Robert Byrnes has been providing massage therapy in a professional setting since 1994, and integrates several modalities for a unique treatment that is individualized to each client's needs. He provides therapeutic treatments by appointment in his Phoenix, Arizona office: 602-334-1919.

CranioSacral Therapy

Does your body respond better to a light-touch therapy?

BENEFITS
Eliminate or reduce pain and headaches
Unwind and release deeply held tension
Cope with stress more effectively
Recharge, rejuvenate, renew
Discover deeper relaxation
Sleep more soundly

You will wear clothes for this treatment.

CranioSacral Therapy is a light-touch treatment that accesses core membranes in the body with profound results. The craniosacral rhythm is the most basic, yet, the most subtle motion in the body. When this rhythm is in disharmony, the entire body is adversely affected.

I use the Upledger CranioSacral ten-step protocol as the format for my treatment. As I begin the CranioSacral Treatment, I get myself grounded and centered so that I may tune into the craniosacral rhythm of the client's body. With my hands placed lightly on the client's body, I focus my intention on "listening" to the body and I simply allow myself to relax into their energetic field, the most subtle place of motion in the client's body, the craniosacral rhythm.

I energetically invite the client's body and awareness to move into that place of deep relaxation where transformation and healing can occur. The very act of my tuning into the client's craniosacral rhythm with my hands begins to affect it. I perceive the subtle disharmonies in the craniosacral system that is out of balance, and the client's body immediately begins the process of self-correction. Then, with an extremely light and gentle touch, I slowly lead the client to a more functional place of balance and harmony.

How this shift occurs in the body can be illustrated by the following visualization: Imagine yourself in a foreign country where you are completely unfamiliar with the native language. Imagine your frustration as you attempt to communicate with the native people when no one understands you. Image what your world would be like as this continues for days on end. The frustration builds. But finally you discover someone who speaks your language. Imagine the relief you feel! You finally have connected with someone who can hear and understand you. Well, your body has the same experience when I tune into your craniosacral rhythm. At the cellular level and deeper, your body finally feels heard! And as the energetic conversation unfolds, the "frustration" is released, harmony is restored to the craniosacral system, and this affects the well-being of your entire person!

Many people during the CranioSacral Treatment will drift into a semiconscious dream state where thoughts behave illogically and imagery dances in the theater of your Soul. I call this state the "CranioSacral Zone." In the CranioSacral Zone, your breathing may become easier as your body begins to unravel its tension. You may find yourself taking in a deep breath or sighing deeply as your body releases the blocks to vibrant health. Strong heat is generated in my hands and usually in the area of the body that we are treating as well. This is the movement of energy and the transformation of your energetic blocks into heat as your tissues transform to a healthier state. Sometimes my fingers and even my whole hand will pulsate with "chi" or "prana" energy. You may think of this pulsing as the flow of "life-force" energy. This pulsing only seems to occur when the client's body specifically requires it.

The craniosacral rhythm fluctuates between two phases called flexion and extension. In the individual who is grounded, relaxed, and balanced, their craniosacral rhythm feels to me like a rolling wave as it accelerates out into the flexion phase, briefly pauses, and then rolls back into the extension phase, pauses again, and repeats ad infinitum. The normal rate of the craniosacral rhythm is between 6 and 12 cycles per minute. In the normal, healthy individual, the craniosacral rhythm is symmetrical to both sides of the body, and the extension and flexion phases have the same duration, amplitude, rate, and quality of movement. In the disharmonious individual who is out of balance, the craniosacral rhythm might behave like a stormy sea. Areas of tissue restriction will energetically pull and distort the waves, causing the craniosacral rhythm to be upset, uneven, and out of balance. This disharmony adversely affects the entire body.

Unlike a massage session, the client remains fully clothed for the CranioSacral Treatment. The craniosacral rhythm can be palpated, or felt, anywhere on (and sometimes even off) the body, but most of the CranioSacral Treatment is accomplished holding the head. The human skull is comprised of twenty-two bones, each with a specific type of motion that occurs within the craniosacral rhythm. I use these bones as handles and levers to ease the craniosacral rhythm back into balance and harmony. As I tune into the energetic blocks and find the tissue restrictions in the body, I invite them to release and allow the body to normalize. As this occurs, the client begins to feel more relaxed and rejuvenated, the body's vitality is increased and a higher state of health and well-being is achieved.

What causes the craniosacral rhythm? The Pressurestat Model was developed by John E. Upledger, D.O.,O.M.M., to describe the mechanism in the body that generates the craniosacral rhythm. The craniosacral system is a semi-closed hydraulic system which is, essentially, a closed container with a regulated inflow and outflow mechanism. The craniosacral system is contained within the dura mater; a tough, waterproof membrane that envelops the brain and spinal cord. An important function of this system is the production, circulation, and reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF maintains the physiological environment in which the brain and central nervous system develop, live, and function.

Cerebrospinal fluid is produced and pumped into the craniosacral system until the volume reaches a specific pressure. At this point, the inflow mechanism shuts off. However, the outflow mechanism in the body that reabsorbs CSF functions continuously. So, as the pressure in the system drops due to this continuous outflow, the intermittently functioning inflow mechanism is again activated, beginning another cycle. This rhythmical pressure fluctuation causes the craniosacral system to expand and contract and this creates the phases of the craniosacral rhythm identified as flexion and extension. Again, the normal rate of the craniosacral rhythm is between 6 and 12 cycles per minute.

The production and reabsorption of CSF within the dura mater produces a continuous rise and fall of fluid pressure within the craniosacral system. This volummetric accommodation prevents pressure from building up too much within the craniosacral system. If the craniosacral membrane system is restricted, and not functioning normally, the body is unable to accommodate these pressure changes and the subsequent buildup of pressure and tension on the membranes could potentially cause any number of sensory, motor or neurological disabilities. These problems could include chronic neck and back pain, migraine headaches, eye difficulties, scoliosis, TMJ syndrome, and other health challenges. The craniosacral system rhythmically tones and relaxes the entire myofascial system in the body via the motor nervous system. This effect is delicate and easily inhibited by connective tissue that is restricted and unable to respond to the gentle urging of the craniosacral system via the motor systems.

Upledger states that well persons who receive CranioSacral Therapy claim to experience an increase in energy and contentment. They have better overall health and a stronger resistance to disease and infection. Upledger also believes that through CranioSacral Therapy, the function of the immune system is enhanced, stress levels are reduced, hormonal balance is improved, and a sense of well-being is heightened.

Other conditions that CranioSacral Therapy might address include: chronic fatigue, motor coordination impairments, central nervous system disorders, stress and tension-related problems, learning disabilities, emotional difficulties, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, infantile disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, orthopedic problems, and many other conditions.

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