Craniosacral therapy, otherwise referred to as cranial sacral therapy (CST), is a natural and non-invasive approach to evaluating and addressing restrictions in the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system plays an integral role in maintaining the body’s central nervous system and the body’s core functions.


CST was first documented in the 19th century, as part of Andrew Taylor Still’s system of osteopathic medicine. In the years that followed, CST was studied and codified by William Sutherland and Harold Magoun. In the 1970s, Doctor John E. Upledger directly observed that disturbances to the body were caused by pulse flow restrictions in the cerebrospinal fluid. Dr. Upledger studied and applied his research findings to see cranial osteopathy get recognized as ‘CranioSacral Therapy’.

In recent years, CST has gained in popularity thanks to the patient-centered care approach and remains under the umbrella of osteopathy. In order for CST to be effective, a practitioner must truly listen and take cues from the body. In a time where medical technology is lauded, CST is poised to remain an advancement that relies solely on the traditional: a pair gentle hands.


CST osteopathy for infants babiesCST sees practitioners use their hands to relieve tension in the craniosacral system. This system consists of the membranes and fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord, along with the attached bones. The membranes encompass the cranium, and follow down the spine to the sacrum (tailbone) area.

By utilizing gentle pressure and manipulation to the head, neck and back, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is improved. Blockages which can impact the central nervous system are released. Stress and pain caused by compression is greatly relieved and the body can start to heal.


CST is available to people of all ages, including infants and children. It is commonly used to address conditions including:

• Headaches & Migraines
• Neck Pain
• Persistent Sinus Infections
• Colic in Infants
• Recurrent Ear Infections
• Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Scoliosis & Kyphosis
• Insomnia
• Fibromyalgia
• Anxiety & Depression
• Trauma Recovery (vehicular accidents, whiplash, etc)


CST offered by massage therapists can be a great tool to improve the relaxation effect during a massage. Be sure to request craniosacral therapy when booking with Andrew Chapman.

For more technical CST treatments (cranial osteopathy) the osteopathic manual practitioner has more extensive years of training with CST, including how the rest of the body is interrelated with the craniosacral system. Cranial osteopathy is offered by Elliot Vlad and Kimberly Robertson at the Life Therapies clinic.

Life Therapies is located in the Wellington West Village, close to downtown Ottawa and Westboro. Parking is available for clients at the rear of the building and the location is easily accessible by active transportation. When scheduling an appointment with the practitioners, please feel free to make a note in the online booking comments about your request for craniosacral therapy.

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