Diane Lade
Craniosacral Manipulation: A Somatoenergetic Approach

Craniosacral Manipulation is a gentle healing art that works with a subtle yet palpable rhythm emanating from the brain and spinal cord. This work activates one’s inherent self-healing capacity and facilitates deep changes within the entire self, in both structure and function.

The craniosacral concept was first articulated in the early 1900s by an American Osteopathic doctor, William Sutherland. Dr. Sutherland observed that the bones of the head have an intrinsic rhythm, a movement that is palpable by the human hand. He spent more than 50 years researching what he discovered, and applying this knowledge to create a powerful therapeutic modality. Today, practitioners within and outside the Osteopathic profession are now utilizing Sutherland’s craniosacral principles and techniques. Naturally, this work has evolved since its beginnings, as new practitioners gain experience, and new research and science emerge.

Essentially, the craniosacral system includes all the bones of the head and spine, the brain and spinal cord, and all of its surrounding membranes and fluids. Research has shown that this inherent rhythm can be observed in the membranous tissues during brain/spinal cord surgery, and that it is measurable using delicate, state-of-the-art scientific instruments. More and more anatomists, doctors and therapists recognize the validity of this vital, intrinsic mechanism.

In terms of health, the importance of the craniosacral system lies in the fact that it embraces all of the central nervous system. Any changes to the surrounding environment of the brain and spinal cord (i.e. tissues, fluid and bones) can produce profound local and systemic affects. Specifically, changes in the craniosacral rhythm (in terms of amplitude, rate, symmetry and vitality) are markers of disorganized physiological function, which leads to pathological disorder and illness. There are numerous causes of craniosacral dysfunction, notably: birth injures, impaired childhood development, accidents and trauma at any age, surgery, and so forth. Also, restrictions within the system tend to compromise one’s natural ability to heal, which may cause or aggravate many conditions.

Craniosacral Manipulation is a gentle, hands-on method for evaluating and treating disorders within the craniosacral system. It is suitable for all ages - babies, children, adults and the elderly. When indicated, Craniosacral Manipulation helps restore health, increases vitality and our natural self-healing capacity. It can improve one’s clarity of mind and emotional balance.

Some specific conditions we have worked with are: migraine headaches, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, chronic fatigue, birth traumas, fibromyalgia, depression, whiplash, sinusitis, chronic neck and back pain, TMJ (temporomandibular joint syndrome), post-surgical dysfunction, tinnitus and middle ear problems, hearing and vision problems, dyslexia, learning disabilities, post-natal recovery, pediatric problems, nerve pain and more.

Craniosacral Manipulation is only indicated when there is a dysfunction within the craniosacral system. Our work is with the entire individual, helping to restore function and vitality, and not with a condition or disease per se.