Did you know that Cranial sacral massage is one of the mildest treatments for Fibromyalgia, and that one of the reasons it is a firm fibro favorite, is because its healing method is just as gentle as it is effective?
In fact, Cranial sacral massage is commonly known to be:
- More gentle than massage
- Completely non evasive
- And causes less stress on the body than other manipulative treatments
Yet overall, it can still be just as effective as other Fibromyalgia treatments that involve all of these.
What Is Cranial Sacral Massage?
Cranial sacral massage, also known as cranial sacral therapy, or CST, does not actually involve massage. Rather it is an alternative treatment that uses only a slight touch to evaluate and correct the function of the cranio-sacral system. In doing so, CST helps with the body’s natural healing abilities, and works to disperse the negative effects of stress on the central nervous system.
How Does It Work?
To begin sacral cranial therapy, a therapist will place their hands on the cranial bones of the head, spinal column or sacrum, (base of spine). They will then feel for the rhythm of the craniosacral system, which is the flow of cereospinal fluid through the body.
The craniosacral rhythm, like the cardiovascular system, has a similar pulse effect through the body, which enables a therapist to ‘listen’ with their hands to observe and identify where any restrictions occur.
Once restrictions have been located, the therapist will assist the natural movement of the fluid and soft tissue, which helps the body to self correct and heal.
Correcting Fascial Restrictions
In addition to this, a big advantage of cranial sacral massage for Fibromyalgia is that it very gently releases and corrects fascial restrictions. Fascial restrictions are connective tissue that has had to restructure itself after injury, trauma, repetitive action and long durations of poor posture. Even chronic emotional distress can cause fascial restrictions; all of which overtime, can cause great dysfunction and pain to the body.
Fascial restrictions, muscle knots and tender points are all very common in Fibromyalgia. Usually to release them, or improve their pain takes gentle massage, or myofascial release to assist the tissue in letting go, and also to improve nerve pain.
A great advantage of cranial sacral massage is that it can very easily and gently free these connective tissue restrictions by simply manipulating the flow of ceresospinal fluid. This sends more blood to the affected areas and gently allows them to release and heal.
As a result some of the benefits of CST include:
- Improved function of the nervous system
- Improved sleep
- A sense of deep relaxation
- Relief from anxiety & stress
- A reduction in nerve pain
- Overall full body pain relief
- Feeling more refreshed or an improved sense of vitality
What Are Common Areas That CST Can Treat?
Cranial sacral massage works with the cranial bones of the head, spine and sacrum. However, the therapist will not just work at these points. They will be guided by the cranio sacral rhythm and move their hands across and over the body to where they can feel areas need to be treated.
Some of the most common areas of the body affected by Fibromyalgia pain can very successfully be treated with cranial sacral therapy. They can include:
Often Fibro sufferers may experience a ‘locking’ sensation in the sacrum area. The sacrum can ‘lock’ due to stress, incorrect postural patterns, digestive issues, (including the toll on the body breaking Fibromyalgia medications down) or underlying back problems such as sciatica. Cranial sacral massage is often an excellent method of ‘rebalancing’ the sacrum by encouraging the flow of cerebrospinal fluid to the sacrum and restoring its functionality.
Problem Ribs & Pelvic Areas:
The ribs and pelvis are also common areas that cause pain in Fibromyalgia. Often the cranial sacral therapist may work these two areas at once. With one hand being used to manipulate the cerebrospinal fluid to relieve tension on the pelvic area, to ‘open it up’, while the other may be working to relieve problematic and painful rib pain.
Head & Feet:
CST performed on the head and feet can put you in to the most relaxed state of all. These two areas in particular can help to relieve headaches caused by stress and blockages at the base of the skull, and alleviate the strains from everyday gravity on the body.
Neck & Shoulders:
In addition to working on the head, CST is excellent for releasing tension and compression on the neck and shoulders. The therapist may even work the area around the collar bones and breast bone to further release any tension and pull this area may be having on the head and neck.
What Sensations Or Relief Might You Expect To Feel?
In general cranial sacral massage can put you in to an incredibly deep relaxation, or almost groggy sleep state. This is especially so if you haven’t been able to sleep properly, and your body has been unable to restore itself accordingly overnight.
Relief To Tight Spots:
If you are particularly tight, or are experiencing strong pain in certain areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulders or hip areas etc, CST performed at these points can feel like your muscles or their tissues are magically beginning to unwind. The area can feel like it is being warmed and that muscle knots are fading away.
Numbness or Twitching:
You may feel the warming and unwinding sensations in some areas of your body, but in others you might feel numbness, or even twitching. These are normal sensations and in the case of twitching the therapist will usually keep working on the area until it subsides, or move to another area to allow it to settle.
Internal Muscle Stretching:
Some people have even expressed that they have experienced a sensation like an internal muscle stretch. This is not a painful sensation but more like a pleasant feeling when a muscle is being gently stretched for the first time.
An Emotional Release:
Sometimes the effects of CST can be so significant it can cause an emotional release, as weeks, months and even years of pain are dissolved with the slightest touch.
Little To No Sensation:
Sometimes though, you may not feel any of these specific sensations. Even if this is so, your therapist may indicate that internally there is still actually an abundance of activity going on as they can feel the rush of blood flow to affected areas.
What Else Can CST Be Used For?
Of course cranio sacral therapy is not just beneficial for Fibromyalgia. Due to its influence on the functioning of the central nervous system, it is commonly used to treat a number of ailments and chronic conditions such as:
- General aches & pains
But it is also just as commonly used to bolster general health or provide resistance to disease, because cranial sacral treatment usually just feels good.
And when a treatment feels great, and does not create any pain to get results, makes it particularly popular, but especially so in the treatment of Fibromyalgia.
What Type Of Therapist Uses CST?
If you decide you would like to try this Fibromyalgia treatment, just ensure that your preferred therapist type is trained in cranial sacral massage before you make an appointment.