Osteopathy was developed by Andrew Taylor Still, DO. During the Civil War, he was first trained as a “hospital steward.” By the time the war was over, he was a fully trained surgeon. Arriving back home after the war, he discovered his children had passed away in a meningitis epidemic. As Still sought to derive meaning from his tragedy, he discovered that most of the people who died were treated with toxic medication.
As his research continued, he discovered that in the counties without doctors or toxic medication, people were not dying. The studies proved that the human body can heal itself, especially when there are no ‘restrictions’ within the body.
Still went on to found the first school of osteopathy, which still exists in Missouri today. The students were educated on the importance of removing restrictions on the body.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on technique that uses a light touch to examine membranes and movement of the fluids in and around the central nervous system. Relieving tension promotes a feeling of well-being by eliminating pain and boosting a healthy immune system.
CST is a type of bodywork that relieves compression in the bones of the head, sacrum (a triangular bone in the lower back), and spinal column. Gentle pressure on the head, neck and back can relieve pain caused by compression which, in result, help treat several conditions. In return, stress is released due to a more relaxed state in the body.
The treatment provides gentle manipulation of bones in the skull, spine, and pelvis to increase the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the central nervous system. Thereby, normalizing flow to reduce ‘blockages’ and allow the body to heal.
In the mid-1970s, an osteopath, named John Upledger, assisted in a surgery to remove a growth on the patient’s spinal cord. He realized the rhythmic wave of the fluid motion that swept within the membranes. The surgeon placed John in charge of ‘steading the cord’, any movement could cause the surgeon to slip, cutting a delicate area of the spine. His experience persuaded curiosity to learn more about the moving process.
Upledger’s explanation of wave motion is one of several theories about the origins of motion felt in the human body and around the central nervous system. It focuses on a hydraulic movement created by the filling and emptying of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord within the membranes. It also describes motions of the bones and skull due to the filling and emptying.
Motions themselves in the skull and membranes spread throughout the body, via tissue called ‘fascia’. Or, sometimes referred to as ‘connective tissue’. In other words, the form that holds us together.
Fascia under a microscope is exquisite; its fibers are actually tubules, with droplets of fluid traveling through them. These fibers are in constant motion, creating and recreating new designs. In the fluid matrix is how information and nutrients are exchanged….. all leading to waste removal.
When the body is injured, during the healing process, it can cause ‘restrictions’ within the fascia. One example is scar tissue; as fascia is fluid always moving, no formed patterns or shapes, scar tissue is static, immobile, so the fibers, in essence, get stuck.
These restrictions can occur with disease, inflammatory processes, or a chronic situation. Including habitual poor body posture, lack of movement, and even emotional trauma. Craniosacral therapy can help release the blockages, allowing the body to heal.
Dr. Still felt physicians should treat the whole person, rather than focus on disease. CST has also shown benefits for improving blood and lymph flow. His approach to medicine is listed below:
- The body functions as a total biologic unit.
- The body possesses self-healing and self-regulatory mechanisms.
- Structure and function are interrelated.
- Abnormal pressure in one part of the body will produce abnormal pressures and strains in other body parts.
If you have been suffering from any of the items listed above, A Valley of Vitality offers CST as a regular massage service for all clients. Please call to schedule an appointment today.