Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, powerful health care approach that acts through the tissue, fluid, membranes and central nervous system to aid in enhancing the health of the whole body (Enslin and Associates, 2014). Alexander (2001) mentions that there are rhythmic impulses brought on by the cerebrospinal fluid in the cranium and sacrum, and that if these impulses are weak, this represents an imbalance or illness in the body, but she also found out that tender touches and manipulation of the cranium and sacrum can restore the balance and improve the health of the whole body.
A diagram of the Craniosacral System (The Craniosacral Therapy Association of South Africa, 2014)
According to Alexander (2001) Dr William Garner Sutherland was qualified osteopath in the early 20th century, who discovered that there’s actually minute movement between the sutures of the skull and that they are also in a risk of being restricted, stiff and traumatized. This is when he developed cranial osteopathy and also discovered that the cerebrospinal fluid produce pulses and these pulses would be weak when a person is ill, he found that tender manipulation of the head and lower back can normalize the pulse and cure the illness.
The development of craniosacral therapy came upon when one osteopathic physician named Dr John E. Upledger was performing a neck surgery in the early 1970s; he got intrigued by the dural tube movements that he researched more about it until he came across Dr Sutherland’s work. He came to understand Dr Sutherland’s work that it led him to make his own discoveries that many ailments that were thought to only affect the head can originate from anywhere in the body (Enslin and Associates, 2014).
Dr Upledger came to understanding that most of the cranial work can be efficiently and simply taught to people with no osteology background, another factor that effectuated him is the psychological and emotional aspects of this cranial work that led him to devise that “for true healing, there had to be some form of psychological, as well as physical, release” (Alexander, 2001). He established The Upledger Institute, which is a clinical and educational training (Enslin and Associates, 2014).
The table below presents the conditions that are believed to respond well to craniosacral therapy
Musculo-skeletal Mind and Emotions Illnesses and other conditions
Trigeminal neuralgia Anxiety
Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD)
Brain and spinal cord dysfuction
Chronic fatigue syndrome