Craniosacral Therapy For Fibromyalgia
Are you having difficulties finding the right fibromyalgia treatment for you? Are you sick and tired of having to endure side effects as a result of your fibromyalgia medication? If so, then you might be interested in investigating craniosacral therapy. Craniosacral therapy, an offshoot of osteopathy, is a relatively new treatment technique that many fibromyalgia sufferers have benefited from. Using gentle palpations, craniosacral therapy promises to help reduce your symptoms of pain, headache, and fatigue and help you get back to enjoying life again.
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is an alternative treatment technique that is very similar to osteopathy and physical therapy. Craniosacral therapy is non-invasive and uses gentle palpations on your skin in order to restore health, reduce pain, and increase resistance to disease. Craniosacral therapy was created in the 1970s by Dr. John Upledger, based on theories developed in the 1930s by William G. Sutherland. It is now widely used in North America.
The Theory of Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy is based on the idea that the craniosacral system is directly related to your overall health. The craniosacral system includes your brain and spinal cord, as well as the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds them. Craniosacral therapists believe that the cerebrospinal fluid emits a measurable pulse as it rises and falls (called the cranial rhythmic impulse), much like your heart and blood vessels do. A healthy pulse should measure between 10 and 14 cycles per minute. However, if this pulse is somehow interfered with, it will cause a number of nasty health problems, including chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia.
In order to treat disease and improve the overall function of your central nervous system, craniosacral therapists locate and measure your cranial rhythmic impulse. This can be measured by placing the fingertips over specific areas of the body. Once your therapist has located the blockage in your rhythmic impulse, he can begin to restore it. This is done through a series of extremely gentle palpations. Your therapist will palpate specific areas of your skull, focusing on the connections between your skull’s bones. By palpating these bones, he will be able to restore a healthy cranial rhythmic impulse, thus reducing symptoms.
Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy in Fibromyalgia Sufferers
There has been no extensive research on craniosacral therapy in treating fibromyalgia. Many studies suggest that craniosacral therapy is helpful for the first few sessions, but after that, it offers no significant improvement in fibromyalgia sufferers. However, craniosacral therapy is highly regarded by many fibromyalgia sufferers. A large percentage have tried craniosacral therapy at least once, and have found it to be extremely effective at reducing their symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome. Craniosacral therapy is purported to:
- reduce widespread pain
- reduce the number of chronic headaches
- increase range of motion
- decrease chronic fatigue
- improve mood
The Treatment Session
Craniosacral treatment sessions generally last between 40 minutes and one hour, depending upon your specific needs. It is usually performed in a quiet office or clinic and should be done by a trained professional. You are fully clothed during the session. You will be asked to lie down on a treatment table. Your practitioner will place her fingers over specific points on your body to measure your cranial rhythmic impulse. She will then begin to palpate your body. She will gently touch the bones in your skull as well as your spine, neck, and head.
During the treatment, you may experience a variety of different sensations. These include:
- extreme relaxation (you may even fall asleep)
- temperature changes throughout your body
- increased energy
- immediate pain relief
After the Treatment
What can you expect to feel after the treatment? Well, it really depends upon the individual, but people often report feeling immediate and continuous pain relief. This pain relief can build up for as long as two weeks after your session. Some patients also feel uplifted and energized in the weeks following treatment.
Finding A Practitioner
If you are interested in trying craniosacral therapy, it is important to find a good, certified practitioner. Most practitioners are already licensed in some form of medical or alternative care, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or osteopathy. Here are some suggestions on how to find a good craniosacral therapist:
- Ask around. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a good practitioner.
- Speak with your health care professional. He might know someone who is experienced in the field.
- Contact your local fibromyalgia support group. These organizations often have access to databases of medical and alternative practitioners.
- Contact a school that licenses people in craniosacral therapy, such as the Upledger Institute.