Touch | Craniosacral Therapy Awareness

April is Craniosacral Therapy Awareness Month

The Healing Legacy of Dr. John E. Upledger

Dr. John E. Upledger was an osteopath who developed the manual therapy he named CranioSacral Therapy (CST). He initially developed CranioSacral Therapy so that a therapist would work one-on-one with a client. Over the years he expanded the therapy in many ways – sometimes he would have multiple therapists working with one client, other times he would work with a client in water, and sometimes he would have dolphins assist the therapists when working with a client.

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More about dolphin-assisted CST

In 1996 Dr. Upledger initiated a pilot project designed to investigate the effects of CranioSacral Therapy applied in an aquatic environment in which dolphins were present. The healing capabilities of dolphins have long been speculated, particularly relating to the high ultrasonic frequencies they emit. This study was designed to experientially test the therapeutic benefits of dolphin-human interaction.

The test group consisted of seven children, ages 5-12 years, with diagnoses ranging from cerebral palsy to traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and chronic pain. Each client completed two four-hour treatment sessions that involved both in-water CranioSacral Therapy and dockside sessions. The positive response was significant and included a reduction in pain, increased ease of breathing, greater general relaxation, reduction in hypertonicity, enhanced strength and flexibility, and more restful sleep. From this, Dr. Upledger’s BioAquatic Therapy Programs were developed to train therapists and work with clients, offering CranioSacral therapy both in water-based healing and in dolphin-assisted therapy.