While we are catching our Z's, our brain is hard at work clearing out the byproducts of our busy brains. New research findings suggest the position you sleep in during the night influences the efficiency of your brain's natural cleansing system, the glymphatic system. Getting these byproducts, waste, out of the brain is important, the buildup of waste products like amyloid beta and tau proteins are involved in neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's. Sleeping on your side will not keep these conditions at bay, but greater understanding of the functioning of the glymphatic system will hopefully help in discovering new treatments or prevention.
CranioSacral therapists work with the cerebrospinal fluid production and absorption, this is what our hands are feeling while working on clients. We detect where there are restrictions to the rhythm and flow of this fluid and then help the body correct these restrictions. Cerebrospinal fluid flows throughout the glymphatic system, its the medium which moves these byproducts to the lymphatic system and our body's natural, many ways to detox itself.
Hopefully one day there will be research on how CranioSacral Therapy and the glymphatic system work together. Some of the techniques CST uses to promote the production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid are the relaxing and soothing still point, the dynamic rock and glide and cranial pumping techniques.
Hedok Lee, Lulu Xie, Mei Yu, Hongyi Kang, Tian Feng, Rashid Deane, Jean Logan, Maiken Nedergaard, and Helene Benveniste. The Effect of Body Posture on Brain Glymphatic Transport. Journal of Neuroscience, July 2015 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1625-15.2015
University of Rochester Medical Center, Scientists Discover Previously Unknown Cleansing System in the Brain, https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/3584/scientists-discover-previously-unknown-cleansing-system-in-brain.aspx.
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Janet Crow MS, CMT, CST-T
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