Once we come to the realization that something is not quite right within ourselves, and we determine to address that "opportunity for improvement" we are at once faced with an enormous choice of paths to take. Can you help yourself ? Should you seek help from a therapist ? And if the therapist route seems appropriate, how do you choose from the incredible choice of therapies that are available.
It is not a trivial dilemma; although the answer is easy to state, it may be stretching to achieve. The simple answer is to follow your own instincts and go to the therapy and therapist to which you are drawn.
Is there a therapy that you find intriguing ? Do you favour a soft touch therapy, or one that embraces firmer, more manipulative techniques ? Do you want a relatively fixed treatment schedule, or do you feel that an open plan is best ? There are many aspects to look at, and the ones that are important to you, are probably not so important to someone else.
Finally, you may like to talk to the therapist, and if it doesn't feel right, look again.
Therapy contains three protagonists; you, the therapy itself, and then the therapist – when those three things are right, the therapeutic outcome of your treatment will have the best possible chance of success – and it is, of course, up to you to judge that success.
CranioSacral Therapy is a soft touch therapy that has been developed by a number of people.
CranioSacral Therapy, or CST, has been successful in the treatment of many conditions. For instance stress, headaches and migraines usually respond very well to CST. Back and neck aches are similarly responsive; temporomandibular, or jaw problems also respond well to CST.
CST is also very effective when treating babies and children. Infantile colic, poor sleep, erratic feeding, anxiety and general restlessness all respond not only very well, but also quickly, when treated with CST.
But it goes beyond a simple list of conditions that CST can treat successfully, because the real objective of any CST treatment is to encourage and nurture our own healing powers. Now that may sound a little fanciful, but the mechanisms that the body uses to grow and heal are very real and really are open to help and encouragement.
During our lives, we build up a history of sprains, knocks, bangs and emotional crises, which may lie dormant and unresolved for a long time. The body is certainly clever enough to cope with these, but, eventually, there may be a price to pay for this continuing "coping". The body is able to work around problems by taking the strain away from the "injured" bit, and it does this by giving more work to other parts, which eventually will strain that bit, and so on, and so on, … , until one relatively small problem can affect many parts of the body.
For instance, an injured toe, if left untreated will affect the way you walk, maybe putting a strain on the opposite hip. This will affect the lower back which will eventually produce a stiffness in the neck which could result in headaches and migraines. Or, a difficult upper tooth extraction may slightly affect the positioning of the bones that make up the skull. Now these bones in the skull are in a constant rhythmic motion and a slight upset may affect the nerves that immerge from the head around the back of the neck and also near the jaw. This again could result in headaches, or maybe a stiffness in the neck which could also affect the lower back and so on, and so on. CranioSacral Therapy looks at the whole body beyond the obvious pain or discomfort areas in order to find the root causes.
We have an incredibly sophisticated nervous system that goes way beyond the movement and perceptive functions. And, there are structures in our body which look after these delicate nervous tissues. If these structures become "stuck" or disorganised then this can have a subtle but, in some cases, quite profound effects on how we feel - both physically and emotionally. The intention of CranioSacral Therapy is to bring the whole of the body into a state of harmony by allowing these delicate nerve tissues to perform in their most efficient manner. This is achieved by gently persuading the protective tissues to release any tensions or distortions that they exhibit. As previously stated, CST can give enormous benefits if you are suffering with headaches, migraines, back or neck pains, and it can also help with general feelings of "yuckness" – a knowing that your body is not functioning in the best, or most efficient manner. Or maybe just an overall lack of energy, vitality or concentration.
The therapy sessions usually last about an hour, during which time you are clothed and lie on a soft, comfortable couch. It is a gentle non-invasive therapy; the sensations consist mostly of warm, comforting, light pressures. It is not a massage, neither are there any sudden or painful manipulations. The therapy consists of gentle, finger tip, manipulations as the therapist both tests for restrictions and listens to the quality of the craniosacral rhythm which the body maintains in order to feed and nurture the delicate nervous tissues. The pressures used are exceedingly light and although focussed around the head and spine, the treatment may be applied anywhere on the body. Receiving a CST treatment tends to be extremely relaxing, and it is not uncommon to fall into a relaxing sleep.
This light, hands-on approach harmonizes with the body's natural hydraulic forces and movements, thus encouraging and enhancing the body's own natural, self-healing abilities. This gentle releasing of chronic tensions within the body can effect major changes in both physical and emotional well-being.
Because CST enhances the body's own healing processes, it can initiate improvements in a very wide range of problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
Stress and tension related problems, migraines, headaches, chronic neck and back pain, Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, motor co-ordination difficulties, chronic pain anywhere in the body, chronic fatigue, digestive problems.
By Eric Demmon
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