Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious

Share my site

Do you need help? Call me




Questions & Answers


Development Disorders - Learning Challenges - Children's Health

Development Disorders - Learning Challenges - Children's Health

Do you need help? Call me

Subscribe to my Newsletter >>

© Carole Van Den Berg - All Rights Reserved

Built by Durban Web Design

Westville Remedial Therapist - Carole Jones


A Brief History

As a distinct discipline, Craniosacral Therapy (CST) began over a hundred years ago with the pioneering work of Dr William Garner Sutherland, a doctor of Osteopathy.  His research suggested that the cranium is designed to move; that it was not the rigid ‘brain box’ as portrayed in Western anatomy books.  Experimenting mainly on himself, Dr Sutherland found that the head does indeed accommodate movement.  He could sense and palpate a slow regular pulse of contraction/expansion rolling through it – like a mini tidal wave.  He knew that the brain and spinal cord are contained and nourished in a pressurised sac of water (cerebrospinal fluid).  He envisaged the tide rolling through the water and moving the cranial bones in turn, and went on to describe how this primal motion worked its way through the body as a whole, focussing on the bony and fascial aspects.  Over time, Sutherland’s model has been modified and enriched with insights from many fields.  With tools now available, it is possible to see primal breathing in an embryo and measure it in an adult cranium.  Every cell, and every living organism, pulses in a slow regular rhythm, from conception onward.


Craniosacral Therapy is a comprehensive therapy which can be used effectively for the treatment of many conditions at all ages.  It is extremely gentle, non-invasive, and causes no discomfort or disturbance to the client; nor does it have any risks or adverse side effects.  It is for this reason that it is particularly suitable for the treatment of babies and children.

In treating the Craniosacral System, the practitioner is seeking out and identifying areas of restriction, compression or tension through the body, which may in turn be impeding proper function of organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and body tissues in general.  These restrictions may be the result of injury, infection, inflammation, emotional tension or underlying pathologies.  Craniosacral Therapy is based on the principles of Osteopathic Medicine, which include: the body is a self-correcting mechanism, always seeking to return to balance, and structure and function are inter-related.

How Craniosacral Therapy Works:

The Craniosacral System comprises the membranes (meninges) which surround the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), the bones of the cranium and the sacrum which attach to these membranes, the fascia which radiates out from the membranes to all parts of the body (enveloping every nerve and nerve pathway), and the cerebrospinal fluid, which is produced within the ventricles of the brain and transmitted via neurological pathways throughout the body.  All these structures pulsate in a symmetrical, balanced and rhythmic motion (the cranial rhythm), which also reflects out through the fascia to all parts of the body.  Each organ, muscle or tissue is linked to a precise area of the Craniosacral System through its nerve pathway and associated fascial connections.  Restrictions, blockages or dysfunctions of any kind anywhere in the body are reflected as disturbances of the rhythm and symmetry in the Craniosacral System, or abnormal pulls and tensions within the body tissues.

The trained therapist seeks to restore balance to the Craniosacral System by working with the tidal breath to enhance core healing responses, thereby enabling it to restore proper function to the affected part of the body.  They do so through a fine sense of palpation and unforced reflective holding into embodied patterns of shock and alarm.

Applications of Craniosacral Therapy:

Craniosacral Therapy can be applied to a wide range of conditions in both adults and children.

BABIES: birth trauma (especially in caesarean babies), umbilical shock, failure to thrive, sucking/latching problems due to palate problems, colic, spasticity, squints.

CHILDREN: developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, cerebral palsy, motor-coordination problems, vestibular/balance problems, stress and trauma, headaches, hyperactivity, tourettes syndrome, sleeping issues, bed-wetting, autism, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, speech impediments, low muscle tone.

ADULTS:  stress and tension-related problems, post traumatic stress disorder, headaches/migraines, Bell’s palsy, chronic fatigue, chronic neck pain, scoliosis, jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction, vertigo, tinnitus, poor digestion, insomnia, fibromyalgia and other connective tissue disorders.