healing powers' of massages like this but i do think that there's something to be said about how you feel afterwards. if they are able to manipulate your head and neck so that you're feeling a bit less tense and perhaps some fluid is moved to the right places - then there's nothing wrong with it.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Things that can injure me when done wrong scare me. I have bad luck and I'd be the one person to be severely injured by someone who supposedly knows what they are doing.
tundrababe tundrababe 8 years
I had this done for years before I even knew what it was, and it always made my headaches and neck pain go away. One day I asked my physical therapist what technique he was using and this was it. When he explained it I thought the idea was totally crazy and that he was kidding me. He wasn't. So, I am a total believer, because it worked and I didn't even know what it was! No placebo effect. It's fantastic. I don't care how it works if it works.
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
I see an osteopathic physician regularly, and I gotta say, her hands are wonders. It could very well be the placebo effect that's making me feel better, but honestly, I don't care, I feel better. She uses a long list of different therapies, but as far as the CFM goes, I know it's a fantastic stress reliever and it goes a long, LONG way to untangle the knots that tension headaches give me.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I had one of these once. It felt nice, but I don't think it did anything a regular massage would do.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I need to find someone who does this, migraine help. Sighs.
stephley stephley 8 years
There was a guy I worked with years ago who gave the greatest office appropriate craniosacral massages - I once paged him when I was on a tight deadline and stress was paralyzing my neck. It was like having a private miracle worker.
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