Craniosacral Therapy

By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CranioSacral Therapy is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to support resistance to disease and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

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

CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.

How does CST Work?

The central nervous system (CNS), made up of the brain and spinal cord, have significant influence over much of the body’s ability to function normally.  The CNS is majorly influenced by the craniosacral system.

Your body endures stresses and strains daily that it must work to compensate and adjust for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to fatigue and neurological troubles.

What can I expect?

Craniosacral therapy is extremely gentle and relaxing. It is common for people to fall asleep during treatments. Your doctor or craniosacral therapist will be using a very light touch on various parts of your extremities, spine, head, and face while you lay on a table. Treatment times can vary from 30 minutes to an hour.

What conditions is CST useful for?

By complementing the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to support resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:

  •            Migraine Headaches
  •            Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  •            Motor-Coordination Impairments
  •            Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  •            Chronic Fatigue
  •            Emotional/Mood Difficulties
  •            Stress and Tension-Related Problems
  •            Sleep issues/ Insomnia
  •            Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
  •            Neurovascular, Endocrine, or Immune Disorders

How often should I be getting treatments?

This is completely individualized depending on your presentation and should be determined by your doctor. Some people may only need 3 consecutive treatments, while others may need dozens. Often CST is done once weekly for a period of time and then tune-ups once a month or every couple months as needed.

Who is it safe for?

CST can be performed on people of all ages.

** Information obtained from The Upledger Institute at Refer to this website for additional information.

Practitioners trained in CranioSacral Therapy at Richmond Natural Medicine:

Dr. Taylor Pagano is a Naturopathic Doctor at Richmond Natural Medicine where she enjoys helping people in the areas of general wellness, gastrointestinal concerns, neurology, dermatology, Thyroid imbalances and women’s medicine including fertility. She received her naturopathic medical degree at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona.  To book a Naturopathic appointment with Dr. Taylor Pagano, contact our office at (804) 476-2113.



Dr. Chrissy Davis-Allen, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor at Richmond Natural Medicine, where she treats patients with herbs, homeopathy, nutritional therapy, and craniosacral therapy. Dr. Davis-Allen enjoys seeing patients of all ages addressing children’s health, women’s health, fertility, cancer support, and allergies. She graduated from Bastyr University with her doctorate in naturopathic medicine where she received certification as a massage therapist, doula, and craniosacral therapist. Dr. Davis-Allen has practiced naturopathic medicine in Connecticut, Colorado and Virginia since 2001. Click HERE to learn more about Dr. Chrissy Davis-Allen.