A CranioSacral Therapy approach to migraines.
If you are a Migraine sufferer you will know the enormous impact that they can have on your life and how you would do almost anything to prevent them.
Migraines are a complex problem with different causes and aggravating factors. There is not one answer to help a migraine sufferer, however in my experience CranioSacral therapy has helped a lot of my patients reduce the frequency and intensity of their migraines as well as decreasing and in some cases, eliminating their need to reach for medication.
Migraine is often used as an umbrella phrase for all intense head pain. But a migraine is much more than that!
The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system, this is where migraines occur. They are surrounded by a 3 layered membrane called the meninges. The meninges contain Cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain acting as a shock absorber, circulating nutrients and chemicals filtered from the blood and removing toxins. The outer layer of these membranes attach to the inside of the skull, to the base of the skull as it joins the neck and to the sacrum at the base of the spine. This system is known as the CranioSacral system.
Tension in these membranes or restriction in the sutures of the skull can have a direct affect on how well the central nervous system functions, impacting on the blood vessels, nerve supply to the blood vessels and the flow of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).If the Autonomic nervous control of the blood vessels in the head are interfered with they can cause a migraine.
CranioSacral therapy is a safe, subtle hands on therapy which gently releases tensions within the membrane system, alleviating pressure off either the nerve that is controlling the blood vessel or the blood vessel itself, and so reducing pain.
Tensions and restrictions elsewhere in the body can have a direct effect on how well the CranioSacral system can function.
For example the muscles from the neck and jaw attach onto the skull bones and so can create an abnormal pull or shear into the bones, and visa versa. This can then cause restricted movement of the skull bones and from there into the membranes.
Other factors which may be the underlying cause of your migraine/ headaches:
- Tension in your Jaw (TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint). Stress can lead to teeth clenching or grinding, trips to the dentist, sitting with your jaw widely open can create huge tension.
- Neck posture, sitting looking at a Computer or SmartPhone creates abnormal pull into the muscles attaching onto the back of the skull.
- An old whiplash injury or neck problem.
- An actual head injury, an old injury from childhood or a more recent one.
- Birth trauma, ie forceps or Ventouse can leave the skull and membranes with abnormal tension leading to headaches in later life.
- A back injury, old or new,creates tension into the membranes around the spinal cord and brain leading to headaches.
- Deep emotional trauma.
In my experience when I assess migraine sufferers these are the areas that have never been considered. An assessment with a CranioSacral therapist looks at all these factors and more. We really listen to the body, find tensions and restrictions and support the body to release these tensions. The impact of which can be life-changing.
We also recognise the importance of giving good supporting advice on posture, stress management, exercise and relaxation to fully complement any treatment. Addressing some of the deep underlying emotional issues can help you to take back control and massively reduce or eliminate the need for drug therapy.
A treatment session lasts 45mins/ 1 hour.
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