Healing Trauma Through Craniosacral Therapy in New York City

Craniosacral therapy is a hands-on technique for healing trauma using a light touch in the right area of the body to facilitate a negatively energetic release from the system. There are also membranes and movement of the fluids in and around the central nervous system that take on healing properties. Healing trauma is essential in restoring people who have been affected by trauma, so they can return to normality and better their quality of life.

Origins of Trauma:

Whether traumatic experiences happen in a flash or evolve slowly over time, either way they can make life feel overwhelming and unmanageable.  Threats come in many forms (anything from childhood neglect, invalidation, to sexual abuse) and trauma can originate from an overwhelmingly negative event that leaves a lasting impact on one’s mental and emotional stability.   The most typical, but not all, sources of trauma are:

  • Negative responses from loved ones
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Neglect, abuse, self limiting beliefs
  • The death of a loved one
  • A hard breakup
  • Mental or Emotional abuse, betrayal, rage
  • Watching sad or negative events online or in media

Our basic reaction to a traumatic experience is 1 of 3 self-preservation responses – fight, flight, or freeze.  Regardless of which response is acted upon, our body floods with energy.  Once a threat has passed, ideally, this energy is discharged by our body and we return to a state of homeostasis (equilibrium or balance of our body’s nervous system).

We are just human and sometimes that trauma produced energy load is unable to be discharged appropriately,  becoming stuck, isolated and walled off forming what is called an energy imprint.  Though the body can adapt to some measure of trauma produced energy imprints, eventually the body weakens or tires from dysregulation as symptoms of pain arise while dysfunction and emotional stress sets in.   

When our nervous system is dysregulated, we can become less able to cope with the normal ups and downs of life – often overreacting or under reacting in emotional situations.  Also, this trauma-produced imbalance of our body’s nervous system can surface at a later point in the phenomenon known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  

In sum, undischarged or unprocessed trauma can leave a person in a state of hypervigilance, characterized by a heightened awareness where unexpected stimuli  such as noises, smells, a similar person or situation etc. can trigger a “dramatic episode’.   

It’s commonplace to have stress originate from, and be due to, our nervous system being on constant and high alert.  When this occurs it starts a domino effect and places parts of our brain to be on constant high alert, which proceeds to cause our cranial nerves to be on constant and high alert, which commonly surfaces as tense jaw clenching, tightened neck muscles, shallow breathing and even digestive problems – all stemming from cranial nerve imbalance and miscommunication.  

Since energy unable to discharge after trauma remains in our limbic system (the area of the brain processing emotional and  behavioral responses), it can’t be accessed cognitively, which means normal talking therapy may not be helpful until we can get the body to discharge this energy with touch. Craniosacral Therapy can help remove trapped energy cysts and the ripples of dysregulation,  promoting rebalancing and allowing the whole system to connect to the vital forces of life which constantly generate, maintain and repair the body. 

Craniosacral therapy directly treats these malfunctioning neural components, allowing the body to return to homeostasis and rewire to calm so the organs and muscles can let go of dysfunction and begin to function with proper health again.     

Healing Trauma with Craniosacral Therapy in NYC

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Proven Effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy for Treating Trauma:  The calming nature of therapeutic touch, like that involved in Craniosacral Therapy, helps to reduce activation in the sympathetic nervous system, and increase activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is involved in slowing the rate of our heart, breathing, and digestion, this results in overall relaxation of the muscles. (1)

Craniosacral therapy has been used for not only healing trauma but in the treatment of a variety of physical and mental conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Concussion
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Migraines
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Stress
  • Concussion
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Fibromyalgia

With this therapy, the narrowing of nerve passages is alleviated, and the cerebrospinal fluid flow improves the entire nervous system.  Craniosacral therapy helps release the energetic imprint of psychological and emotional stress, breaking long held tension patterns and leaving most people with an immediate sense of diminished pain, deep relaxation, feeling centered and refreshed.

Craniosacral therapy is ideally suited for healing trauma since all trauma is both emotional, and craniosacral therapy produces what is called a somatic emotional release. A somatic emotional release is a mind-body technique that also releases emotional trauma from the body.  Click here to learn more about Somatic Emotional Release.

Whereas Somatic Experiencing aims to settle debilitating trauma by tracking sensation in bodies primarily using verbal skills, Craniosacral Therapy does this by tracking fluids and engaging the memory being held in tissues, fluids or bones so stored trauma can dissipate.    You can view Craniosacral Therapy as a therapeutic process that helps rid the mind and body of residual past trauma associated with negative experiences.

Craniosacral Therapy & Your Trauma

My practice is a safe space to probe and fully understand the connection between bodily sensations and previous traumatic events and the emotions you’re feeling.  A Craniosacral approach is backed by science and offers the safety and security to explore and resolve the trauma you now live with.   During Craniosacral therapy, you will rest fully clothed while I work gently with my hands to “listen to the subtle rhythm of the life forces that can be felt”.  Many patients in their first treatment safely experience the release of both physical and emotional stress from their nervous system.  Click here for a detailed outline on what to expect in a first visit and treatment of Craniosacral therapy

Proven Effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy for Healing Trauma

There have been some studies that have shown positive outcomes following the application of Craniosacral Therapy for traumatized individuals. One study involving veterans of the Vietnam War who had been diagnosed with PTSD, and were treated using Craniosacral Therapy and similar modalities, became more trusting of their therapist and more open to discuss their traumatic experiences. They also displayed a reduction in PTSD symptoms.(2)

A different study, carried out by Naturopathic Physician Dr. Lisa M. Chavez, involved the use of the Craniosacral Therapy with Tibetan ex-prisoners who had undergone torture and imprisonment, resulting in trauma. The study reported that unlike the control group, the experimental group scores of anxiety and related issues had decreased based on the administered questionnaires.(3)

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Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy for PTSD

  1. Discomfort: Overall discomfort may see positive change and reduction
  2. Pain: Physical sensations of pain may be lowered
  3. Panic attack: The intensity and number of panic attacks may be observed as lessening
  4. Sleep: Insomnia dissipated, and regular sleep patterns may become more prevalent
  5. Hypervigilance: Alleviation may be seen and felt, and responses to the world around may become more appropriate; less fight/flight focused.
  6. Flashbacks: A reduction in flashbacks may be experienced
  7. Recollection: Ability to remember traumatic effects without being triggered may occur
  8. Participation: Participation in social events and activities may be less stressful
  9. Depression: Feelings of depression may be reduced
  10. Suicide: Suicidal thoughts may be lessened
  11. Medications: The need for medications for symptoms may become less
  12. Brain fog: Feelings of forgetfulness, confusion, lack of focus may dissipate
  13. Clear thinking: Clear thinking and functioning can increase
  14. Relationships: Greater connection and meaning may be experienced
  15. Community: Work and community may be more easily connected.

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy in NYC.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a method focusing on the link between the cranium (head) and sacrum (the second to last bone at the base of your spine), scientifically proven to work in unison to pump fluid throughout the body, an unknown disruption of which can cause many health issues.  The craniosacral mechanism pumps vital fluid called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) through the body and in a sense energetically lubricates the joints, tissues, organs; basically all cells of the body. It is the driving force of all your body’s systems of function; including maintaining the tone of your muscles.

The Central Nervous System (brain and spinal cord) are surrounded with CSF generating energetic rhythmic impulses of fluid delicately pumping throughout your body’s parts “breathing” the movement of life. This measurable rhythm of moving fluid, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rhythm is the foundational “blueprint” and primary principle of our real-time state of our health. 

Compromises of our rhythmic movements of fluid flow correlates to the impulse restrictions in the system which the body is unable to overcome or self-correct. This is the reason why we have “dis-ease”, symptoms, conditions, basically all ailments.  This is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable.  By placing his or her hands on your body the practitioner can feel, detect, evaluate, and facilitate correction of these restrictive arrhythmic impulses.

The craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm restore and renew in compromised areas allowing for healing to take place of sensory, motor, musculoskeletal, neurological disorders, symptoms, conditions and pain.  To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your healing treatment with Dr. Kaminsky.

1. ScienceDaily. n.d. Parasympathetic Nervous System. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/parasympathetic_nervous_system.htm#:~:text=The%20parasympathetic%20nervous%20system%20is,muscles%20in%20the%20gastrointestinal%20tract.  [Accessed 24 June 2020].

2. Rivera, Floribeth, “Reconnecting the Mind and Body: Using Bodywork to Help Improve Mental Health” (2016). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 326.

“Reconnecting the Mind and Body: Using Bodywork to Help Improve Mental ” by Floribeth Rivera (llu.edu)

3. http://scholarsrepository.llu.edu/etd/326