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Posted on 07-21-2014

By John Humphreys

New York trained Licensed Massage Therapist practicing massage in Rutland, VT since 2012.

He has since specialized in Craniosacral Therapy (CST), attending training through the Upledger Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida.  You can find his CST training credentials at  www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php#result 

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy or CST for short is a form of gentle manual therapy designed to release tension patterns in the soft and connective tissues of the body. Very often CST focuses on the skull, spinal bones and connective tissues having a direct relationship with central nervous system.  The goal of the work is to facilitate a relaxation response through the parasympathetic nervous system.  It is through this relaxation response that subtle tension patterns have the opportunity to release in a gentle and more natural way.

One important key to this process with the amount of pressure that is used. During a CST session, the therapist is typically using 5 grams of pressure or less to facilitate a change in the body. The reason for using such a light touch is to avoid a defensive response by the body. When too much force is applied too quickly to any part of the body, the affected tissues can brace against the force as a protective reaction. Very often when dealing with any form of physical tension or stress patterns in the body, the affected tissues are already in a state of protection or easily triggered to react protectively. (Keep in mind that muscle, connective and soft tissues don’t have a sense of time.)

By using a soft touch, we can interact with these tension patterns in a therapeutic way while avoiding a protective response.  As a result the tension patterns are afforded an opportunity to release and recover in a why that may not have been possible through other forms of manual therapy that use greater levels of force.  It is because of this subtle interaction with the tissues of the body that Craniosacral Therapy can be a valuable therapeutic tool for complete and comprehensive therapeutic care. 

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