Spas in Ireland

Craniosacral Therapy

By , May 17, 2012

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle physical treatment that targets everything from physical pain to emotional tensions. By gently manipulating the head and spine, practitioners claim they can improve the body’s capabilities for self-healing.

Origins of Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy was first developed in the early 20th century by a qualified osteopath named William Sutherland. Going against common medical beliefs at the time, he discovered that the bones in the skull had potential for small movement and were directly connected to the base of the spine. This connection of membranes and cerebrospinal fluid became known as the craniosacral system, and is the basis of the therapy you will find in many spas in Ireland today.

Impact of the Craniosacral System on Wellbeing

The founders of craniosacral therapy believed that the body has the ability to heal itself – it’s only when an obstruction occurs in our natural rhythms that self-healing is impeded. By gently manipulating points along the head, spine and sacrum, they claimed that these malfunctions could be cleared and a host of brain and spinal cord conditions could be alleviated.

Modern practitioners state that the therapy can also be used to treat emotional issues that may be taking their toll on the body. Others go so far as to include attention deficit disorders, chronic fatigue, infertility, hormonal imbalances, nervous and immune system weaknesses, and colic in infants among their treatment options.

Cranial Osteopathy vs. Craniosacral Therapy

Cranial osteopathy is offered by medical professionals as a treatment for back and neck conditions, often in conjunction with medication. The more holistic take on the practice is known as craniosacral therapy, and is most likely the version of the treatment that you will find at the spa.

This branch of the practice focuses on emotional wellbeing in line with the physical. In most cases it will be performed by a specialist therapist, but not necessarily someone with an osteopathy background. The belief behind this alternative treatment is that psychological or emotional traumas can be recorded in the body’s soft tissue, creating physical symptoms. By manipulating the head, it is claimed that these emotional weights can be lifted and the path for healing cleared.


Treatment sessions involve very light touch and slight movements of the head and occasionally the back. The therapist will ‘tune in’ to the cranial rhythms of the body – a flow of energy detected as a pulse and used as an indicator of obstructions in the system. How the body reacts to this touch will determine the course of individual treatment.

Craniosacral therapy is available from Temple Spa in Co. Meath, La Spa Therapie in Dublin and Louth, and holistic centres around Ireland.


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