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Cranio Sacral Therapy – FAQ

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What are the benefits of craniosacral therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy has a very high success rate. Most practitioners find that around 85% of clients are happy with the results of the work. Benefits can come in a variety of ways:

  • Increased sense of relaxation.
  • Improvement of the symptoms you came to see the practitioner about. Quite simply, you get better.
  • Improvement of other symptoms. For example, someone coming for treatment for a bad back can find that, as well as their back pain easing, the migraines they have had for years have got better too.
  • Change in behaviour patterns, leading to an improvement in relationships with friends, family, colleagues, etc…
  • Greater capacity to manage life in general.
  • Better management of specific disease symptoms.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Improvement of psychological issues.
  • Reduction of effects of past trauma.
  • Improved sense of well-being.

What does it actually feel like?

Most people find cranial sessions pleasant and relaxing. People often talk of feeling as if they have “had their batteries charged”. Sometimes people feel tingling or numbing sensations or they may experience momentary pain related to past events. When this settles the net result is one of feeling better. People often feel as if things are reorganising inside them or as if a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.

What does a treatment involve?

The client usually lies (or sometimes sits) fully-clothed on a comfortable treatment couch. The therapist makes contact by placing their hands lightly on the client’s body and tuning in to what is happening by ‘listening’ with their hands. Contact is made carefully so that the patient feels at ease with what is happening.

How many sessions will I need?

The number of sessions required depends entirely on the condition being treated. Acute injury and disease states can benefit enormously from 2 – 6 sessions; with chronic debilitating disease or severe injury, it is usually necessary to work for longer in order to develop well-being and skills of managing symptoms, as well as dealing with symptoms directly.

Will treatments help if I have no particular symptoms?

Yes, many people find that craniosacral therapy helps them feel better and enjoy life more. Their energy levels improve and they are able to deal with everyday stress more positively. People often find it easier to fight off minor infections, and regular treatments may help prevent more serious conditions from developing in the future.

What is the interval between sessions?

Initially sessions are usually a week to a fortnight apart. With long-term treatment the frequency of sessions usually reduces.

How safe is Craniosacral Therapy?

The light touch used in Craniosacral Therapy means that it is one of the safest therapeutic forms. It is a non-directive, non-analytical, non-invasive approach – essentially the art of listening and enabling the body to heal itself. When practised by a qualified therapist, it is a very safe method.

Is it head massage?

No. Because of the name, craniosacral therapy, people often think that it concerns only the head and spine. CST is not a form of head massage although contact is made with the head in most sessions. A fuller explanation of craniosacral work can be found at What is Craniosacral Therapy?.

How long does it take and how much does it cost?

Sessions are generally from thirty minutes to an hour in length and prices vary. Expect to pay from £30 – £65 a session in cities and £25 – £50 in more rural areas. Some practitioners charge more for the first session as it is usually longer.

I’m interested but sceptical – do I have to believe in it for it to work?

It helps to have an open mind, but the benefits of craniosacral therapy are not dependent upon faith in the treatment.

What is the difference between Craniosacral Therapy and Cranial Osteopathy?

Craniosacral therapists study cranial work exclusively. Most craniosacral therapy courses last two years. Cranial osteopaths train initially in osteopathy, a more mechanical approach, and then do postgraduate training in cranial work of variable length.

Craniosacral work tends to be integrated with psychotherapeutic understanding, theory and practice. There is a variable amount of overlap between individual approaches in the two professions. To get a fuller picture, talk to a practitioner to find if their attitude and approach is suitable for your needs.

How would you sum up the effects of craniosacral therapy?

Craniosacral therapy improves people’s quality of life in general as well as helping with specific problems. It can help you recover from the results of accidents, falls and strains as well as diseases. Psychological and traumatic conditions can also be helped. Cranial work can reduce stress and improve the functioning of the immune system.

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