Anatomy and Physiology: The Craniosacral System

anatomy and physiology page (2)anatomy and physiology pageThe craniosacral system is named for the structures it is made up of. The outer most layer: your cranium (skull and facial bones), vertebra (back bones), and your sacrum and coccyx (tail bone). The next layer in, is a membrane system (called meninges) that contain the fluid in and around the innermost parts: your brain and spinal cord. It’s also important to know that this membrane system is attached at certain parts of the bones inside and freely moving within others.

The ‘cranial rhythm’ felt for in your tissues is created by the subtle movement of the brain, spinal cord and cerebral spinal fluid.  This motion at the core of your body is communicated via your webbing of connective tissues throughout your whole body.

The cerebral spinal fluid, brain, and spinal cord are always moving in a slow, rhythmic pulse. This is called the ‘cranial rhythm. Those movements gently ‘tug’ on the places where the membrane attaches to the bones, subtly moving them.This is how the cranial rhythmic impulse, or cranial rhythm works, and it cycles 8-12 times per minute. There are other, slower cranial rhythms or “tides” as we call them as well. But to keep this brief I won’t explain them here. Essentially your alive body is a constant sea of fluid motion.

The cranial rhythm, is communicated via your connective tissues throughout every structure and cell of your body. Like ripples on the surface of calm water once you’ve tossed a pebble in – except exponentially more intricate, complex, and amazing. As changes occur in one place in your body, all other parts immediately know of that change and re-organize to adapt to it. This works with and involves your whole body in the healing process. Because of the way everything is connected in the fluid matrix I can work on any tissue, any place in your body. I can work on your head from your feet, for example. I can work with a specific area or a whole system depending on what’s needed by your body in the moment.