The human body is an incredible network, and each system within the human body plays a key role in overall health and function. However, when asked to pick two of the most important structures within the body—most people pick the heart and the brain/spinal cord (Central Nervous System).
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 in the central nervous system promotes a feeling of well-being by eliminating pain and boosting health.
The brain and spinal cord are key players in what is known as the central nervous system. This system might be best understood as the command center for the whole body, sending and receiving messages about how each system is working and what the body may need to regain and maintain proper function.
The brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system are surrounded by what is known as the craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround these precious organs, providing them with the nourishment and protection necessary for survival in everyday life.
In a sense, the craniosacral system might be considered just as important as the central nervous system it protects. After all, this network of membranes and fluids has a direct impact on the overall health and function of both the brain and the spinal cord. By focusing on the craniosacral system, CranioSacral Therapy aims to benefit the central nervous system and, in turn, the entire body.
The body’s flight or flight response.
When the body is under stress or trauma, the nervous system “Turns on” and protects our body by releasing hormones and chemicals to make sure we stay safe and alive. The responses your body has to these experiences are usually Fight, Flight, Freeze or Fawn responses.
Fight: facing any perceived threat aggressively.
Flight: running away from the danger.
Freeze: unable to move or act against a threat.
Fawn: immediately acting to try to please to avoid any conflict.
Again, when one feels threatened, the body rapidly responds to the imminent danger. The underlying goal of springing into fight, flight, freeze, or fawn, is to decrease, end, or evade the danger to return to a state of calm and control.
If your body feels like it has stayed in that state for too long, you may start to experience symptoms that are detrimental to your overall health. If you feel this could be you, a valuable part of treatment for this kind of anxiety is an improved understanding of the fight or flight or freeze or fawn response’s function, purpose, and process. Understanding more about the fight or flight or freeze or fawn response can help you feel safer by implementing relaxation and grounding techniques. CranioSacral therapy is a great space to help your body and nervous system to relax and calm down, allowing the rest and digest response to take over. CST will also work on the connective tissues surrounding the brain/spinal cord and help alleviate symptoms of stress, allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to bathe and restore proper function to the central nervous system of the brain and spinal cord.
That’s all the technical stuff, but more than anything it just allows your body to relax and feels wonderful. Advanced CranioSacral therapy practitioners are also trained in how to help you through trauma in a helpful way if something were to come up in treatment.