Craniosacral Therapy is known to be a very effective form of injury healing ever since NFL Football players have attested to its benefits in treating concussion.
A sports injury is any form of strain, stress or pain on the body resulting from exercise, sports, or athletic activities that disrupts some aspect of the body’s proper functioning and requires a measure of reparative care. Sports injuries mostly affect the musculoskeletal system which is your bones, muscles, joints, and related tissues like tendons and ligaments. Common sports injuries encountered are:
Achilles tendon injuries
Hip flexor strains
Ankle, groin and thigh sprains
Knee pain (Runners Knee) & other knee injury
Lower back pain including sciatica
Shoulder injuries & sprains (rotator cuff)
Hand & wrist injuries
Often these injuries are a result of the overuse of a body part connected to the stresses and demands of the activity or sport. Walkers experience a lot of ankle sprains, runners a lot of knee injuries, golfers, tennis players and pickleballers experience a lot of shoulder injuries. While it can be frustrating to be ‘sidelined’ with a muscle sprain or nagging injury, if these issues are ignored, continuing with the activity could transform a minor injury into a wear and tear worsened chronic condition. It’s prudent to get out and ahead of an injury at the onset of pain and or swelling with craniosacral therapy, a non-pharmacologic and holistic treatment that can effectively enable the body to “self-course correct” at the onset of injury and pain. Craniosacral therapy is effective in both preventing and recovering from sports injuries.
Posture and muscle imbalances are some of the most common causes of sports injuries. Improper posture commonly leads to joint misalignment while elevating the risk of strain or even injury. The complications of improper posture, even from sitting in the office all day, include spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, back pain, and rounded shoulders. If you slump or slouch, or let your limbs and spine go out of alignment, you’ll lose precision in the coordination among your joints and muscles when engaged in exercise or sports activities. Muscle imbalances and spasming arise from inadequate stretching, overexertion and incorrect body alignment.
Misaligned joints, particularly the spine, cause nerve interference, which results in common sports injuries. Our health depends on twelve cranial nerves. They manage the senses of smell, sight, hearing, and touch. They are responsible for regulating heart rate, breathing, digestion, and blood pressure. They keep us in check. Blood flow, resistance to disease, motor pattern firing, and overall health all improve when nerve interference is eliminated.
Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy for Sports Injury Recovery
Greater range of motion and flexibility
Craniosacral therapy releases tension and restrictions within the body thereby helping maintain and improve flexibility and range of motion. This improved mobility promotes improved overall exercise and sports performance, including quicker reaction times and enhanced agility.
Craniosacral therapy improves cardiovascular health and the flow of blood from the heart traveling to the lungs to collect oxygen where the now oxygenated blood travels through the arteries to the rest of the body. The increased energy and stamina from this process enables a higher level of training and performance in exercise and sporting endeavors.
Reduced pain & inflammation
Craniosacral therapy helps reduce pain and inflammation that accompany strains, sprains, and overuse injuries. Though inflammation initially surfaces on the skin, it permeates further into the body – creating the sore joints and aching limbs, fraying the nerves, swelling the veins and can be profoundly damaging when it reaches the organs causing any of several dozen ailments. However craniosacral therapy calls for working to improve vagal tone and stimulating the vagus nerve (click here to learn about our Vagus nerve treatment) to trigger the body’s natural inflammatory response revitalizing the central nervous system’s ability to return the body to homeostasis and in so doing, reduce inflammation in the body.
Craniosacral therapy revitalizes the vascular circulatory system (via lymphatic drainage) & digestive system (vagus nerve), as well as the immune system. Additionally craniosacral therapy releases restrictions in the muscles and fascial tissues supporting healing all musculoskeletal structures and alleviating stress. Cumulatively, craniosacral therapy works to “kick start” or reset the central nervous system to a state of homeostasis, thereby allowing the central nervous system to accurately and efficiently communicate with all body systems and naturally enable the body to heal it self.
Promoting improved sleep
Craniosacral therapy can effect the Pineal gland (located in the brain). The pineal gland’s primary function is to secrete Melatonin the hormone responsible for regulating our biological clock and sleep wake cycles. Lastly Craniosacral Therapy helps to promote sleep by deactivating what is known as our bodies “Reticular Alarm System”. The Reticular Alarm System is a set of connected nuclei found in the brain that is responsible for regulating our sleep-wake transitions.
What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle hands-on approach that uses a light touch to examine membranes and movement of the cerebrospinal fluid in and around the central nervous system and resolves any disruptive behavior taking place such as tension, pressure or blockages. This non-invasive holistic treatment focuses entirely on the craniosacral system, which consists of the skull, spine, and sacrum (which includes the brain and central nervous system).
The cranial system is the command center for the entire body, receiving messages from all of the body’s sensors and processing the information within the central nervous system and brain. Once processed, those incoming messages are sent back to the body’s many structures as “next step instructions” on how to regain homeostasis (balance) and optimal body functioning – as the body will always aim to ‘self heal’.
However physical trauma (sports injuries), environmental toxins, disease, stress and more can wreak havoc on the central nervous system, profoundly marginalizing its functioning. Tingling, numbness, weakness, inability to move a part of the body, vision, speech, or trouble understanding speech are symptoms of a central nervous system dysfunctioning. Relieving any disruptions in these areas can help improve overall health and well-being, making craniosacral therapy an essential treatment for active people looking to prevent or recover from injury and optimize their exercise and athletic performance. Craniosacral therapy can kickstart and course correct central nervous system by manual manipulation of the cranial system.
How does craniosacral therapy work?
Craniosacral therapy works by addressing the subtle movements and rhythms within the craniosacral system, composed of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding, protecting, and nourishing the brain and spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid can become restricted and imbalanced within the cranial system as a result of excessive exercise, overtraining, stress, injury, and/or chronic conditions. There are important chemicals in cerebrospinal fluid such as neurotransmitters that impact the nervous system once restrictions and imbalances set in. This system plays a crucial role in the healthy functioning of the central nervous system and overall well-being.
During a craniosacral therapy session with the client dressed comfortably, the gentle touch of a finger is placed on targeted areas of the cranial system to assess the craniosacral system’s rhythm (cerebrospinal fluid pressure and flow) to detect any imbalances or restrictions. Using precise manual techniques (palpation) pressure to these targeted areas can release tension, blockages, correct imbalances, and improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid – ultimately revitalizing the health of the central nervous system.
By addressing the root cause of the issue (central nervous system dysfunction) rather than visible symptoms (on-going pain, swelling, or sensitivity of an injured area) craniosacral therapy can restore the body’s natural healing processes – which if healthy would self-treat the symptoms of injury.
Also important to note is craniosacral therapy targets fascia, a thin sheath casing of connective tissue surrounding every structure in the body including bones, tendons, joints, nerves, ligaments, organs, muscles, cells and more. Fascia restrictions within the craniosacral system lead to abnormal motion of the cerebrospinal fluid and disruption to cerebrospinal fluid flow, increasing pressure placed on spinal nerves resulting in tightness in connective tissues – and experienced with feeling a stiffness for example.
The stress and strain our bodies constantly endure, tighten and affect the craniosacral system:
building tension around the brain and restricting optimal exercise or sports performance of the body
disrupting healthy central nervous system functioning which potentially cascades into causing problems throughout other body systems
Craniosacral therapy aims to release these restrictions in the fascia and restore the natural movement of the craniosacral system. As the fascia is released, the body’s self-correcting mechanisms are activated, and balance is restored. This process can lead to improved nerve function, better circulation, and reduced inflammation, which all contribute to the overall health and well-being of the individual.
Craniosacral therapy to treat sports related concussion
Post-concussion syndrome occurs when symptoms of a physical impact with the head or head trauma last longer than expected after an injurious event. These symptoms may include:
a sense of not feeling right
problems with concentration and memory (brain fog)
nausea and vomiting,
increased sensitivity to light,
changes in sleeping pattern
With proper rest and refraining from anything that further stresses the healing central nervous system, these symptoms should subside within days to perhaps at the extreme end, a couple of weeks. It’s important to monitor and record recurring symptoms, should they linger beyond what’s expected and you need to take ‘next steps’ to care.
The skull, part of the cranial system is comprised of plates, sutures, and membranes that have subtle mobility, and the capacity to allow the brain to “breathe” so to speak. The skull’s bones or plates expands and contract the sutures, similar to how the chest does in the breathing process. When a person experiences head trauma or a concussion, it’s very possible they’ve also suffered a misalignment of the skull’s bones (plates) and disruptions to the cerebrospinal fluid flow within the skull and brain. Remember, cerebrospinal fluid flow within the ventricles of the brain and spaces within cranium and spine performs vital functions for the brain including waste removal, nourishment and protection.
Also important to note is the cranial membranes respond to the head trauma by losing their elasticity (ability to stretch out and shrink back) and become fibrous (separated). As a consequence and similar to scar tissue in the region of the head trauma, the brain is now subject to abnormal pressure in the concussed region. The outcome of compromised cranial membranes and cerebrospinal fluid flow is commonly experienced as headaches, brain fog, inability to concentrate and other similar symptoms.
By releasing the tension in the cranial membranes, craniosacral therapy can relieve abnormal pressure placed upon the brain and revitalize blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow – allowing the brain to heal.
Having a Chiropractic background since the year 2000, Dr. Kaminsky offers many methods of treatment with an emphasis on Craniosacral Therapy and Pranic Healing 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.