Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, noninvasive method of evaluating and enhancing the function of a physiological body arrangement called the craniosacral system. Developed by John E. Upledger, DO, OMM, this manual therapy enhances the body’s natural healing processes and has proven effective in treating a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. The roots of this therapy are in cranial osteopathy, developed by Dr. William G. Sutherland.
The beautiful, 18-month-old child named Emma stood in front of me. Her piercing blue eyes held mine in an unblinking stare as she took my hands and placed them on her head. She was telling me to treat her.
Following her wishes, I gently cradled the sides of her head, felt the movement of the bones, and followed their lead. As her cranial bones reorganized themselves, Emma stood and held my gaze. When her skull balanced, she took a deep breath, grinned, and stepped over and hugged her mom, Kristen, who was sitting on the floor with me.
Although individuals with disabilities can greatly benefit from various bodywork modalities, they generally do not avail themselves of these therapies for a variety of reasons. Relying largely on the advice of conventional health care providers who are often skittish about referring for bodywork, those with disabilities often don’t know their “alternative” options. In addition, because many bodywork professionals are unfamiliar with the unique issues associated with disability, there is apprehension when dealing with this population.