by Karen Keller Capuciati
A couple of months after our Mom’s stroke, she was dealing with stress, sleeplessness and a terribly stiff neck. She had just completed a month in a rehab facility, and returning home brought on new and unexpected difficulties.
For Mom, coming home was a sign that her life was returning to normalcy. But it also ended up pointing out the deficits left by her stroke when everyday events were now a great challenge. Cooking, for example, meant reading an ingredient list, writing a shopping list, setting a timer, none of which were possible at the time. Even the grocery store, with all the choices and stimuli, was way too much for her at this time in her early recovery.
One of the best alternative therapies we found for our mom was called CranioSacral Therapy (CST).
The treatment is a gentle touch on the head, neck and trunk of the body, including the sacrum (at the base of the spine), and it works subtly on the central nervous system, paying mind to the natural flow of the fluids and membranes surrounding the brain and the spine. With an almost imperceptible touch, therapists can detect restrictions and allow the area to normalize the environment around the brain and spinal cord and, in turn, enhance the body’s ability to self-correct.
CST has been effective in aiding individuals suffering from migraines, chronic neck and back pain, stress and tension-related disorders, motor-coordination impairments, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, fibromyalgia, and central nervous system disorders, to name just a few of the conditions CST has aided.
How can such a gentle touch have such profound results? This is a question that is often asked of Mom’s CS Therapist, Kim Hanson, in The Villages, FL. Kim explains that the therapy promotes the health of the brain and central nervous system. When you consider that the brain controls all our bodily functions, it’s only natural to start there.
You can expect the sessions to last from 45 minutes to an hour, and typically in a dimly lit room. It requires no disrobing or any special sartorial adjustment of any kind. CST can bring the recipient into a very relaxed state. In fact, after Mom’s therapy sessions, she was so relaxed and at ease that we were not sure we even could get her off the massage table.
As Kim Hanson explains it, she brings her clients into what she calls a “still point” – a very relaxed state – that allows the body to self-correct. This alone is of great value to anyone, whether suffering ill health or not. Kim also mentions that the self-correcting process may well continue after the session is over. She says that her clients have reported deep dreaming, sounder sleep and emotional releasing long after sessions have ended.
When so much is reported now on the connection between stress and illness, the fact that CST can bring the body back to a true relaxed state should indicate an important benefit of this therapy in one’s overall wellness.
This therapy is not advisable for conditions that include acute aneurysms or cerebral hemorrhage, so be sure to ask your doctor in advance.
To learn more about CranioSacral Therapy and to find a practitioner near you, visit the well-regarded Upledger Institute website.