Even when there is no universally accepted conventional explanation regarding their success, some forms of alternative medicine produce effective and helpful results. This is generally true for craniosacral therapy, which has been surrounded by controversy since its inception. Many patients insist that it deserves individual evaluation based on uniformly good results, rather than current medical opinion alone.
Primarily based on the opinions and observations of an osteopathic doctor named John Upledger, the practice is based on the regular bio-rhythms associated with the fluid systems working within the spinal cord and brain. Over the years, these findings have evolved into his belief that when this rhythm is interrupted by physical disease, environmental stress or toxins, there are detectable blockages formed within the system. Balance may be restored through specific manual practices, often accompanied by lymphatic drainage, or even massage.
Those who advocate this method insist that it is simply a holistic and preventive approach, and is not intended to replace conventional medicine or medical practices. A visit to the practitioner is a relaxed occasion, much different from most normal medical appointments. Patients generally lie down on a massage table, often with shoes off, and are dressed in loose, comfortable clothing.
The patient reclines on a massage table, dressed in loose, comfortable clothes, with shoes removed. A trained therapist in this setting is said to be able to detect your personal craniosacral rhythms through expert touch. Using techniques often compared with chiropractic methods, problem areas are released through gentle, light manual manipulations. An individual session is often short, usually less than 60 minutes.
Part of the effectiveness of this treatment lies in the therapists ability to evaluate the abnormalities in the pulsating, rhythmic movements of the cerebrospinal fluids. Those who administer treatments claim that they can actually measure such subjective properties as the quality, symmetry, amplitude and actual rate of movement, and can detect what are called blockages.
Once the blockages have been removed or the pressure refocused, many patients report feeling better immediately. They claim to have gotten rid of problems such as migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, stress and anxiety-related physical issues, and many other forms of nagging discomfort. Those experiencing the after-effects of serious physical injuries claim that the treatment is especially helpful in eradicating long-term issues with pain.
When the overall function of this fluid system improves, so does overall nervous system function, according to supporters. Many good reports are simply verbal, and cannot be scientifically substantiated, but that does not seem to matter to those no longer suffering discomfort. Craniosacral therapy should be viewed as one many alternative medical practices, and should be evaluated on its effectiveness, particularly after other treatments have not helped.