Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle, non-invasive therapy that stems from the osteopathic tradition and helps correct restrictions and imbalances in the craniosacral system. Paula studied CST because she loved to receive it. During a session, she could feel her nervous system relax and a new, quieter rhythm establish itself in her body.
As a scientist and body worker, when Paula initially looked for research on the benefits of CST, she discovered there hadn't been many rigorous studies done. So in 2009, she recruited three massage therapists, also trained in cranial sacral therapy, to help her do her own research on the effects of CST with migraine patients. The 12 patients in the study were referred by Fort Collins neurologist, Dr. Tamara Miller, and all suffered from chronic headaches or migraines. Each patient received four CST treatments. They filled out a pre and post-study questionnaire and kept a daily log that tracked frequency and severity of headaches. The results were very promising! Click HERE to read the detailed report.
In all twelve cases, CST reduced either the number and/or severity of headaches. In some cases, daily headaches disappeared after the first treatment. CST also significantly improved patients’ sleep; two people even quit taking their sleep medication. Patients also reported a significant improvement in their overall well-being. Their comments tell the story…
“The treatments helped with my mood and stress level. It feels like everything bad in my life just went away.”
“I had made an appointment with my regular doctor to get antidepressants. I am going to see her tomorrow and tell her that I don’t need them now.”
“I was able to feel more like myself without pain. Having that feeling back of who I was before the car accident. Being stable and centered and whole again even if it is only for a couple of days. It was worth it to have that peace again.”
While Paula’s pilot study didn’t meet rigorous scientific standards, (small sample, no control group), it demonstrated the effectiveness of this healing work to those involved. The more Paula learns and works with the cranial system, the greater her appreciation for the osteopathic physicians who pioneered this work in the early 20th century!
More recently, the research community has taken notice of CST. Here is a small, but rigorous study:
- Craniosacral therapy for the treatment of chronic neck pain (2016). This randomized, sham-controlled trial demonstrated that CST reduced neck pain intensity and showed promise in improving function and quality of life.
One of Paula's clients, Ben, shares his story about how craniosacral therapy helped him recover from his head injury. Check out his testimonial in this video!