When we say someone has a “light touch,” we usually don’t mean it literally. It’s often not referencing a physical nature, but more of someone who has a general delicacy about him. Likewise, when we say someone has a “magic touch,” typically, we don’t mean they are actually channeling supernatural powers with their fingers.

But if a practitioner of CranioSacral Therapy is said to have a touch that is magical or light, that’s a different story. CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle method of physical manipulation in which practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues surrounding the central nervous system. It literally requires a light touch–no greater than 5 grams usually. And while it technically is not magic, it is purported to help those suffering from a huge array of medical issues, including chronic fatigue, scoliosis, migraines, various stress-related disorders and other ailments.

The body’s craniosacral system consists of the membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord, also known as the central nervous system. The idea behind CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is that our daily activities lead these tissues to tighten or become distorted, which can create restrictions in the central nervous system. Because the brain and spinal cord are essential to the body’s ability to function, anything that affects them has the potential to affect the entire body, according to CST practitioners.

CST works to correct any disturbances to the craniosacral system, and, subsequently, adjust any other problems that could be caused by these issues. Using his or her hands, a CST practitioner will gingerly touch strategic parts of the body, looking to get an idea of how the cerebrospinal fluid is flowing around the brain and spinal cord. The practitioner then uses his or her “magic touch” to release any restrictions or tensions in these tissues. Restoring the natural, normal flow of the craniosacral system, the practitioner theoretically improves the body’s ability to function as a whole.

Those who are loyal to CST swear by it for correcting many types of problems, from sports injuries to even some neurological issues. Of course, CST isn’t really magic, and won’t fix everything. In fact, there are several conditions for which the therapy is not recommended, including cerebral hemorrhage or acute aneurysm. Response to CST also varies depending on the individual, and even those with similar conditions might need a different number of sessions to fix their problem. For some clients, it only takes one session to get them feeling like themselves again but, for others, it take several sessions or even several weeks of sessions.

But however long it takes, many find the approach helpful. No, it may not actually be magic, but it does require a certain touch and a certain skill.

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