Integrative Cranial Work


Just as the spine houses the spinal cord, the skull houses the brain. Our skulls are comprised of many small bones which we used to think were fused in adults, but more recent research has shown that they actually maintain a few millimeters of movement - not much, but very important!
The brain and spinal cord are floating in a clear liquid called CerebroSpinal Fluid (CSF), which circulates to deliver nutrients and remove metabolic waste from the neurons and support cells of the Central Nervous System. As CSF is produced deep inside the brain, the skull expands slightly, and as it flows into the spinal column the skull bones return to their original position.

 

When the sutures between bones become restricted, CSF flow can become turbulent, and tensile stress is distributed throughout the interconnected craniosacral system (that is, between the skull aka cranium and the sacrum which is the pelvic end of the CSF pumping mechanism). To understand this a bit better, it may help to know that there is a protective sheet of fibrous tissue (similar to strong fabric) which lines the skull and spinal column called the dura mater (it means "tough mother"). Biomechanical or fluid dynamic distortions anywhere in the craniosacral system (skull + spine) can create disturbances through the entire system (just like if you tug at the corner of a blanket the entire blanket gets wrinkled). This means added stress on the brain and spinal cord, and this stress compromises the body's ability to process and respond to the surrounding environment.

 

As the control center of the body, the central nervous system influences every other major body system and function. Because of the impact on central nervous system function, integrative cranial work can help improve neurologic function in a variety of situations, including but not limited to:

  • chronic ear infections
  • colic, extended fussiness
  • ADD/ADHD
  • abnormal muscle tone
  • strabismus, nystagmus, and other disorders
  • cerebral palsy, erb's palsy
  • torticollis and plagiocephaly
  • austism spectrum and sensory processing disorders


  • nursing difficulties
  • speech disorders
  • down syndrome and genetic disorders
  • hearing problems
  • learning disabilities, dyslexia
  • failure-to-thrive syndrome
  • incoordination / clumsiness

  • reflux and digestive distress
  • abnormal muscle tone
  • seizures
  • trouble sleeping
  • hydrocephalus
  • emotional challenges
  • impaired immune system