A variety of craniosacral therapy training programmes exist in North America and the UK.
Patients like cranial sacral therapy because of its gentleness, and are requesting this type of therapy more frequently. Practitioners can either use the modality to supplement their existing professional practice, or gain employment as a registered craniosacral therapist in a variety of healthcare settings.
Based on anatomy and physiology and used as an alternative to traditional medical treatment, cranial sacral therapy also known as craniosacral therapy is a form of gentle, non-invasive bodywork; the principles of which were developed by John Upledger, an osteopathic doctor at Michigan State University in the 1970s.
Cranial sacral therapy supports the body's own propensity for repair and self-healing. Practitioners use specific hand positioning techniques and palpation skills to release tension or restrictions in the patient's craniosacral system. This can lead to improvements in the functioning of the patient's nervous system, increases in the mobility of inflamed joints and relieve headaches.
During the 1880s, William Sutherland and other osteopaths in the UK developed a similar treatment known as biodynamic craniosacral therapy, which employs skills such as palpation, subtle listening, mindfulness, stillness and silence, and acknowledgement of the principles of the "Breath of Life" or the life-force in the body of a patient. More recently, both types of craniosacral work combined to form integrated craniosacral therapy.
A limited amount of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy exists. A 2013 study demonstrates its effectiveness in a small group of migraine sufferers in Iceland - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337558. Practitioners also use this modality to treat a variety of medical conditions including: back pain, chronic stress, vertigo, scoliosis, brain injuries, chronic pain, learning disabilities and fibromyalgia. A descriptive outcome study of NHS patients of all ages from new born babies to adults in the UK shows that the therapy is effective in treating headaches, migraine, depression, anxiety, neck problems, back ache and restless infants www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21214395