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Craniosacral Massage and Head to Toe Respiration

Massage Head to Toe

A cranial membrane, called the dura, anchors in the skull, travels down your spinal cord where it attaches to cervical vertebrae, and continues all the way to the second sacral segment at the base of the spine. Dura therefore plays an important part in the craniosacral therapy. Flexion in the sphenobasilar junction at the base of the skull causes the bottom part of the sacrum to move anteriorly and vice versa. This occurs because the movement in the sphenobasilar junction causes tension and relaxation in the dura which attaches in the sacrum.
This relationship allows a therapist to effect the sacrum thru the cranium and vice versa.

Massaging the four diaphragms

You have some idea about the thoracoabdominal diaphragm and that it runs transverse to the body. The act of inhaling naturally flexes the sphenobasilar joint. As a result, similarly to the thoracoabdominal diaphragm, the cranial diaphragm, tentorium cerebelli, descends during an inhalation. The pelvic diaphragm also functions in synchrony with the diaphragms above it. If one diaphragm becomes dysfunctional, all three become compromised. The thoracic inlet also flexes and extends during respiration, and so also functions like a diaphragm. A therapist can effect the four diaphragms through craniosacral therapy.

Massage to Improve Breathing

A therapist usually places hands on both sides of the patient’s skull. The skull cycles through rhythmic expansion and contraction at a rate of 8 to 14 times per minute, called the cranial rhythmic impulse(CRI). CRi occurs as a result of five main components, postulated by D.O. William Sutherland. During respiration, the brain and spinal cord go through a natural coiling and uncoiling motion, which has not been understood, and cannot be recreated artificially. The level and pressure of cerebral spinal fluid(CSF) fluctuates and has a relationship to the coiling motions of brain and spinal cord. The cranial memebranes, the meninges, also move. Meninges interact in constant dynamic tension, so a change in one results in an adaptive change in the other. Their attachment at foramen magnum in the skull also results in movement of the sacrum between the hip bones. While skull bone sutures do become less flexible in later teenage years of life, they still exhibit some articular mobility. This subtle mobility guide and allow movement between cranial bones. The sacrum itself exhibits, involuntary mobility between the hips. Light palpation reveals a similar dynamic between the base and apex of the sacrum as that felt in the cranium.

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