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What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle form of hands-on manual therapy that addresses the nervous system through manipulation of the craniosacral system.  Originating with Osteopaths, it has been passed down and taught to some massage therapists.

The Craniosacral System consists of the cerebrospinal fluid, brain, spinal cord, spinal nerve roots, and the membranes and bones surrounding those nervous system components.  The focus is to create balanced and free movement of the cerebrospinal fluid by addressing and resolving the restrictions within the system.  Cerebrospinal fluid bathes the brain which brings in nutrients, takes away cell and metabolic waste, and helps cushion the brain against injury.  When the cerebrospinal fluid can move freely, then the other components of the central nervous system can function as optimally as possible.

Since craniosacral therapy addresses the central nervous system, it can address issues and challenges that typical bodywork does not.  Some challenges that it can help with are:


  • Migraines and headaches

  • Chronic pain

  • Motor-coordination impairments

  • Central Nervous System Disorders

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries and Concussions

  • Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Scoliosis

  • Emotional difficulties and depression

  • Stress and tension related problems

  • Fibromyalgia and other connective tissue disorders

  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) and other dental challenges

  • Immune disorders

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Sleep challenges

Why do people seek out Craniosacral Therapy?

Many people are looking for relief from pain, discomfort, chronic tension, and stress.  Others are dealing with challenges that are more difficult to get a handle on, such as migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and spinal cord or brain injury.  Since craniosacral therapy addresses challenges that affect the central nervous system, it can have a wide range of healing effects on these and other conditions.

There are also some people that seek out craniosacral therapy because the work has a very light touch, is non-invasive, and the client remains clothed during the whole session.  For people not used to being touched, or never having had manual therapy before, craniosacral therapy is a gentle way to start that journey.

What happens in a session?

Each session starts by checking in with you about your body and your experience of it.


This is followed up with assessment of the tissue, bones, and energetic body, which leads directly into the hands-on work.

After the hands-on work, the session is discussed - what occurred or was observed.  You may also receive some suggestions for self-care to keep your progress moving forward between sessions.

What does it feel like?

How craniosacral therapy feels varies from person to person; people would agree that it feels different than regular massage therapy.  Mark's touch is light during craniosacral work, as he maintains various holds with his hands. People tend to find this work very relaxing — some people zone-out, others fall asleep, and some are aware during the whole session. How it feels depends on what is being worked, the current state of the body, how body-aware you are, and how much you are paying attention to what is occurring during the session.

Mark will assess different parts of the craniosacral system through light touch to find out where intervention would be helpful.  He will lightly place his hands on the head, along the spine, and the pelvis.  Locations identified as needing intervention are held softly or gently manipulated over a period of time, to facilitate positive change in the craniosacral system and related soft-tissue.

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