CranioSacral Therapy/ Somatoemotional Release

My training in CranioSacral Therapy is through Upledger Institute. I find that it is much more effective in creating change than deeper types of modalities. The wisdom of the body knows how to put itself back into its proper place or unravel whatever that it is needed when there is allowing. I now have even more trust in the idea of "less is more."

- Constance


What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. Using a soft touch which is generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel – practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

How does CranioSacral Therapy Work?

Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

What conditions does CranioSacral Therapy address?



  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • And Many Other Conditions

Is there any condition for which CST shouldn't be used?

There are certain situations where application of CST would not be recommended. These include conditions where a variation and/or slight increase in intracranial pressure would cause instability. Acute aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage or other preexisting severe bleeding disorders are examples of conditions that could be affected by small intracranial pressure changes.

How many CranioSacral Therapy sessions will I need?

Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can't be compared to anyone else's — even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely — from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks. 

What is Somatoemotional Release?

It is a therapeutic process that helps rid the mind and body of residual effects of past traumas associated with negative experiences.

What to Expect During a Session
Subtle body work is combined with possible dialogue to assist the process of release and to increase an awareness of your “inner self.”  This work truly accesses and assists the body in healing that very powerful and basic “mind-body connection”, facilitating healing at the source level of the pain or problem.  Sometimes, an awareness or association of past trauma may arise during the course of a craniosacral session and the release progresses within the framework of the physical bodywork being done during that session.  Or, as larger issues become apparent, several focused sessions might be helpful to fully and safely allow the body to release the effects of the held physical/emotional trauma.

As you can see, there can be cross overs between modalities. Mostly, we work with what shows up so I might mix in whatever that comes to me that is relevant at the time (or appears to be not so relevant).
* information from Upledger Institute