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  • Writer's pictureDr. Amber Brooks

CranioSacral Therapy: It’s Role in Recovery & Childhood Development

This subject is one near and dear to me as I have been using Craniosacral Therapy (CST) for many years now and I have seen how life changing it can truly be for families. When parents go searching for information I am not sure they get a true understanding of what this is and I would like to take some time to share with you the basics.

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John Upledger 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 cranial bones, cerebrospinal fluid and the membranes. The membranes surround the brain and spinal cord like a wetsuit and the cranial bones sit on top. The system works together to pump CSF throughout the system.

CST is a very calm and relaxing therapy, children can read, listen to music, watch TV or play with their toys during a session. The practitioner will feel for the CST rhythm by placing their hands on the cranial bones using a soft touch generally no greater than five grams, or about the weight of a nickel, restrictions are released in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system. The CST rhythm is the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pumping from the head down through the spine. The CSF is produced within the brain itself and contracts at a normal rate of 6 to 12 cycles per minute, creating the rhythm.proper pumping of the CSF is important for our body, its functions include:

  • Removing waste and toxins from cerebral metabolism

  • Protecting the brain & spinal cord

  • Supplying nutrients to the nervous system.

A person properly trained in the technique with a background in treating children should perform CST; there is a very high level of finesse that comes with working on children. The treatment is aimed at the membranes and helping improve flow and exchange of fluids, it is not necessarily about realigning the cranial bones although in cases such as plagiocephaly can help tremendously.

How does this therapy help children?

Removes waste and toxins from cerebral metabolism- many children today are having trouble detoxifying and this aids in that process.

  • Supplying nutrients to the nervous system

  • Releases tension in the body

  • Balances the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS)

The nervous system imbalance is the key to why this helps so many children. The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) has branches, the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (resting) both of which affect our bodies greatly. Most parents will describe their child’s behavior as “ramped up” or “they cannot seem to relax” and this is why. The sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive and CST helps balance it out thereby decreasing that “overdrive” feeling.

Symptoms a child may experience with ANS dysfunction include:

  • Abnormal sweating

  • Anxiety

  • Bed-wetting

  • Constipation and/or diarrhea

  • Dark/light intolerance

  • Detoxification issues

  • Difficulty potty training

  • Emotional instability

  • Feeding problems

  • Hyperactivity

  • Inattention

  • Nausea

  • Poor social skills

  • Sensory processing problems

  • Sleep problems

  • Tics

  • Vomiting

Read more in part 2 where I go over FAQ’s and more details about how this therapy can help your child.


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Dr. Amber Brooks- Autism & Special Needs

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC is a pediatric expert bridging alternative and traditional

medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Her experience is unique, as she is Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, Board Certified as a Pediatric Chiropractor, a Family Nurse Practitioner and Craniosacral Therapist.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP,

Dr. Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has been extremely successful in assisting her patients in achieving optimal health and wellness by using the best integrative methods to help support their growing bodies. She provides traditional and alternative medicine for maximal health. Dr. Brooks has developed specialized methods to answer today's biggest pediatric health problems including allergies, constipation, chronic ear infections, birth trauma, developmental delays, digestive problems, Autism, ADD/ADHD, MTHFR, nutritional, and behavioral problems.

Dr. Amber Brooks FNP, CACCP, BCIP, DC has extensive experience solving complex pediatric and unique perspective of diagnosing the problem rather than treating the symptoms has led to 

remarkable results worldwide. Parents praise her current, yet practical, guidance to what a child is struggling with and tools to help the family improve their child's future health.

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