The body has a pulse that is called the cranio-sacral rhythm. It is the pulse of the spine. Just like the heart has a beat to circulate blood, and the lungs have a breath to circulate air, the spine has a pulse to circulate spinal fluid. It is a very slow and very subtle pulse, but it is real motion, and not just “energy” moving. Each pulse takes about twelve seconds, and just like the beat of the heart, it can be felt throughout the whole body.
Now imagine that the body is made of webbing. This is your connective tissue, (muscles, and fascial fibers and sheets) that hold all the muscles together. If you imagine a vast spider web, or a string hammock structure, and then send a regular wave-like pulse or ripple through the webbing, then you begin to see how the cranio-sacral pulse moves through the body.
Now imagine that someone grabs the webbing in a tight grip and maybe twists it. There may even be multiple grabs in the webbing. This is like the cranio-sacral system under tension of misalignments, scarring, knots or other types of tension.
You could also imagine that if you were trained to put your hands on the webbing with a mindfulness of the slow-motion rolling that occurs within this pulse, that you could notice when there is a grab in the system. It feels like a tethering or an unusual pulling on the natural rolling motion. The closer your hand is placed to the actual grab (or stuck spot), the less motion you can feel within the rolling motion.
Many times, all it takes to restore the motion to the stuck area (and thus restore circulation, and proper nerve activity) is a gentle assistance of the natural rolling motion. The body sometimes needs just a tiny kick-start to get going again. Other times there may be more involved techniques necessary, like an unwinding technique. Imagine someone holding your head and neck, for example, while you lie on the table. Your neck will slowly and gently move in arcing motions. To the practitioner, this feels like the muscles of the neck are doing all the moving in precise ways in order to successfully release stored energy of tension or injury. To the patient, it feels almost like being in water, as a supportive motion is relaxing the tissues deeply.
Cranio-sacral therapy is extremely effective at diagnosing or “going to” the tight spots. Even if another technique is used to release the tension (like a chiropractic adjustment, or a massage technique) the cranio-sacral technique is master among tools at finding the right spots, and here’s why: Many times the root of a pain problem exists at a site on the body other that where the pain lies. This can be why you may have been treated numerous times for a complaint with little or no relief, even though plenty of techniques have been used right at the site of your pain. Cranio-sacral technique can actually find the non-painful stuck spots that may be responsible for painful compensations elsewhere.
Accurate diagnoses of tension patterns, and gentle and precise releases are the hallmarks of cranio-sacral technique. It is profoundly relaxing to experience.
information on cranio-sacral therapy,
go to www.upledger.com.