November 29, 2023
• Craniosacral Therapy is based on the theory that the cerebrospinal fluid ebbs and flows within
the membrane around the brain and spinal cord, increasing or decreasing pressure on the
cranium in the process. For some individuals, whether through illness or injury, the craniosacral
rhythmic flow may be disrupted or impeded, resulting in chronic pain, discomfort or ailments
such as recurring ear and sinus infections. Through this gentle therapy, we apply very light
movements to the skull to mobilize the craniosacral rhythmic flow of fluid. By doing so, we can
help increase relaxation and improve circulation in order to promote positive healing effects
throughout the body.
• Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the
body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was
pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical
testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as a professor of
• Using a soft touch, which is generally no greater than 5 grams—about the weight of a nickel,
practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system.
CST is increasingly used as a preventative health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to
disease, and it’s effectiveness for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and
• Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain
and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. The central nervous system is heavily
influenced by the craniosacral system—the membranes and fluid that surround, protect, and
nourish the brain and spinal cord.
• Everyday your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for.
Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral
system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord
resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central
nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
• The practitioner will feel various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm
of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord in order to release
restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system. By normalizing the environment
around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, Craniosacral
Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries
to stroke and neurological impairments.
• Craniosacral Therapy can address these conditions
-Migraines and Headaches
-Chronic Neck and Back Pain
-Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
-Infant and Childhood Disorders
-Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
-Central Nervous System Disorders
-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
-and Many Other Conditions
During this workshop u will learn how:
• to detect and evaluate the Craniosacral Rhythm
• to do a Dural Tube Rock
• to do a Vault Hold
• to perform a CV4
• Inducing a Still Point
• to do a Cranial Base Release
These techniques are simple to perform and beneficial to add into a massage therapy session.
Always ask permission to touch prior to making contact the client’s body.
The CST rhythm can be detected in various ways. With the client lying supine, and therapist at the head
of the client, Cup the skull and feel for the widening (extension) and narrowing (flexion) of the skull.
Standing at the side of the client on the side of the table, Place your hand on the thigh and feel for the
rolling in (narrowing/flexion) and rolling out (widening/extension) of the thigh. One can find and
evaluate the craniosacral rhythm anywhere on the body however these two areas are easiest and avoid
• Feel for length of excursion between widening and narrowing. Symmetry and smoothness of
• The Craniosacral Rhythm averages between 6-12 pulses per minute.
Dural Tube Rock
Have client lye supine sitting at the side of the table by the side of the client. Place one hand on the back
of the skull and the other under the sacrum. To feel the craniosacral rhythm, there will be a glide
towards the head or feet and vice versa. This will be a rhythmic gliding up (towards the head) and down
(towards the feet). Again, feeling for length, symmetry, and smoothness of motion between flexion and
Sitting at the head of the table, gently place on hand under the skull and the other on the top/forehead
of the client. The entire head will rock forward/nodding towards the feet in flexion and rock
backward/like looking up for extension. Always feeling for length of excursion between flexion and
extension, symmetry and smoothness of motion during both excursions.
Compression of the 4th ventricle using a Craniosacral Osteopathic technique. The client lays down
supine. The therapist holds the squamous part of the occipital bone with its lateral angles. Feel for
cranial rhythm and note length, symmetry, and smoothness of motion in the rhythm. The therapist
holds the cranium into extension which is actually the narrowing of the two angles (because the anterior
portion of the face and head is actually widening) and waits for a motionless state. After the
reappearance of the cranial pulse, reevaluate the symmetry, smoothness and length of excursion
compared to prior evaluation of these aspects.
Inducing a Still Point
A Still Point induction can be performed with a CV4 as above or at the feet or anywhere on the body by
holding the craniosacral rhythm in flexion or extension to temporarily stop the rhythm. The temporary
stop can last a few seconds to several minutes. Always evaluate rhythm before and after induction.
Cranial Base Release
The Cranial Base release is one of the more challenging techniques performed by the therapist. Sitting at
the head of the table and client, use fingers of both hands to lift the C 1 up/anterior/towards the ceiling.
Allow the skull to gently fall back down towards the table while stabilizing holding C 1. This allows C 1 to
move anterior opening up the foramen magnum to allow for proper flow of cerebral spinal fluid, arterial
flow to brain, and nerve flow. This technique tends to be a favorite for clients as it relieves a significant
amount of tension and rebalances the C 1 placement. In our society you might notice a common head
forward posture. This causes the C 1 to slide posterior and partially block the arterial, nervous, and
cerebral spinal fluid flows. This sight, when restricted, can be tender. Assure client that as they relax and
allow their head to drop down towards the table that the tenderness will lessen.
These techniques will be demonstrated in class as well as students practice performing on each other.