What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions within the soft tissues surrounding the central nervous system. This non-invasive therapy targets the craniosacral system, which consists of the skull, spine, and sacrum. Relieving pressure on these areas can help improve overall health and well-being, making it a valuable resource for athletes looking to optimize their performance.
This therapy involves a gentle massage that helps release tension deep in the body. It helps relieve pain and dysfunction to promote wellness and improved health. Osteopathic Physician John E. Upeledger developed it and underwent several years of clinical testing at Michigan State University.
How does it work?
Craniosacral therapy works by addressing the subtle movements and rhythms within the craniosacral system, composed of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord. This system plays a crucial role in the properly functioning of the central nervous system and overall well-being.
During a CST session, the therapist gently places their hands on various body parts, such as the head, neck, and sacrum, to assess the craniosacral system’s rhythm and detect any imbalances or restrictions. The therapist then applies gentle, precise pressure to these areas to release tension, correct imbalances, and improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
By addressing the root cause of the issue, rather than just focusing on symptoms, CST helps to restore the body’s natural healing processes and improve overall function. The therapy primarily targets the fascia, which is a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds and supports the body’s muscles, organs, and other structures. When the fascia becomes tight or restricted, it can cause pain, limit mobility, and negatively affect other bodily systems.
CST aims to release these restrictions in the fascia and restore the natural movement of the craniosacral system. As the fascia is released, the body’s self-correcting mechanisms are activated, and balance is restored. This process can lead to improved nerve function, better circulation, and reduced inflammation, which all contribute to the overall health and well-being of the individual.
Our bodies undergo immense stress and strain every day. This stress causes tissues to tighten and affect the Craniosacral system. As a result, tension builds up around the brain, which has many adverse effects that impede the healthy performance of the body.
Craniosacral therapy for sports injuries
Since craniosacral therapy reduces head, neck, and back compression, it has been used for sports-related injuries. Athletes facing back problems have this therapy done as a form of rehabilitation and to reduce pain. This therapy has also been known to help those suffering from concussions. Athletes who have been knocked out during a game can get this massage done to restore plate, suture, and membrane mobility to allow cerebral spinal fluid flow.
The Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy for Athletes
Athletes undergo intense training every single day. Their diet and lifestyle revolve around their sport. As a result, their bodies go through a lot. Their muscles are pushed to their max in a short amount of time to make them high-performance athletes. The benefits of CST include:
1. Enhanced flexibility and range of motion
CST can help athletes maintain and improve their flexibility and range of motion by releasing tension and restrictions within the body. This increased mobility can lead to better overall performance, including faster reaction times and improved agility.
2. Boosted Endurance
This therapy may help boost endurance by improving circulation, enhancing the immune system, and promoting overall well-being. With increased energy levels and stamina, athletes can train harder and perform better during competitions.
3. Reduced inflammation and pain
Craniosacral therapy has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain associated with various injuries, including sprains, strains, and overuse injuries. By alleviating pressure on the nervous system, it can help decrease pain signals and promote a faster recovery.
4. Faster healing process
CST can support the body’s natural healing processes by improving circulation, reducing stress, and promoting a more balanced state. This can result in faster healing times and a quicker return to training and competition.
5. Promoting relaxation and focus
CST can help athletes achieve a state of deep relaxation, which is essential for optimal mental performance. This relaxation can lead to increased focus, better decision-making, and improved overall performance during training and competition.
6. Supporting better sleep
By targeting the craniosacral system, CST can help to restore the balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) branches of the nervous system. This balance is essential for promoting healthy sleep patterns and improving overall sleep quality. Further, hormones play a significant role in regulating sleep patterns, particularly melatonin, which helps to control the sleep-wake cycle. Stress and other factors can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to sleep disturbances. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, CST can help support healthy hormone production and improve sleep quality.
Visit Soul2Sole Massage Therapy and Wellness Studio for a consultation for CST. We offer the best deep-tissue massage in Edmonton. We also provide a variety of massages like sports massage, Thai massage, and hot stone massage. Book your massage appointment today or visit our FAQ page for a massage.