The Willow Rooms

What is Craniosacral Therapy ?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.


CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a hands-on therapy, where the touch is gentle, non-invasive and usually subtle. But do not be fooled! It is also a powerful therapy that affects the central nervous system to assist in improving function in the whole body. The craniosacral system comprises of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using soft touch or 'listening hands', practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system and thus improves the function of the whole body.


Using our ‘listening hands’, tuned to the feeling of the craniosacral rhythm, we feel how well the rhythm is reflecting out to the rest of the body and what we may be able to do to improve its function. This may mean simply encouraging it, as if you are gently flushing more fluid through a slightly sticky pipe, or it could mean using gentle techniques to unwind kinks in the body’s fascia.


An important part of our approach (that is completely born out in practice), is that it is the person’s body that knows exactly what to do in order to straighten out the above mentioned kink itself, and all we are really doing is listening to what it needs and helping it to do it! So we do not try and figure out what is wrong and then try to fix it. This can mean that the area we treat is sometimes different from the area in which symptoms are experienced, as our bodies can be very clever in how they adapt to stresses and strains.


The following is an article on how CST can help with Depression, Neck pain and Headaches 

A wonderful article on treating Vertigo with CST 

Somatic Emotional Release (SER)


It is now well accepted that memory of a trauma is not just in an area of the brain but is also stored in body tissue. This is called tissue memory. During a CranioSacral Therapy session, as tissue is unwinding tissue memory may be triggered and the emotion associated with the situation is released. The therapist may engage the client in therapeutic imagery and dialogue to help rid the body of the residual effects of past injuries and negative experiences. The body can now get on with healing itself.


CST and Babies


CST and babies are made for each other because of its gentle yet effective treatment.

One of Craniosacral Therapy’s most frequently appreciated qualities is its capacity to rapidly resolve common childhood conditions.

A baby’s skull is very flexible as the skull bones are not fused at the time of delivery. During a normal delivery the baby’s body gets pushed through the birth canal. Especially the baby’s head and neck get exposed to multiple and complex forces, which can lead to overlapping of the small bones of the skull. This can be more pronounced if a baby is born with physical ‘assistance’ such as Caesarean sections, forceps or Ventouse delivery.

The baby’s body is often flexible enough to withstand these forces, but sometimes the skull bones can continue to overlap after birth. There may also be an element of ‘shock’ present, especially if the birth has been fast, traumatic or ‘assisted’.


  • Colic
  • Reflux
  • Poor suck and swallow
  • Tongue tie
  • Asymmetric head position
  • Excessive sleep
  • Irritability


  • Craniosacral Therapy has also been used in the treatment of:
  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • DCD/ Dyslexia
  • Gross motor delay
  • Developmental Delay
  • Speech and language delay
  • Plagiocephaly (asymmetric skull shape)

As Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle treatment, it is suitable for babies and children.


The following article outlines how CST can help newborns: Applications of CST in Newborns and Infants by Dr. John Upledger

A wonderful article on how CST helps during pregnancy, postpartum and with baby 

Craniosacral Therapy for Children


I especially love working with children and find CST can be very effective for a wide range of conditions in children and adolescents.


Some of the conditions addressed by CST:


  • Sleep disturbances
  • Recurrent Infections
  • Ear infections and hearing issues
  • Stabismus (Squints)
  • Asthma
  • Allergies/Food Sensitivities
  • Eczema
  • Movement disorders
  • Learning problems
  • Dyslexia, Dyspraxia
  • Behavioural and mood problems
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Seizures


Treatment of young children can be helpful in preventing issues arising later in life. Depression, migraine, sinusitis, spinal and pelvic pain and some psychological conditions are among the issues that can sometimes be traced back to what happened at birth.

Children should continue to receive CST periodically throughout childhood and into adolescence as they adapt to the process of growing up.

A very informative article on How CST works with children 

Also another article of interest How CST aids ADD/ADHD