The ability for the body to function correctly and efficiently is largely dependent on the health of the brain. This incredible organ controls nearly every mechanism within the body. While conscious functions are obviously controlled by the human brain, autonomic acts such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature and a host of other vital mechanisms are also reliant upon the proper functioning of the mind. There are theories that an imbalance of what is known as cerebrospinal fluid can lead to a host of medical problems. Thus, alternative treatments exist that involve the manipulation of this fluid with hopes that certain physical and mental symptoms will be alleviated as a result.
One purported method to reestablish the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (hereafter simply referred to as CSF) is to actively manipulate and correct the "flow" of this CSF through minor pressure on the joints of the skull (the squiggly lines that are scientifically known as the synarthrodial joints). The basic theory that a correct balance of the fluid through the slight manipulation of these joints can alleviate many diseases of the mind and body.
Proponents of cranial sacral therapy claim that the physical manipulation of the skull's joints through light touch can be effective in treating a number of conditions such as:
However, it should be noted that many doctors state that there is no conclusive proof that this treatment is efficacious in treating any physical condition such as cancer or a tumour. So, many patients (and practitioners, for that matter) believe that the mechanisms of healing are as much psychosomatic as they are truly physical.
It is generally believed that this form of therapy is safe to perform, assuming that one is a licensed practitioner. Still, there are some conditions when this treatment should never be used. This is critical in any cases where there is a preexisting condition of raised pressure within the skull. Any change in pressure, even from the lightest of touches, may cause a dangerous instability.
There are several courses currently available for those who have no prior experience in this field. In fact, one does not need to boast a massage licence or any other medical skill set. However, it should be noted that certain regions may require a licence in another form of touch therapy in order to legally practise cranial sacral therapy. It is advisable to communicate with local authorities to determine as to whether this may be the case.
While the medical community has yet to verify the usefulness of cranial sacral therapy, many patients have reported vast improvements in their quality of life after experiencing treatments. Thus, it is thought that the efficacy is largely to do with the severity of any preexisting conditions as well as the patient's belief system.
Nonetheless, thousands of practitioners will stand behind their claims that this treatment represents a viable option for those with underlying conditions that may have little chances of being alleviated by traditional medical techniques.