Dr. Upledger’s CranioSacral Therapy was rooted in the cranial osteopathy of Dr. Sutherland. Dr. Sutherland taught of lesions within the craniosacral system itself. Using the cranial bones like handles, we palpate the movement of the craniosacral rhythm. The rhythm moves through a normal physiological pattern of flexion and extension. When the bones do not move in that normal physiological pattern, when there is an irregularity in the pattern, we identify a “lesion” within that bone. We then release the soft tissue that is layered underneath or around the cranial bones to restore the bone to normal physiological movement.
Dr. Upledger’s later developments included fascial diaphragm releases. These diaphragms, like the respiratory diaphragm, are areas where soft tissue, held together by connective tissue, runs horizontally across the body. Releasing restrictions in these diaphragms release the connecting fascia throughout the muscles and around the spine and spinal cord, allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to move more easily from the occipital bone at the base of our cranium down to our sacrum at the bottom of our spine.
During a vaginal birth, the baby’s head is normally molded into an oblong shape to pass through the mother’s pelvis. I commonly find, in normal, healthy adults, craniosacral lesions with deep and complex restrictions layered around them. These old restrictions could have been released shortly after they occurred. Birth, even Cesarean birth, is one of our first traumatic experiences. Craniosacral theray can be given to every baby, soon after birth, to facilitate their body’s dramatic transition from liquid to air. I recommend continued craniosacral therapy throughout the child’s life, especially after a trauma. That could be a fall or accident, an illness, a surgery, an emotional trauma, like seperation or divorce, or any difficult transition.
Craniosacral therapy creates an opportunity for self-healing; for restoration and harmony. It is beneficial for alleviating pain but is more powerful when used as a tool for wellness and prevention.