Developed by John Upledger, Cranial sacral therapy, or Cranial osteopathy, is a gentle, non-invasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body arrangement - called the Cranial Sacral system. Cranial sacral therapy enhances the body's natural healing processes and has proved effective in treating a wide range of medical problems associated with pain.
The Cranial Sacral therapy system consists of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face, and mouth, which make up the cranium, down to the sacrum or tailbone.
Since this system influences the development and function of the brain and spinal cord, any imbalance or dysfunction in the Cranial-Sacral system could cause sensory, motor, or neurological disabilities. These problems may include chronic pain, eye difficulties, scoliosis, motor-co-ordination impairments, learning disabilities, and other problems of the central nervous system.
Cranial sacral release therapy encourages the body's natural healing mechanisms to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, and enhance health and resistance to disease.
Like Cranial Osteopathy, this technique seeks to restore the natural rhythmic movement found between the bones of the skull. It does the same for the movements of the sacrum. The purpose of this is to aid the circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system. Though it is not taught in Osteopathic Colleges, this technique is often given by massage therapists, who have engaged in further study and skill development.