Head Massage

The Benefits Of Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a specialized treatment stemming from osteopathic roots, developed by John Upledger, DO. It is described as a hands-on treatment that targets the soft tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

While it is not related to modern massage, it does use a hands-on targeted approach that is softer than massage. The gentle pressure of craniosacral therapy is meant to loosen the restrictions impacting the surrounding area of the nervous system. Loosening these restrictions brings relief from many specific symptoms.

The underlying premise is that restrictions in and around the brain and spinal cord prevent proper circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, blood, and lymphatic fluid. Restrictions develop as a result of our stressful lifestyles; work, family, autoimmune conditions, environmental issues, childhood trauma, and a host of other factors.

1. For Adults

Because CST is a hands-on, light-to-the-touch treatment, it can often be a beneficial treatment for older adults who suffer from chronic pain. Additionally, CST has been used in conjunction with treatments for traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, joint pain, autoimmune disorders and Lyme disease.

2. For Brain Health

CST can also have an impact on brain health, as it has been used to treat traumatic brain injury and migraine headaches. CST not only addresses the physical pain side of brain health, but also the psychosocial, addressing such issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

3. For Children

CST is also beneficial for children. Issues such as colic, autism, ADHD, behavioral and learning disorders can be addressed by utilizing CST. Dr. Upledger studied CST for children with autism and found that it improved their social skills, along with the ability to show feelings of affection to others.

Considering all of the possibilities of CST and the significant benefits it can have on your overall health, it would be essential to look into and see if it’s a therapeutic treatment that would be right for you. Your brain is sensitive to the stresses of everyday life, both past and present, and a healing touch can provide much needed relief from your symptoms.


Man exercising despite chronic pain

Staying Active with Chronic Pain

When you live with chronic pain, exercise is the last thing you want to do. When have been diagnosed with a chronic immune disorder, exercising will feel like your biggest challenge. Take for instance fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, chronic fatigue and arthritis. You may have painful tender areas, shooting pain, joint and muscle stiffness, and random body aches. With all of this, exercise may not be first on your list. However, it can actually be the most helpful in order to ease pain. Staying active is the most important thing you can do and should be part of your regular treatment protocol.

Not only does chronic pain affect your energy levels and musculoskeletal system but also your brain and whole body. In the long term, this can lead to depression, difficulty sleeping, isolation from others and diminished quality of life. So it is vital that exercise and movement be part of your everyday life.

Moderate aerobic and strength training can improve pain, increase flexibility and improve overall health and well-being. Such exercises include:

Walking
Swimming
Warm water aerobics class
Stretching
Yoga
Tai chi
Resistance training
Bicycling
Gardening
Tennis
Hiking
Dancing

Numerous studies have shown these to be very beneficial for chronic pain sufferers. The main focus is movement. If you don't like traditional exercise you can do just about any activity you enjoy doing that gets you moving.

Now, with chronic pain comes the issue of medication. With these conditions over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin are generally recommended to alleviate some of the symptoms. In addition, prescription pain relievers such as Tramadol may also be given.

The problem with this is that many pain relievers are not very effective for treating long-term chronic conditions and often have many side effects. It may mask the pain temporarily, but does not address the underlying issue.

A few things I find that work really well with my patients is supplementing with Curcumin, Boswellia, White Willow Bark or Harpogophytum. These herbs aid in pain relief and reduce inflammation with little to no side effects.

Also, Craniosacral therapy is great for chronic pain. This therapy allows for a release of physical restrictions and imbalances, freeing the central nervous system in order to restore immune function and relieve pain. If you use topical pain relievers, natural versions work quite well; Arnica, Topricin and Traumeel T-Relief are all wonderful.

Chronic immune dysfunction is multi faceted. It is a culmination of imbalances and recurrent or persistent infections that lead to the main problem. In order to get better, you must get to the root of the cause. Chronic pain may be triggered by autoimmune related disorders that have been slowly worsening over time. That is why diet and lifestyle is extremely important.

When patients come into our office we spend a great deal of time going over their diet, environment and stressors so that we can better devise an individualized treatment plan that will suit their needs and lifestyle.

Chronic pain shouldn't limit you. It is not a condition that occurs overnight. Therefore, treatment will not happen overnight. However, positivity, movement and support changes your whole outlook and is a must for taking control of your health.


Head massage

Concussions and Craniosacral Therapy

The seriousness of concussions and head injuries has reached a new level as sports such as the National Football League (NFL) consider changes in major aspects of the game to try and reduce the frequency of concussions on the field. Unfortunately, it has been estimated that there are about 2 million concussions per year in teenage athletes. The focus of medicine has been to detect and diagnose with current treatment being watching and waiting unless surgery is required. Craniosacral Therapy (a gentle Osteopathic manipulation technique) is one of the few therapies available that directly affects brain function, circulation, and repair, accelerating the healing process after concussions.

Don't wait! Contact us today to schedule a concussion evaluation and treatment plan.