This gentle hands-on method of working with the craniosacral system, has helped thousands of practitioners effectively remedy a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. You, too, can learn how to enhance the body’s natural healing process.
Like most chiropractors, I spent many years focused on the subluxation factor. Ironically, it wasn’t until I began practicing a different hands-on modality—CranioSacral Therapy—that the chronic subluxations I released through chiropractic began to resolve themselves permanently.
CranioSacral Therapy is designed to free restrictions in the craniosacral system, which is formed by the dura mater membrane, the cerebrospinal fluid within the membranes, the systems regulating fluid flow, the bones that attach to the membranes, and the joints and sutures interconnecting these bones.
Because it houses the central nervous system, it’s easy to see how the craniosacral system can affect subluxations so dramatically. A restriction in the meninges or any dural reflections—the falx cerebri, the falx cerebelli, the tentorium cerebelli—and even contractures within the dural tube can play into a subluxation pattern. Indeed, restrictions anywhere in the body, whether fascial, bony or muscular, can refer into the craniosacral system and affect chronic subluxation.
Consider that nerve roots are covered by dural sleeves. A restriction in the sleeve that compresses the root and affects the nerves from the root to the vertebral muscles can cause the vertebrae to compress together or become misaligned.
Just manipulating the involved vertebrae doesn’t necessarily affect the restriction of the dural sleeve, nor any pulls from other parts of the dura mater membrane. But, by using CranioSacral Therapy, you get to the root of the problem by directly releasing the dural restrictions that are compressing the nerves in the first place.
Consider, also, the effects of the facilitated spinal cord. When nerve roots refer increased impulse activity into the spinal cord from their peripheral domains, they can create a facilitated condition of the related spinal cord segments. Hyperactivity in the facilitated spinal cord segments then causes impulses to be sent out to the related dural sleeves, nerves and end organs, which then refer back into the spinal cord.
The result? More dural tube tightening and loss of mobility, with increased nerve pressure and more dural tube sleeve contracture, resulting in continual neuronal firing. And, because the nerves in the area go to the intervertebral muscles, the condition causes them to contract and create fixation and subluxation.
In clinical applications, CranioSacral Therapy effectively helps release dural tube restrictions to normalize the activity of the facilitated spinal cord segments. To locate these areas of restricted mobility, the evaluator tests the mobility of the dural tube and releases restrictions as they’re found, using gentle traction techniques.
Keep in mind that, if a peripheral restriction is released but the dural tube restriction and facilitated spinal cord segments are not, the peripheral problem usually reoccurs. That’s why it’s been so helpful to me to combine CranioSacral Therapy with chiropractic, to more effectively release the hold on chronic subluxation patterns.
A 1981 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, Lisa Upledger, D.C., is Vice President of Clinical Services at The Upledger Institute, Inc., in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where she has been a staff clinician and instructor since 1991.
Dr. Upledger will explore CranioSacral Therapy and subluxation in depth at seminars and demonstrations at the CHIROPRACTIC ’06 Symposium being held in the Republic of Panama on Feb. 12-15, 2006. You can register at