The human body is an incredible machine, and each system within the human body plays a key role in overall health and function. However, when asked to pick two of the most important structures within the body—aside from the heart—most people will select the brain and the spinal cord.

This is for good reason, because the brain and spinal cord are key players in what is known as the central nervous system. This system might be best understood as the command center for the whole body, sending and receiving messages about how each system is working and what the body may need to regain and maintain proper function.

The brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system are surrounded by what is known as the craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround these precious organs, providing them with the nourishment and protection necessary for survival in everyday life.

In a sense, the craniosacral system might be considered just as important as the central nervous system it protects. After all, this network of membranes and fluids has a direct impact on the overall health and function of both the brain and the spinal cord. By focusing on the craniosacral system, CranioSacral Therapy aims to benefit the central nervous system and, in turn, the entire body.

Understanding this bit of background, it should be easy to see where CranioSacral Therapy got its name. CranioSacral Therapy is a form of gentle touch therapy applied to the soft tissue that surrounds the craniosacral system. The basic mission of CranioSacral Therapy is to release any restrictions in the soft tissue that surrounds this crucial system.

The theory behind CranioSacral Therapy is that any restrictions in the soft tissue near the craniosacral system could essentially push in on and distort those membranes that encase the brain and spinal cord. This may then lead to the distortion or hindrance of the proper flow of the cerebrospinal fluid inside these membranes.

You may think of the membranes as a garden hose, and the cerebrospinal fluid as the water that flows within that hose. When the garden hose gets kinked or bent or otherwise distorted, the flow of the water is compromised and often weakened.

When such distortions result from soft-tissue restrictions, this is clearly not optimal for the health and function of the central nervous system, the body’s command center. However, a well-trained practitioner of CranioSacral Therapy can take steps to detect and release any soft-tissue restrictions that may be impacting the craniosacral system, thereby bolstering the overall health and function of the brain and spinal cord.

This is the reason you see CranioSacral Therapy used to treat such a broad range of conditions, from chronic pain to medical issues that may have mental or emotional causes. By focusing on the body’s command center, CranioSacral Therapy aims to increase the body’s ability to heal and self-correct from head to toe, inside and out.

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