Alicia Smith Healing Arts
Lemoyne/Camp Hill, PA
CFT Craniosacral Fascial Therapy

Craniosacral Fascial Therapy: Natural Care for Infants, Children, Adolescents and Adults with Chronic Illnesses, Issues and Conditions

Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT) was developed by Dr. Barry Gillespie as a specific integration of craniosacral, fascial, and TMJ-dental bodywork therapies to support brain function. This is helpful for chronic illnesses, sports injuries, head injuries, headaches, back aches, learning issues, shoulder issues, physical and emotional issues such as anxiety, depression and abuse issues.
Craniosacral Fascial Therapy does not diagnose or treat diseases or conditions. Craniosacral Fascial Therapy does work with the craniosacral fascial restrictions present in those who have certain conditions.
Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT) can be a very effective modality for those suffering with the effects of the following conditions: ADD, ADHD, asthma, autism, back aches, cerebral palsy, colic, dyslexia, earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hyperactivity, learning disorders, neck aches, reflux, scoliosis, sinus conditions, strabismus, throat conditions, TMJ syndrome, and a wide variety of chronic ailments. The earlier in life that a person receives therapy the better their outcome will be.

The Craniosacral Component: Osteopathic Medicine was founded by Dr. Andrew Still, MD to be followed by cranial osteopaths such as Dr. William Sutherland.Sutherland pioneered this work and in 1939 Dr. William Sutherland published his work describing the normal motion of the brain and sacrum. The brain has an inherent cyclical motion; it expands and contracts like a breathing pulse moving the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).This movement of the CSF that is the communication between the cranium and the sacrum is a critical factor for normal brain function and well-being during one's lifetime. Physical trauma can restrict this brain motion and create toxins in the body. The resulting brain pressure can be the determining factor in directly causing headaches, asthma, earaches, hyperactivity, learning disorders, and many other chronic diseases.
Over a series of visits, the craniosacral aspect of treatment involves the gentle release of the soft tissue structures that surround the brain and attach to the sacrum. The therapist can help the body to release these soft tissues naturally without pain, drugs or surgery and restore normal brain motion and function. Today the craniosacral concept is recognized worldwide by thousands of healthcare professionals.

The Fascial Component: The fascial aspect involves the connective tissue that infuses the entire body from head to toe. The fascia connects one body structure to another, such as one muscle cell to another and one organ to another. This whole-body web connotes a strong sense of the interconnectedness of human structures. Trauma can cause strain in this soft tissue system. If you picture the fascial web as a sweater and tug on the bottom, you can see the fabric pull all the way up to the neck.
Trauma to the body, such as a whiplash car injury or a bad fall, can similarly create a soft tissue strain pattern that can pull a tensile strength of up to 2000 pounds per square inch on the intertwined structures. This pressure may be especially prevalent in pain conditions where the fascia irritates nervous tissue.Healthcare professionals almost always overlook fascial trauma; the release of this strain can be the missing key to recovery.
In a similar manner, fascial strain can pull from the trunk of the body through the neck and into the jaw and the head. This tension can put pressure on the brain, restricting its normal breathing motion, and on the cranial nerves, inhibiting their function. This soft tissue tightness can be the primary cause of headaches, neck aches, backaches, colic, scoliosis, throat conditions, and many other ailments. In addition, fascial strain in the breathing tubes and lungs can be the primary cause of childhood asthma. Children cannot breathe normally because these soft tissues are tight. The therapist can help the body to release this fascial pressure naturally and return health to a suffering child.
Medical testing cannot quantitatively measure fascial strain. It can best be felt by a trained healthcare professional. The overall release of fascial pressure by the therapist can result in better function and mobility, improvement in chronic conditions, and overall health and well-being.

The TMJ-Dental Component: There is a critical correlation between oral health and brain function. The TMJ-dental aspect involves the teeth, jaws, and associated soft tissues relating to the motion and function of the brain. Accidental trauma to the TMJ fascia and muscles can put pressure on the brain and cranial nerves and cause jaw and head pain. Dental trauma, such as wisdom teeth removal and/or orthodontics can also upset the craniosacral cycle, create strain in the fascial system and cause many conditions. Other dental treatments that can restrict brain motion are: root canals, bridgework, TMJ surgery, dentures, braces and tooth extractions, etc. Dentists are generally unaware of the close relationship of dentistry to the craniosacral and fascial concepts. The therapist may need to work closely with your dentist or orthodontist for the best therapeutic result for you or your child.

The Trauma of Birth: The origin of many chronic conditions can start in utero or at birth due to fetal trauma, a long labor, the actual delivery (as the baby's head and body are pushed through the birth canal with tremendous force), the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around the throat or body and /or the use of forceps or a vacuum suction tube. The distortion of the tiny skull bones and the resulting soft tissue pressure on the brain and the rest of the body from these birth traumas, if left untreated, can last a lifetime. Craniosacral Fascial Therapy directly after birth can be very corrective for many conditions and may prevent a lifetime of pain and suffering for a child. Treatment can also benefit the mother who experienced pelvic trauma during the delivery.

The Family Hope Center: Dr. Gillespie also works closely with the Family Hope Center near Philadelphia, PA. The Family Hope Center is the number one brain injury center in the world. They use many various therapies and treatments including Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT). Since integrating CFT into their treatment programs, their results have improved greatly including less overall time in the programs. They are the only major facility to use CFT. For more information go to
Mexico: In the spring of 2010, Dr. Gillespie and his team took this work to Mexico to train a pediatrician and his staff in the CFT techniques.The response by staff and mothers and babies was terrific.
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