A Practical Guide to Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy-Cranial Intelligence explains how Cranio-Sacral Therapy exploits the primary respiratory mechanism, bodily relational fields and the relational touch to manage patients with chronic pain and stiffness issues. 1)
Sumner and Haines explain the primary respiratory mechanism in considerable detail. The mechanism deals with the fluctuation and fluid forces of cerebrospinal fluid, the functioning of reciprocal tension membranes, the motility (movement) of the neural tube and the involuntary movement of the sacrum. The sacrum is the portion of the vertebral column that is directly connected with or forms a part of the pelvis. In humans, the sacrum consists of five united vertebrae.
Cranio Sacral Therapy focuses on relation fields. These fields include optimal posture (GAIT) , balanced awareness, orientation to the midline, tissues fluidity, primary respiration and a still presence. The cranial rhythm of this therapy is the movement of cerebral spinal fluid throughout the body . This movement can be compared to the ebb and flow of an ocean wave or feel like a pulse. As the body unwinds from restrictions and balancing, a maximal cranial rhythmic impulse can be felt by the Cranio Sacral Therapist.
The relational touch of a Cranio Sacral Therapist involves a 3 stage process of work on the patient. The first part deals with movement and migration of tissue. The second part seeks to achieve optimal balance. The last part is reorganization and symmetry to the continuing motion of bodily tissue.
People benefit from Cranio Sacral Therapy if they have had severe trauma, bad sprains, broken or deformed bones, surgery or great falls. People who have myasthenia gravis or facial drooping may benefit from Cranio Sacral Therapy to the extent the massage relaxes them and provides relief unavailable elsewhere.
Sumner and Haines teach how to assess connective tissue health, feeling whole body patterns, the differentiation between longitudinal and transverse strains in the body and recognition of the quality of dural tissue. The dura surrounds the brain and the spinal cord and is responsible for keeping in the cerebrospinal fluid. The dura has been described as both inflexible and tough.
A Practical Guide to Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy-Cranial Intelligence is a valuable resource for patients seeking relief through manipulation of the body, deep massage and related modalities. The presentation is very readable with ample explanation of the scientific language utilized in this allied area to Chiropractic and Massage. Sumner and Haines describe how to listen and respond properly to each patient’s system, how to create a safe working space for treating different kinds of trauma, and how to address specific states of imbalance to achieve pain or rigidity relief- even if it is only temporary.
Cranio-Sacral Therapy should be coordinated with other medical providers, the nutritionist and physical therapist. In addition, the blood chemistry should shed light on internal markers which help to identify causality for inflammations. An ultrasound of the carotid artery may be performed to detect potential dangers in manipulating the head/neck due to narrowing or blockages in the blood flow.
There are contraindications for Cranial Sacro Therapy. These include patients that have had an acute aneurysm, acute traumatic head injuries, cerebral hemorrhage, or a history of severe bleeding disorders. Such persons should avoid this treatment modality or at least be aware of the risks.