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CranioSacral (SM) Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy is a massage form that targets the skull and spine.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: September 28, 2012

CranioSacral Therapy is a relaxing form of alternative medicine used by chiropractors and massage therapists. During CranioSacral Therapy, the masseuse or physician works with the soft tissues of the spine and skull, eliminating tension in the area.

The origins of CranioSacral (SM) Therapy: CranioSacral Therapy was invented by William Sutherland, who believed that tension in the bones of the skull and neck and the fluid supporting them was responsible for chronic ailments. He began to teach others his methods in the 1930s.

Benefits Of CranioSacral (SM) Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy is supposed to be very good for relieving migraines, neck and head pain and teeth grinding (TMJ). The modality is said to be particularly relaxing and many clients report falling asleep during treatment.

What To Expect

CranioSacral practitioners typically spend time gently rocking the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine). They may also stretch and lengthen the spine. These movements are meant to increase the flow of the fluids circulating between the spine and the skull.

CranioSacral Therapy relieves anxiety, neck and pack pain, migraines, TMJ syndrome, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, and fibromyalgia. You will be lying face-up on a padded table during treatment and may remain fully clothed.

Treatment normally takes 20 minutes to an hour. The touch is very light. Some clients become very sleepy after treatment, while others experience a surge in energy.

Specialized equipment: Typically, treatment takes place on a table with some bolsters and pillows for support.

Recommended sessions: Between one and three sessions are recommended.

Preparation: Let the therapist know why you have opted for CranioSacral Therapy treatment and about any health issues or conditions you may have, including pregnancy.


CranioSacral Therapy is very gentle and low-risk. It is considered safe for pregnant women and children. For people with a history of stroke or aneurysm, certain techniques of CranioSacral Therapy may be contraindicated.

Who wouldn't benefit: The treatment is best for clients who want to specifically address head and neck-related ailments.

Celebrity Devotees

Brooke Shields used CranioSacral Therapy to relieve a frozen jaw.

Find licensed and certified experts who offer CranioSacral (SM) Therapy near you