The CranioSacral system provides protection and nourishment for the brain and spinal cord. It includes membranes within and attached to the skull, the dural tube surrounding the spinal cord and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contained within these membranes. The dural tube attaches to the sacrum at the base of the spine. The CranioSacral system works to produce, circulate and absorb the CSF in and around the brain and spinal cord.
A trained therapist can palpate the rhythm of the rise and fall of the CSF by detecting the subtle motion of the skull bones, the sacrum and the soft tissues of the body.
A compromise to the system from an injury, surgery, infection, the aging process or other stressor can torque, slow down or impair the rhythm and create dysfunction in the central nervous system or other systems of the body. Fortunately, gentle forces can release compression in the skull and restrictions along the spinal cord and sacrum, thus allowing the CSF to flow more freely and the nervous system to be better balanced.
Furthermore, it is now understood that that the brain cleanses itself via the glymphatic system, which functions similarly to the lymphatic system in the rest of the body. CSF is pumped from the arterial system into the brain, and then waste products and extra fluids are swept from the brain into the venous system, promoting detoxification of the tissues. CranioSacral therapy helps to facilitate this cleansing process by enhancing the flow of CSF.