Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between sports massage and Swedish/holistic/full body massage?

Sports Massage requires further knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and advanced massage techniques.  It is more scientifically based, specific to your presenting problems, involves a range of assessment and hands on techniques including trigger point therapy, soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques. Postural and exercise based advice is given to promote and sustain the effects of treatment

Why craniosacral over more conventional approaches?

Craniosacral therapy is one of the few therapies that work to achieve better health in a comprehensive, holistic and integrated fashion. Most treatment modalities focus on one or more symptoms to the exclusion of others and the whole person.

As the body is a continuous self regulating system, when it breaks down it affects the whole and therefore needs to be treated holistically with a broad spectrum approach rather than narrowed down to symptoms alone.

Why craniosacral for injuries?

Craniosacral therapy can engage with old injuries and new ones simultaneously. The body holds a record of all life history e.g. accidents, birth, postural change, inflammation, operations etc which are like layered memories making it difficult for the body to function effectively. If old injuries persist, it is harder for new events to resolve themselves e.g. new neck injury compounded by an old whiplash injury. Craniosacral therapy time provides a solution by being able to work on old and new problems at the same time.

Why fascial unwinding for accidents and injuries?

If the fascia (covering tissue that connects all tissues throughout the body) is seen as a fabric, it is easy to see that the forces generated through the everyday demands on the body and traumas throughout life can pull it out of shape. These distortions can remain affecting function unless there is some intervention. This therapy effectively irons out and unwinds the imprinted tissues allowing them to function as they were before they were injured/stressed.

How does craniosacral work affect your vitality?

Fluctuations in Cerebrospinal fluid can be observed as a barometer of the body’s intrinsic health.  This fluid nourishes every cell (basic unit making up the body) so as such is considered a means by which vitality can be enhanced and transferred to places with restricted supply. In addition to this, Cerebrospinal fluid is located and is responsible for the health of the brain and spinal cord which through nervous connections, supply the whole body.

How does craniosacral therapy work on the whole body?

Each craniosacral contact establishes a window into your whole body so that all tissue levels and systems can be assessed and accessed together rather than in isolation.  The practitioner can feel into areas both local and away from where they are in contact and through the interconnections of fascia, nerves, blood vessels and many other interconnecting body structures can affect the whole body through treatment.

What is the difference between craniosacral therapy and cranial osteopathy?

Cranial osteopaths study osteopathy as their first training and then choose to go on to further study cranial work either as extra modules or as a standalone course.
The training I undertook was with registered craniosacral school lasting 2 years.
There are of course osteopaths who are also cranioasacral therapists and vice versa.  The practitioner may or may not work on the whole body depending on their training.
Generally speaking the pressure employed in treatment is usually lighter in pure craniosacral work rather than cranial osteopathic work although even this is relatively gentle compared to standard osteopathic manipulations.

Is craniosacral therapy just a massage of the head and lower spine?

No - it is not a massage but in a treatment session with Sangi massage may precede or follow cranial work as indicated. Craniosacral therapy incorporates the whole body although arguably misleadingly named just after the cranium and sacrum which contain the greatest amounts of cerebrospinal fluid.

Do I have to believe in craniosacral treatment/philosophy for it to work?

No - It helps if you relax and keep an open mind but it isn’t necessary to believe or fully understand what is happening.  Sangi will feedback and explain what she is feeling and as your sensitivity improves with each session, you will be able to get an enhanced sense of what is happening as your body changes during treatment.

What happens during craniosacral treatment?

You usually lie facing up on a treatment couch and the practitioner makes light contact using their hands to tune in and feel where restrictions are in the body. Gentle movements following the movement of structures are used to release restrictions.

How long does a craniosacral session last?

Generally craniosacral sessions last between 30 mins and 70mins.

In combination with massage therapy, I will often use 30-45 mins craniosacral work with a remaining 30-40 mins for massage work.

If as a standalone 60-70mins is normal for adults. 

For babies and children craniosacral therapy is used solely and treatments last 25-45 mins depending on age and need.

How many sessions do I need with single or combination therapy work?

This is variable.

For injuries that have been picked up within the last couple of months, 3-6 sessions are usually needed to fully resolve those issues but for true restoration of health more may be advisable.

At the beginning, sessions close together for e.g. 1 week apart are necessary to avoid the body reverting to old patterns particularly if aggravating factors persist for e.g. driving as an aggravating factor when experiencing lower back pain.

For a minor injury that has been picked up a couple of days before treatment, only one session may be necessary to accelerate healing and help overcome the injury but to integrate the injured part with the rest of the body, more time may be allocated.

Chronic injuries (more than 6 weeks ago) may require more than the standard sessions depending on type and severity.

Maintenance sessions for wellness and preventative health are usually from 3-6 weeks, monthly treatments being favoured by most.

When is it safe for me to have treatment?

Craniosacral therapy is safe for chronic and ingrained health conditions as well as in pregnancy, following injury or accident.  After operation and with certain serious health issues, a doctor’s note or lapse in time may be essential before treatment is advisable

With Massage work the first 3 months of pregnancy, some serious health conditions and following a recent operation are contraindications to treatment.

Feel free to contact me if you are unsure whether you are eligible for treatment.

When should I bring my newborn in for treatment?

If you are concerned that the birth was difficult, the sooner the better as far as treatment is concerned.

Newborns can be checked and treated from the moment of birth for compressions, restrictions and lowered vitality.  As a check or preventative measure this treatment is also the earliest possible help for the baby.

A more comprehensive check up and treatment is favourable in all cases and can be conducted at 2 weeks whereby the effects of the birth process have been absorbed and remaining patterns can be clearly worked with. 

Craniosacral is safe throughout pregnancy and with medical permission during labour (at home  births with midwifes attending and responsible for delivery) as well as immediately after birth.

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