2018 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

The Sacral Cycle

In 1899, Dr. William Sutherland discovered brain motion in humans. More importantly, he discovered that the sacrum moved in synchronicity with the brain via the dural tube.

In classical craniosacral therapy the provider frees up the sacrum from its adjacent osseous structures. This concept is fine but usually only results in an approximate ten-second sacral cycle (five seconds in sacral flexion, five seconds in sacral extension). We found that the fascial web, surrounding and infusing into the sacrum, can further open its motion.

CFT helps the body release this web and allows the sacrum to move more freely in cycles over 100 seconds (at least fifty seconds in sacral flexion, at least fifty seconds in sacral extension). I am happy when the patient reaches the 200-second brain/sacral cycle zone. Pelvic fascial strain release on the first visit can result in a zero-brain-cycle patient opening nicely without even treating her/his head. This further confirms the direct cranial/sacral connection.

We realized the importance of sacral motion in our infant research. When the sacral/pelvic fascia was strained due to birth trauma, the web restrictions usually extended into the neck and head. We found that the upper body conditions of nursing, eye, sinus, reflux, sucking, swallowing, and other issues did not completely clear until the pelvic strain had cleared.

When I treat a newborn/infant, I usually start in the pelvis, the root of the upper-body issue. I will explain to mom that therapy is not as simple as just doing an upper-body technique to release the offending tissues and we are good to go.

In addition, CFT may be the only manual therapy available to help release fascia attaching to the inside of the sacrum. Pelvic floor trauma like episiotomy and tearing must be strongly considered in therapy. Also the tip of the coccyx can act like a fascial lightning rod picking up the restrictive effects of a lifetime of pelvic trauma.

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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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