We do whatever we can for our children. To make our children’s lives better we will research, investigate and seek out any and all tools that will help us in that endeavor. As a therapist, I have been trained in many techniques and approaches but none have given me tools as powerful as craniosacral therapy. Craniosacral therapy is a treatment that can help children and adults in ways no other approaches can.
Even though it has proven to be highly effective, most people have never heard of craniosacral therapy. The treatment is a gentle, hands-on approach that allows the therapist to assess the integrity and function of the muscles, membranes and fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds our muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.
Typically, the flow of the cerebrospinal fluids should move throughout the body with ease. If there is a restriction, the flow is detoured, stopped or reduced. Picture a log falling into a river. At first the water moves around it and if the log is removed the normal flow returns. If the log is not removed, the flow of the river changes and the structures it flows over change too. In time, the detoured water changes the surrounding landscape.
In the human body an initial insult, such as the use of forceps at birth, getting stuck in the birth canal, a head injury, or a fall, causes a restriction, sort of a “wrinkle” in the body’s fascia. For most of us, our bodies hurt for a while then heal. When an injury doesn’t heal on its own, the body begins to make allowances for it. The accommodations begin in the fascia: just minor tension and pulling as we move. If the restriction remains the muscles are affected, so maybe our posture turns a little to the right, or we shift our weight to the inside of the soles of our feet. As time goes on, the muscles start affecting the bone, causing heel spurs or hip pops. The “landscape” has changed.
Craniosacral therapy stops the changing of the landscape and restores function and balance to the body. It begins with an assessment of the craniosacral system, based on the symmetry, quality, amplitude and rate of the cerebrospinal fluid.
These four characteristics are assessed throughout the body at various locations such as the pelvis, ribs, clavicles, hyoid, cranial base and sacrum. Once the body is assessed then treatment can begin.
Treatment is surprisingly gentle. Only five grams of pressure (about the weight of a nickel) on the affected areas can cause the fascia to release the restrictions. Treatment restores normal function to the body. It aids in providing synchrony of movement in a variety of ways.
Magda Girao is the assistant director of occupational therapy at the Kaufman Children’s Center for Speech, Language, Sensory-Motor & Social Connections, Inc. in West Bloomfield. She has over 17 years of pediatric experience, and is trained in craniosacral therapy, oral-motor therapy, Handwriting Without Tears®, Therapeutic Listening®, and many other types of therapy. She has worked in schools, clinics, hospitals, community, and home settings, with children from early intervention through high school. Magda’s goal is to create new possibilities for children to excel, and to empower parents to enhance the abilities of their children.