How Craniosacral Therapy Releases Stored Emotion

One of the ways to release stored emotion from your muscles and tissues is to seek bodywork. If you reside in the Portland-metro or surrounding areas, we welcome you to visit our natural medicine clinic. Massage releases muscle tension, which is one of the most common results of stored emotion.

Craniosacral therapy is another type of bodywork that can bring profound healing from stress and anxiety. Your craniosacral system is responsible for circulating the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord. This crucial fluid bathes your brain in nurturing glucose and helps keep your central nervous system fed, clean and stable.

It also transports hormones, neurotransmitters and releasing factors that help govern your body’s reaction to its environment. “The crazier your environment, the harder it has to work,” says craniosacral instructor Paul Brown.

The flow of cerebrospinal fluid has its own subtle tidal rhythm that’s separate from—but influenced by—your heartbeat and breathing. When this tide becomes impeded, often because of physical or emotional trauma, the fluid can stagnate, leading to even more emotional stuckness. Stress, for example, can reduce the production of cerebrospinal fluid by as much as 30 percent.

By gently manipulating the cranium and sacrum (head and pelvis), our Portland natural medicine practitioners can stimulate the flow of fluid and help release blockages that keep emotions trapped in the body. This practice, known as craniosacral therapy, stems from osteopathy, or the ancient art of bone setting. Practitioners are taught to “listen with their hands” for the subtle rhythm and apply gentle manual techniques that increase mobility and circulation within the craniosacral system.

Craniosacral therapy is an important part of natural medical care. Our Portland patients often find it induces a deep state of relaxation in which healing from stress and anxiety can occur. By reducing the body’s stress response, it also helps rebalance the nervous system and optimize the production of precious cerebrospinal fluid.

“When people experience craniosacral therapy, the body relaxes, the brain activities slow down and the ego with its defense mechanisms gets out of the way,” Wonder says. “The stored emotions often will surface for the purpose of release and healing.”

Patients may also experience sensations such as:

  • Pain relief
  • Sense of peace
  • Feeling of expansion in mind or body
  • Sleepiness or a sleep-like state
  • Involuntary twitches
  • Altered state of being


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