Craniosacral therapy, sometimes also written as crainio sacral therapy, is a type of bodywork which is focused on the fluids which surround the brain and spinal cord. Using gentle manipulation, a therapist attempts to bring these areas into alignment, intending to release pressure and nerve pain. Proponents of the technique say that patients at all levels of physical ability benefit from receiving craniosacral therapy, while opponents suggest that there is no scientific evidence to support the validity of the effects. Certainly no evidence indicates that the treatment is harmful, and because it is so gentle, it is also appropriate for all ages as a touch therapy.
In the 1930s, an osteopath named William Sutherland laid the groundwork for craniosacral therapy, after working extensively with patients who experienced a wide range of symptoms. He suggested that their problems resulted in an imbalance of the craniosacral system, which runs from the top of the head or cranium all the way down the spine to the sacrum. By performing gentle manipulations of the skull and spine, he claimed to alleviate pain and improve quality of life for his patients. In the late 1970s, John Upledger, another osteopath, refined the technique, and is usually acknowledged as the pioneer of craniosacral therapy as it is practiced today.