Anatomy of the
There are 4 main parts to the
The human body is able to function as a result, of numerous complex systems that are part of the body's make up. The system that is relevant to Craniosacral Therapy is named the 'craniosacral system' and it is composed primarily of membranes and Cerebro-spinal fluid that travel up and down the central nervous system.
The functions of the cerebrospinal fluid gets carried out as it circulates within the craniosacral system. It circulates between the cells of the brain and the spinal cord and fills the spaces to cushions and protect them. It is a clear, water-like fluid that is also known as spinal fluid. This fluid is found between the arachnoid and pia mater in the space called "sub-arachnoid space" and it gets created within the lateral ventricles in the centre of the brain, called "the choroid plexus". There is about 140 cc (about ½ can of soda) of spinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spine and although entry is selective, the cerebrospinal fluid also crosses cell membranes to enter extracellular compartments.
Cerebrospinal fluid functions include:
- Floating the brain so the effects of gravity are reduced by about 75-80 percent.
- Serving as a shock absorber so the brain is not traumatised by striking the inner surface of the cranium during sudden movements of the head or body.
- Providing nutrients to the brain and spinal cord as well the pituitary and pineal glands, both of which are enclosed in the Craniosacral system.
- Washing away' waste products and toxic substances that have been deposited within and between cells of the Cerebrospinal fluid.
- Lubricating between cells of the centre nervous system to prevent friction or improper contact that could short-circuit electrical nerve impulses or damage cell walls.
- Maintaining the proper concentrations of electrolyte substances (ions) necessary for creating and transmitting nerve impulses so we can think, remember, feel and move.
The dura membrane is attached to the 8 bones of the cranium - left and right parietal bones - left and right temporal bones - frontal bone - occipital bone - sphenoid - ethmoid. The 2nd and 3rd bones of the neck, the sacrum and the coccyx. Consequently these bones and by connection, other bones of the body, move in response to the tidal expansion and contraction of the craniosacral rhythm.
While there’s still some debate regarding how craniosacral therapy works to reduce pain, discomfort and a variety of other symptoms, one theory is that fascia tissue restrictions within the craniosacral system can lead to abnormal motion of the cerebrospinal fluid and this pressure can be placed on certain nerves, causing tightness in connective tissues.
Monitoring the range and relative freedom of movement of these tissues and cranial bones is a key diagnostic tool for the craniosacral therapist. During a craniosacral therapy session the practitioner will tune into this craniosacral system by placing their hands on specific body parts.The light touch to the body allows the practitioner to evaluate the functioning of the system.The aim is that the practitioner works with the spine, cranial structures and fascia in order to ease any restrictions to the nerve passages and stimulate the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord and cranium.
While there is no guarantee that Craniosacral Therapy will work for everyone who tries it, there is evidence that Craniosacral Therapy can help decrease many common ailments including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia symptoms, headaches, muscle pain and even symptoms of colic or discomfort in infants and babies.