2020 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

Patients Ask, “What Is Craniosacral?”

Craniosacral refers to the normal neurophysiological motion of the brain, spinal cord, sacrum and all the connecting tissues.

Emanuel Swedenborg discovered this concept in the 1700s, and William Sutherland rediscovered it 200 years later. One of Sutherland’s students, Dr. Viola Frymann, mentored me.

By 1980, I had fallen in love with craniosacral because it changed my life. My headache went away and my clogged sinuses opened; it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I incorporated the concept into my periodontal/TMJ pain practice with great success. If you had a headache in New England 40 years ago, I was the guy to see in Massachusetts. I left a periodontal practice over time to investigate this new world.

The brain inherently expands and contracts (breathes) while moving the spinal cord and sacrum in tandem. Generally stated, the better the brain breathes, the better the nervous system functions.

When I studied the fascial work of John Barnes, P.T., in 1983, I found that the fascial web presided over the function of these craniosacral tissues. I discovered that the cerebrospinal fluid flows out of the central nervous system into the collagen fibers of the fascial web. Thus, the craniosacral fascial system acts as one unit.

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If any trauma restricts the fascial web after conception, the craniosacral tissues can also tighten. Childhood accidents or any surgery cutting into the fascial web can restrict the craniosacral motion. These traumas can create an onion layering affect over a lifetime.

We may accept our bodies getting tighter as the normal course of aging. But when CFT revisits each layer in my world, authentic healing can free up our bodies to function better, regardless of age.

The downside of this system is that it holds the memory of every trauma since conception. You might feel that these traumas were completely healed long ago, but the fascial web still remembers and holds their restrictions.

So your chronic head and neck pain now at X years of age may have started with pelvic fascial strain in the womb. That strain restricted the fetal craniosacral motion of the sacrum and cranial tissues. You may have been crying after birth from a headache, but no one noticed. In reality you have lived with this strain your entire life.

I find this space/time continuum aspect of the craniosacral fascial system absolutely fascinating. It neatly explains why many people can live very healthy lives for years but never completely recover from their chronic illnesses. This is all the more reason to address birth trauma on day one of life.

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Dr. Barry Gillespie

Dr. Barry Gillespie founded Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, which provides patients with a freely moving brain, spinal cord and fascial web, all critical to optimal health. Dr. Barry Gillespie also created the Baby Brain Score and discovered effective therapeutic techniques for newborns and infants. Read more about Dr. Barry Gillespie.

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