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CranioSacral Therapy (CST)

CranioSacral Therapy (CST)

 

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on bodywork technique that helps to dissolve restrictions in the CranioSacral System. CST uses holding and gentle pressure to release tensions in the body, which can increase your general relaxation and well-being. CranioSacral Therapy helps with many conditions, including Autism, muscle and joint pain, chronic stress, migraines, mouth/TMJ problems and Alzheimers.

Anatomy

The membranes that surround our brain, spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid are very important – and often forgotten. Membranes are attached to the bones of the skull and the sacrum. When accidents or inflammations cause these membranes to become restricted or to seize up, other parts of the body that seem unrelated are also affected. Gently manipulating the cranial bones and the sacrum frees the membranes, and your whole body can then rebalance and function with more ease.

CranioSacral Therapy works well for every age. Even though it is a powerful technique, it is completely safe for everyone because it is so gentle.

brain

Working with Children

CST works well with children and can be adapted to their age and needs. They can be held on a parent’s lap or be treated while they play with toys. At all times, they are made to feel safe and secure.

Treatments are helpful for children with learning difficulties, cerebral palsy or autism, as well as for a range of health concerns such as hormonal imbalances, digestive problems or behavioral issues such as head banging.

Go to How can CST help Children for a comprehensive list of symptoms and conditions that benefit from CranioSacral Therapy.

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Working with Pregnancy

CranioSacral Therapy can help to increase fertility and prepares the body for conception. Emotional blocks can get cleared and the reproductive organs may come into better functioning.

During pregnancy CST can help with back and joint pains, morning sickness, emotional difficulties or stress and fatigue. In addition to other methods it is also a wonderful way to prepare for the delivery and motherhood….and what is good for mom is also good for the baby.

A specially trained CranioSacral Therapist knows how to support the mother during the birthing process and can help with bonding between mother and child after the delivery. If the baby has difficulty breastfeeding, latching and suckling can be improved as well.

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Working with Seniors

As people age more physical and emotional difficulties emerge. Claudia loves getting to the root causes of people’s issues. For example, anxiety or depression can be caused by dysfunctions in the brain, by restrictions of digestive organs or by traumatic experiences which have not been cleared from the body. There is a good chance that your emotions can settle down with regular CranioSacral treatments.

CranioSacral Therapy has shown to improve brain functions and there is currently a research study in progress to show how dementia can be influenced by CST. If you are interested in learning more or would like to participate in a private case study, please phone Claudia Parkinson.

seniors

Professional Associations and Memberships

Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)
College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA)

Questions People Ask

How can CranioSacral Therapy help me?

CST can help you in many ways – both desired and unexpected. It can help to increase your general relaxation and well-being. It often balances and smooths how your body, organs and brain function. Energy levels often increase after a session, and you can feel more like yourself again.

Pain

CST can ease every kind of pain, such as joint aches, headaches, back pain, fibromyalgic pain and muscle pain after injuries. It also helps with stiffness. We can often measure an increase in the range of motion (ROM) after CST treatments.

Stress

CranioSacral Therapy has a calming and balancing effect on the autonomic nervous system. You can experience better sleep, better digestion and a relaxed body and mind. CST can also assist the immune and endocrine system in achieving greater balance.

Migraines

CST is likely to help you with migraine headaches, especially if the cause is in your CranioSacral system. Many people have experienced ongoing relief from headaches after CST treatments.

I offer specialized CST training and experience for the following conditions:

Pregnancy

CST can help with many complaints experienced during pregnancy. It can help you to sleep better, experience less pain, and reduce nausea. Your baby will probably benefit from CST treatments as well.

Autism

For children with Autism, ongoing CST treatments have decreased agitation, improved speech, increased mind-body coordination, and improved social interaction. The autistic child benefits greatly from treatments every two weeks until adulthood. And it’s a good idea to continue with regular maintenance sessions for life.

TMJ pain and dental issues

CST can help with a number of dental and other problems in the mouth, such as teeth grinding and clenching. Sometimes people come to me with a chronic toothache that the dentist can’t find a reason for. A certain way of holding the tooth can release the tension and discomfort.

Aging

CST helps with pains, stiffness, sleeplessness and the functioning of inner organs. Some techniques can be very restorative and detoxifying for your nervous system, and that helps with memory loss. Some people even feel younger after CST sessions!

How can CranioSacral Therapy help children?

Children with any of the following conditions and symptoms can benefit from CST treatments:

Accident recovery Headaches/MigrainesScoliosis
ADD/concentration problems Head-banging Seizures
ADHDHead shape not normal Shaken baby syndrome
AutismLearning delaysSleep problems
Cerebral palsy Movement disordersSpeech/verbal delays
ColicsNervous tics Surgery, reducing complications
Coordination problems Nursing problems Swallowing problems
DepressionProjectile vomiting, spitting upTeeth misaligned
Developmental delays or stallingPTSDTorticollis
Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Respiratory problems Tourette’s syndrome
Ear infections Violent/aggressive behaviours

How can CranioSacral Therapy help adults?

Adults with any of the following symptoms or conditions can benefit from CST treatments:

Abdominal pain DizzinessLeg numbness, weakness Shoulder pain
Alzheimer’s support Ear, ringing in; TinnitusLung, COPD Sinusitis, chronic
Ankle painEnergy low

Lung infections, chronic Smell, loss of
AnxietyFibromyalgiaMacular degeneration Spasticity
Arm numbness, weaknessFoot pain Menstruation problems Speech problems
Back pain Headaches Motor problems following surgery or injury Spinal column injuries
Balance problems Head injuries Migraines Stress reduction/ calming anxiety
Body pain, all over, Hearing problemsNausea Stroke recovery
Brain fog Hip painNeck alignment Surgery, pain support after
Brain injury HIV+ painNeck pain Tailbone/sacrum pain
Breathing problemsHospice support Pelvic inflammatory disease TMJD , jaw pain
Cancer treatment supportICU/Intensive Care Unit support Post-polio Trauma recovery
Carpal tunnel syndrome InfertilityPregnancy supportTraumatic brain injury/TBI
Chronic fatigue/low energy Jaw pain
PTSDTrigeminal neuralgia
Concussion, post-concussion syndrome Knee pain
Rheumatoid arthritis Vertigo
Coordination problems Lactation/Nursing problemsVision problems
Depression Leg painShoulder, frozen Whiplash
How long does it take?

CST timeframes recommended for different clients  

•  90-120 min    full session

•  60 min            short session

•  30 min            children and very sensitive elderly

For adults, I recommend a 2 hour session to begin with.

How does a session work?

What to wear

For CranioSacral Therapy you can remain fully dressed. It helps if you wear a thin layer of comfortable stretchy clothing.

What I do

I use a skillful touch (palpation) to find the restrictions in your body and hold them very gently. This treatment usually feels pleasant. Sometimes you will feel pain or discomfort from past experiences for awhile. This feeling generally disappears during the treatment.

CranioSacral Therapy is based on the discovery of subtle rhythms, pulses and flows within the craniosacral system and the whole body. When I place my hands on your body at certain places, such as the head, ribcage, and legs, I sense subtle movements in the tissues. I am reading or assessing the craniosacral rhythm, which can be felt everywhere in the body. When I find irregularities or asymmetries – or even areas of non-movement in the craniosacral rhythm, I get an idea where your body needs help. Often I move by intuition, directly knowing where to put my hands during a session.

How many sessions will I need for my problem?

It will depend on the cause of your condition and how you and your body respond to this therapy. Sometimes the problem disappears after one session. In other cases, several treatments are required. It is difficult to predict.

 

I recommend that you commit to 3-5 sessions and then evaluate if CST has been effective for you. If it has been effective, it is good to book maintenance sessions each month.

Every body is different. I can’t promise a certain outcome, because I don’t honestly know how long you will need to “fix” or deal with your particular issue. If a condition is chronic, regular CST sessions can be very soothing and help you to function better in your life.

I didn't feel much during the session. Why not?

CranioSacral Therapy is very gentle and non-intrusive – the gentler the touch, the deeper the body will let me in. If I used a strong touch, your body would likely go into resistance and I couldn’t reach where I need to work.

Massage therapy uses a stronger, harder touch, and you can feel the effects right away on the muscular level. With CranioSacral touch you might not feel much, but that does not mean that little or nothing has happened.

What I do is so subtle that many people will not notice it. CST works with the subtle movements of the craniosacral rhythm and the subtle movement of the bones. If you get CST sessions more often, you might learn to tune into what is happening.

What happens after a session?

It is possible that your body will realign during a session. After the treatment you might feel minor aches or pains for a day or two as the muscles adjust to this new position.

Especially on the day of the treatment, be sure to drink lots of water. Soaking in a hot tub or a hot bath with Epsom salts can help you to integrate the effects of the session. I recommend that you take it easy for at least one day after the treatment.

 Bamboo Massage Therapy

Enjoy the warmth!

A new favorite….

Polished and heated bamboo tools are used to provide the effects of Swedish massage or a deep tissue massage. Similar to hot stones, a warm bamboo massage can be deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.

Even though Bamboo Massage is not  yet well known, many people who have tried it really like it. It feels good and the heat goes deep into the muscles and makes the massage more effective. I am using fractionated coconut oil as it is healthy for your skin. Nut free oil is available upon request.

massage

A Massage Therapy session can range from 45 to 120 minutes. It can be slow and gentle or more vigorous, just as you prefer.

You will be fully draped as per provincial requirements.

Swedish Massage Therapy

Swedish Massage Therapy is a gentle full-body massage that allows you to relax from physical, mental and emotional stress, restoring harmony and flow. Simply exhale and let your tensions melt away. As your body and mind relax, your breath can deepen, and you can become more aware of your body’s wisdom and its ability to restore and heal itself.

 

Effects of Massage Therapy

  • Deepens and eases breathing
  • Relaxes and or invigorates
  • Relieves cramps and muscle spasms
  • Relieves muscle pain, tension and stiffness
  • Improves posture/ body alignment
  • Increases flexibility and range of motion in joints
  • Improves circulation and nourishment of skin and joints
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Stimulates the lymphatic system
  • May lower the blood pressure
Do I need Deep Tissue Massage?

Many people request a deep tissue massage. I believe that muscles get tight to protect more delicate structures of the body, like organs, nerves or vessels. So I want to take care of the underlying causes of a tight muscle first before trying to relax it. The exception would be if you are doing a lot of sports. In that case, you should look for a sports massage therapist.

When I do deep tissue work, I use wooden tools like warm bamboo to get a similar effect. This protects my hands for doing other kinds of hands-on treatments.

I am an athlete. What can you offer me?

If you play hockey, soccer, or football and have had concussions, come see me for CranioSacral Therapy. It’s effective, and I really like to help people’s brains get better. I can also help if you have a limited range of motion of the joints, balance problems, or old injuries. If you want a deep tissue massage, I am not the one to see – unless you want a bamboo massage!

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