Massage and Its Many Benefits

Is Craniosacral Therapy The Right Massage Modality For You?

Massage therapy is a great way to manage stress and manage symptoms of various disorders, such as chronic pain or anxiety. However, patients who have never had a massage session may wonder which modality they should choose since there is Swedish massage, deep tissue, Thai, etc. You should consult with your doctor and massage therapist to see which kind of massage therapy is right for you. One therapy you may want to consider is craniosacral treatment therapy; read on to learn more.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle therapy that focuses on releasing tension and circulating cerebrospinal fluid. While every session is different, a practitioner will usually palpate around the skull, like occipital protuberance, and around the spine and the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis. Massage therapists will carefully stretch the back and neck to release tension and restore range of motion in the spine.

Why is it a Good Modality for New Patients?

Some patients may not be used to firm pressure used in deep tissue massage, so craniosacral therapy can be a good modality for beginners since practitioners use light pressure. Craniosacral therapy can also be appealing for some new patients because it can be performed while clothed, and no additional draping is required. However, because craniosacral therapy sessions can be shorter than other modalities, some people might like to combine this therapy with another modality, like Swedish massage.

Is it the Same as Lymphatic Drainage?

Craniosacral therapy is sometimes confused for lymphatic drainage because both are gentle and can improve the flow of lymph fluid through the body. However, massages involving lymphatic drainage focus on blocked lymph nodes and are mainly used to reduce edema. Craniosacral therapy focuses more on addressing inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, sinusitis, tendonitis, etc.

Which Conditions Are Best Treated with Craniosacral Therapy?

Besides addressing inflammatory conditions, craniosacral therapy can be beneficial for people with chronic pain, neck pain, headaches, and temporomandibular dysfunction.

One study found that craniosacral therapy could improve the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia since it reduced perceptions of fatigue and pain. Patients also saw improvements in their sleep and mood. Another study looked at the effects of craniosacral therapy in people with multiple sclerosis; this study found that this massage therapy could be helpful in treating urinary tract symptoms, such as frequency and urgency.   

Again, you should speak with your doctor before starting any type of massage therapy to make sure there are no contraindications. Reach out to a massage therapist today for more information.