Kristel at Balance Massage & WellWorks

What is CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and what is your craniosacral system?

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on treatment that can make dramatic improvements in your life. This therapeutic approach tunes into and enhances your craniosacral system.

Your craniosacral system is comprised of tissue and fluid that surround and nourish your brain and spinal cord. It also includes the bones of the head down to the tailbone. This system has a natural rhythm different then your heart beating and your breathing. It is your craniosacral rhythm, and it is the movement of your cerebrospinal fluid.

During CST, a practitioner can feel your craniosacral rhythm to locate restrictions in your body. Restrictions are areas of soft tissue that have tightened due to everyday stress and strain, an accident, emotional trauma, and/or illness. You may feel tissue tightness as pain in your neck and shoulders after a long day of sitting at a desk, a headache after a stressful situation at work, or feeling heaviness in your body after fighting with a loved one, for example. Tissue tightness in your body restricts your craniosacral system which impacts your central nervous system. This means that the condition of your soft tissue can impact nearly every other system in your body.

The goal of CST is to release areas of tissue tightness. By releasing these tissue restrictions your craniosacral system and, thus, your central nervous system will improve.

By freeing the central nervous system to perform at its best, CST naturally eliminates pain and stress, strengthens your resistance to disease, and enhances your health and well-being. And because it's so gentle, CST has proven effective for all ages, from newborns to elders. (Excerpted from Discover CranioSacral Therapy, Upledger Institute, 2008.)

There are many other conditions associated with pain and dysfunction that CST has been effective addressing:

  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Sinus Infections
  • Orthopedic Problems (arthritis, joint pain)
  • Learning Disabilities (ADHD)
  • Emotional Difficulties (Anxiety, Depression)
  • Head Trauma (Whiplash, concussion)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scoliosis
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Post surgical pain

Why do I call myself a Holistic Occupational Therapist?

As a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist since 2011, I help people live life as independently as possible. I call myself a Holistic Occupational Therapist because I incorporate complementary and alternative approaches from my specialized training: the Upledger method of CranioSacral Therapy, Barnes method of Myofascial Release, Power Breath Yoga, and Reiki. I also have training and experience in complete decongestive therapy (lymphatic massage) and cancer rehab.

When I work with you, I am working with your mind, body, and spirit. I am working with your family, lifestyle, and environment. Because of your uniqueness, I may use a different combination of approaches and modalities.

My goal is to help you achieve balance in your life and give you the tools to maintain your health and wellbeing.

I have never had CranioSacral therapy done before. What is it like?

CST can be a very relaxing. Everyone experiences CST differently. During a session, you may feel a relief from pain or tension, experience different sensations in your body, feel various emotions, or have different thoughts and visualizations. After a session, you may still feel relief from pain or tension, have a boost in your mood, experience an increase in energy, and/or feel lighter about everyday issues you face.

During your CST session you will lay on a massage table fully clothed. A session lasts 45 minutes to an hour. During this time, I will use a variety of hand placements from your tailbone to the top of your skull. My hand pressure is very gentle (think of a nickel resting on your skin) yet effective to adjust your soft tissue and bones. In the beginning of the session, I will assess your craniosacral rhythm. Then, I follow your body's lead to find where your restrictions are in your body and release them. CST is a slow and gentle process that offers lasting results. This process enables your body to do its own self healing.

How do I make an appointment for CranioSacral Therapy?

Schedule an appointment with Kristel by calling 414-939-5332 or emailing Appointments for CranioSacral therapy are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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