CST is a gentle hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve the whole-body health and performance. The emphasis is to help resolve the trapped forces that underlie and govern patterns of disease and fragmentation in both body and mind. Through the development of subtle palpatory skills the practitioner can read the story of the body, identify places where issues are held and then follow the natural priorities for healing.
With its origin in the osteophatic tradition (Dr. Still's school), it was W.G. Sutherland (1930s), working with his intuition, who established Cranial Osteopathy basis.
It becomes an independent discipline (1970s) thanks to 40 years work from Dr. Jonh E. Upledger. Currently there are two approaches: biomechanical (John E. Upledger) and biodynamic (Franklyn Sills), which can be combined in the quest of optimal wellbeing, widening the field of results.
Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the CS system which has been shown to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, as well as many other systems of the body, such as digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and more.
Some examples of how CST may help can be found here.
Few structures have as much influence over the body's ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the CS system - the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
The CS system is comprised of the bones of the head, spine, face and mouth as well as the fascia and more delicate membranes and fluids contained within. It helps protect and assist the delicate tissues of our nervous system; such as the brain, spinal cord and fine nerve fibres. It is interconnected with the entire body.
The practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate this system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord.
It is the subtle pulsation of the CS system as cerebrospinal fluid circulates through it in a dynamic loop. Although the focus is in and around the head and spinal column, the treatment may be applied anywhere on the body. By using ‘listening hands’, the practitioner feels how well the rhythm is reflecting out to the rest of the body and what s/he may be able to do to improve its function.