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Cranial work

What it is:
Cranio-sacral Therapy is a gentle non-intrusive, hands on therapy based on the principals of cranial osteopathy.

How it works:
The cranium, spine, and lower back are all housed by a light membrane that is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. This system of fluid and membrane acts like a hydraulic system with its own motility that regulates the nervous system. Problems in any of these areas affect the entire nervous system. Cranio-sacral work manipulates the membrane sutures that fuse the plates of the skull to normalize and regulate the flow of cerebrospinal fluid*. By normalizing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, cranio-sacral therapy normalizes the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system. This is done with extremely light touch (not exceeding five grams, of the weight of a nickel, and usually less) to various areas on the spine and skull while the person being treated is fully clothed.

* Despite common belief, plates in the skull are not fused during adolescence. Slight degrees of movement continue through adulthood. Stress, birth trauma, and head injuries can move the plates and change the balance within the membrane. This change in balance can lead to sleep disorders, headaches, and many other problems related to the nervous system.

Its benefits:
Cranio-sacral therapy is effective at unwinding holding patterns on muscles and is an effective treatment for migraines, TMJ, sinus problems, cluster headaches, seizure disorders, insomnia, and soft-tissue injuries. Part of its long-term effectiveness derives from its focus on the problems themselves, rather than the symptoms. By addressing the nervous system directly, cranio-sacral work also promotes an overall sense of well-being and calm, giving the recipient a sense of being focused, grounded, and rested.

For these same reasons, cranio-sacral therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for children with autism and other developmental and learning disorders. More commonly practiced types of body work that focus on relaxation are often inappropriate for children with autism, who can be hyper-sensitive to touch. Autistic children tend to be highly sensitive; their tendency to be introverted is often a result of their sense that their immediate environment continually assaults their senses. Many children with developmental and learning problems have severe compression of the plates of their skulls, which makes it difficult for them to focus outward. Cranio-sacral therapy alleviates that pressure and balances the cerebrospinal fluid system. This calms them and helps them focus by providing them with a buffer for their heightened sense, which makes it easier for them to interact with their environment, and thus less prone to the extreme behavior often associated with autism.

When children with autism and other development and learning problems receive regular (once weekly) cranio-sacral therapy, there is often a marked improvement in the child’s ability to focus on tasks, to develop regular sleep patterns, to make eye contact, and to relate with others. The repetitive, harmful behavior often associated with autism and other developmental disorders, such as head-banging and tantrums, tend to decrease as the child and their nervous system are calmed by the treatment. This improves their ability to learn, and their ability to interact with others, including their families. Improved sleep patterns make them, and their parents, calmer and more capable during the day. Increased ability to focus allows them to benefit fully from their educational programs.

Hands on Heads, Inc. is a 501c3 california nonprofit organization.
phone: (510) 527-0747 email: hohinc@comcast.net