Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is an integrative therapy technique that focuses on the very gentle physiological motion created by movement of cerebrospinal fluid in the body. Cerebrospinal fluid is the substance found only in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and it's volume and movement is regulated by the nervous system. Its effect however, is seen throughout the entire body, as all tissue is intertwined. When experienced, a clinician can feel this rhythm anywhere in the body, can identify where there might be restrictions or limitations, and can provide supportive techniques to maintain balance. CST if very gentle and is often combined with other hands-on techniques and breath work.
CST has been shown to be particularly useful for patients with chronic conditions and pain.
Haller, H., Lauche, R., Sundberg, T., Dobos, G., & Cramer, H. (2019). Craniosacral therapy for chronic pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 21, 1-14. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezp.twu.edu/10.1186/s12891-019-3017-y
Mann, J., Gaylord, S., Faurot, K., Suchindran, C., Coeytaux, R., Wilkinson, L., . . . Curtis, P. (2012). P02.55. craniosacral therapy for migraine: A feasibility study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12 doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezp.twu.edu/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P111
Myofascial Release Techniques
The entire body is covered with a delicate tissue called fascia. It is found as a web-like structure covering and embedded in all of our muscles, around blood vessels and nerves, and surrounding our organs. It is expansive and has a significant impact on the mobility of the structures around it. Fascia can become damaged and can lose it's elasticity, in which case, pain, loss of mobility, and joint restriction can occur. Fascia is also thought to be one of the primary structures that is connected to our emotions in that the chemicals and hormones that are released following certain experiences can influence the fascia in a variety of areas in the body, and cause dysfunction and imbalance.
Myofascial techniques are very gentle, sometimes involve active movement by the patient, and can be very effective in mitigating pain and restoring motion.
Castro-Sánchez, A. M., Matarán-Peñarrocha, G.,A., Arroyo-Morales, M., Saavedra-Hernández, M., Fernández-Sola, C., & Moreno-Lorenzo, C. (2011). Effects of myofascial release techniques on pain, physical function, and postural stability in patients with fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 25(9), 800-13. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezp.twu.edu/10.1177/0269215511399476
Grinberg, K., Weissman-Fogel, I., Lowenstein, L., Abramov, L., & Granot, M. (2019). How does myofascial physical therapy attenuate pain in chronic pelvic pain syndrome? Pain Research & Management : The Journal of the Canadian Pain Society, 2019, 11. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezp.twu.edu/10.1155/2019/6091257
Yoga & Breath Work
Yoga is an ancient practice that includes physical poses (asanas), meditation, and breathing techniques that are used to coordinate mind, body, and soul. Yoga has been shown to improve strength, balance, and flexibility. It has also been shown to improve mood, regulate emotions, and increase spiritual connection. Yoga is not a religion, nor does it take the place of religion. It is a powerful practice that helps teach the mind and body to work together to feed the spirit.
The breath practices that are found in yoga practice can also be powerful in use of pain control, lung health, and mental health.
Monson, Angela L,R.D.H., PhD., Chismark, Aubreé M,R.D.H., M.S., Cooper, Brigette R,R.D.H., M.S., & Krenik-Matejcek, T. (2017). Effects of yoga on musculoskeletal pain. Journal of Dental Hygiene (Online), 91(2), 15-22. Retrieved from https://ezp.twu.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ezp.twu.edu/scholarly-journals/effects-yoga-on-musculoskeletal-pain/docview/2186072319/se-2?accountid=7102
Saeed, S. A., Cunningham, K., & Bloch, R. M. (2019). Depression and anxiety disorders: Benefits of exercise, yoga, and meditation. American Family Physician, 99(10), 620-627. Retrieved from https://ezp.twu.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ezp.twu.edu/scholarly-journals/depression-anxiety-disorders-benefits-exercise/docview/2454055244/se-2?accountid=7102
Wang, F., M.Sc, & Szabo, Attila,PhD., D.Sc. (2020).
Effects of yoga on stress among healthy adults: A systematic review. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 26(4), 58-64. Retrieved from https://ezp.twu.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ezp.twu.edu/scholarly-journals/effects-yoga-on-stress-among-healthy-adults/docview/2442969434/se-2?accountid=7102
Plant-Based/Whole Food Nutrition
Plant-based nutrition is a a lifestyle that focuses on eating plant-derived foods and minimizing animal products, processed sugar, and dairy. This is not strictly vegetarian or vegan, and my personal belief is that no 2 people will benefit from eating exactly the same things all of the time. The primary philosophy of plant-based eating has been well-documented and studies show many benefits for a variety of diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, cancer, auto-immune disorders, and mood disorders such as depression. While I use this as the base of my personal practice philosophy, this is not an all or nothing approach. It is a way to develop healthy patterns that are targeting your individual needs.
Please note, my intention is not to completely up-end someone's eating patterns, but rather to provide the education, guidance, and resources to make changes that might be meaningful to each individual.
The NY Times Bestseller, How Not to Die, by Michael Greger has hundreds of citations and clinical trial references to support this type of nutrition.
Dry Needling is a treatment used by physical therapists to treat muscular pain and irritation. It is safe, minimally discomforting and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled, trained physical therapists, certified in the procedure. A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.
So, what is a trigger point? A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain.
It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.
Dry needling treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Rather, it often is part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy interventions into treatment.
Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.