Sunday, May 15, 2011

Craniosacral Therapy-What is it?

What is Craniosacral Therapy?  This is a question that I get asked a lot.  Craniosacral therapy is a very light gentle touch therapy used with pressure no heavier than the weight of a nickel to work with your central nervous system, your craniosacral rhythm, your cerebral spinal fluid and the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord.  What does this mean for you?  The central nervous system or (CNS) for short effects every other system in our bodies.  The craniosacral system has such a strong impact on the CNS, that if the craniosacral rhythm is out of sync, it can throw off your CNS.  Our bodies remember every stress or trauma that has ever happened in our lives.  The memories of that stress and trauma can throw off our CNS and cause problems in other areas of our bodies.  There is not a single system in our body that is not affected by the craniosacral system.  Craniosacral therapy can help us to heal imbalances physically, mentally and emotionally.  It has helped with pain and injuries, austism, ADHD, migraines and many other conditions.  The first time that I had craniosacral therapy done to me, it realigned my back.  Some craniosacral therapy success stories in my own clients have been remarkable as well.  Some people have said that it realigned their pelvis.  Misaligned pelvis usually means a leg length difference due to one hip being higher than the other, which is very common in most people and can sometimes cause pain in other areas of our body such as low back, shoulder, neck, etc.  One person whose pelvis was reset from craniosacral therapy works in a physical therapy clinic and said that it felt like it was reset by another therapist in her clinic.  Another person with TMJ said that she had less pain, her jaw stopped clicking and that she could feel that the alignment moved for the better despite how gentle the work is.  Craniosacaral therapy works with your body so it can self correct on its own, nothing is ever forced.  Dr. John Upledger first discovered the craniosacral system during surgery and Michigan State University.  He was assisting another physician and his job was to hold down the spinal cord so it wouldn't move, and it would no stop moving no matter what because the craniosacral system is always moving.  What can you expect out of a craniosacral therapy session?  Craniosacral therapy is often done on a massage table fully clothed, or under a blanket if combined with massage.  I generally work between your tailbone and your skull, although some work is also done on the limbs.  When I am assessing your craniosacral system, I am assessing how strong your craniosacral rhythm is and assisting your body in self correcting restrictions throughout your body.  If you have questions about craniosacral therapy, feel free to ask your questions in the comment section of this blog.

People often wonder what self treatments are available from home in between treatment sessions.  I have what is called a craniocradle.  The craniocradle is a green foam device that comes with instructions and is very user friendly.  It can be bought at and the website even has a tutorial video that can be watched about how to use it.  It assists with your craniosacral rhythm as well as relieving tired muscles.  The craniocradle helped me to stop my own migraine headache in its tracks.  A friend of mine borrowed it, within 30 seconds of using it asked me where she could buy one because she could feel her hips relaxing and moving.  No two people's experiences will be the same. It has instructions about how to use it as well as contraindications, who shouldn't use it.  If you have not experienced as craniosacral therapy session for yourself, I highly recommend that you do so that you have an idea about what to expect when using a craniocradle.  This has not replaced my need for full sessions, but nice to have in between sessions.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My own history of pain and injuries

My name is Christine Baker.  This blog is going to be primarily about pain and injury treatment and prevention.  I would like to start out this first post introducing myself and discussing my own history with pain and injuries that led me to my path as a massage therapist.  I majored in music in college receiving a BA in music from Western Michigan University playing the clarinet.  From the time that I started playing in the band at 12 years old, I ate, breathed and slept music.  I practiced a minimum of a couple of hours a day, not because anyone made me, but because I really enjoyed it.  When I entered college to major in music, the practice schedules got longer and I also played in several groups adding rehearsal times onto that.  I started to develop pain in my right hand and wrist from the hours of playing a day, that I eventually got a clarinet neck strap by the end of college.  When I graduated college, most of the jobs I had involved sitting at a desk 8 hours a day in front of the computer.  This made the right wrist and hand situation even worse.  I started to read up on anything that I could find about repetitive stress pain, musicians injuries and computer use injuries.  The more I read up on these topics, I wanted to find out what career options would be available to me to help others who also have pain and injuries in a holistic way that would possibly eliminate the need for anything drastic.  I started out majoring in physical therapy and decided that I prefer to work with people differently than in a physical therapy clinic.  I changed over to massage therapy.  In addition to massage therapy, I also learned reiki and craniosacral therapy based on what has helped me.  The reiki helped me to heal at the core, meaning that any pain that was caused by emotional stress went away with the reiki.  Before the reiki, anything that massage got rid of just came back.  With craniosacral therapy, it is light gentle work used with pressure no heavier than the weight of a nickel.  The first time that I had it done, it realigned the bones in my back.  Craniosacral therapy works with the central nervous system to enhance the cerebral spinal fluid and membranes around the brain and spinal cord.  No two people's experiences with any body work modality will be the same.  I incorporate massage, reiki and craniosacral therapy in treatment sessions.