As a Diplomate Certified CranioSacral Therapist, the two most commonly asked questions I get are, "What is that?" and, "Can it help my (fill in the blank)?"

The answer to that second question is, "Most likely."

CranioSacral Therapy (or CST), like any modality, can't "fix" everything, but by helping to release restrictions in the central nervous system, CST helps the body to function at its best.

But how, exactly, does this work? One way is through the fascial system in the body.

Fascia is connective tissue that is present everywhere in our bodies. It surrounds and supports our bones, muscles, organs, and other structures, allowing us to move and flow.

When the fascia in a certain area of the body becomes restricted, that area can no longer function at its best.

For example, if someone twists a knee while exercising, the fascia in the area may respond by "tightening up" or "toughening up" to support the injury to the knee.

Without bodywork, that tight fascia loses its flexibility, and the knee is unable to work smoothly. That restriction, even though it is at the knee, can cause the central nervous system to work at a sub-optimal level, which can in turn, keep the body from functioning at its best.

The intention of CST is to release the restriction at the knee, using a variety of techniques, so that both the knee and the central nervous system are working at their best.

One of the techniques used in CST is called fascial release. In a nutshell, the CranioSacral Therapist will help to soften and lengthen the connective tissue around the injury so that the body can return to a place of balance and health called homeostasis.

The patient will often feel a sense of softening in the area, sometimes accompanied by a feeling of heat or energy releasing.

At times, a patient will also be aware of other parts of the body responding to the treatment, for a global sense of pain relief and calmness.

So, in this example, while the goal of a CST session may be to help the central nervous system to be free of restrictions, another outcome is that the pain from the knee injury is abated. The whole body works better, and the knee feels better, too.

Through a variety of techniques, CranioSacral Therapy helps the body release restrictions and work at its best. And in the process, your body feels better, with less pain and more mobility.

Author's Bio: 

Mindy Totten is Diplomate Certified in CranioSacral Therapy and is a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist. She specializes in women's health issues, as well as treating people with migraines, headaches, neck and back injuries, and dental trauma.

Mindy is especially interested in the ways the mind and body together heal emotional trauma. Before becoming a bodywork therapist, she was an English and Humanities teacher. She taught high school and middle school students in Berlin, Istanbul, and Singapore, while she and her husband traveled the world, soaking up new cultures and experiences. She loves her Wilmington, NC home, where she lives with her husband, Ranald, and their beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kizzy.