Chronic pain can be very disabling and causes many to feel hopeless. Those suffering from chronic pain must deal with a range of symptoms from constant mild irritation to relentless suffering. It can affect the entire body or be localized. Often people with chronic pain have trouble getting the relief and care they need. Sometimes the healthcare providers are unable to find a cause and end up chasing the symptoms.
In chronic pain, the body has become hypersensitive to any stimulus, the pain receptors and pathways overreact at the site of injury. Sometimes areas within the central nervous system and spinal cord also become hyperactive adapt to the influx of communique from the pain receptors.
The body tissues add layer upon layer of compensation to pain stimulates. These compensations are
The fascia in the area becomes thick and tight, adding pressure on nerve receptors, the vascular system and the muscles in that area.
Any organs along the nerve pathway may also become over stimulated or decrease function.
The effects of chronic pain can snowball, truly making life more and more challenging. Eventually stress responses increase and the person becomes stuck in hypervigilant, fight and flight mode. The sympathetic nervous system starts to overpower the parasympathetic aspect of the nervous system. So more and more time is spent in the sympathetic and less time spent in the parasympathetic state.
Multiple avenues of healing need to be used and should include some of the following. Diet therapy to give the body the nutrients it needs to self-heal. Physical therapy to help with exercise, strength, and alignment. Tai Chi or qigong are very effective for strengthening the body and also easing pain and stress. Mindfulness practices or psychotherapy to help with stress and emotional challenges. And the most important avenue of healing, craniosacral therapy.
Craniosacral therapy is such an important aspect of healing from chronic pain because it address multiple aspects of the physiology behind the over-sensitized feedback loop involved in chronic pain. A craniosacral therapist is able to relieve the pressure on the nerves, calm the pain receptors, increase blood flow, calm down the stress response. And importantly the therapy decreases the time spent in flight and flight and increases the time spend in rest and digest mode. The therapist is able to identify the pain pathway and treats the original trauma and tissues involved to empower the body to heal.
What makes Craniosacral Therapy so unique is that it is a very gentle manual therapy that uses light touch and specialized techniques to pinpoint origins of trauma in the body and release the patterns of dysfunctions in such a way that they melt away dysfunctions rather than using invasive pressure that can cause more injury or illicit a defensive reaction from the tissue. The soft touch of the therapy engages the parasympathetic nervous system and the body starts to self correct. It is important to release the effects of trauma in the body with gentle techniques so the body is able to naturally let go of the trauma in an efficient way. This is why craniosacral treatments are lasting and effective.
The path out of the pain is possible, but it requires the commitment to lifestyle changes and manual therapies. The key manual therapy for recovery is craniosacral therapy and it is the best first approach. The more manual therapy the greater pain relief and ease of body use, which will help to make the nutritional and lifestyle changes to help the body recover. Often regular treatments are needed for the first few weeks, then treatments farther apart for continued relief and maintenance.
Ever wish you could just let that headache or chronic pain go?
Ever think that there was some part of you holding onto your pain, and wish you could just let it go?
I think this is very common with chronic conditions. I hear these statements from patients. Sometimes clients think there is a part of themselves (physical or psychological) that is purposely holding onto the pain. Sometimes I see an underlying level of self-blame. I can totally relate to this and understand why it happens, because after trying so many different things to make the pain go away, and it keeps coming back, you start to wonder if the pain is there because of some belief system or thought process.
It’s very common to think we can heal ourselves because our bodies do, in fact, heal themselves all the time. And I do agree that when we feel pain there is a part of our body that cannot let it go.
But you can’t let it go on your own because your body isn’t strong enough, because you’re sick and your body doesn’t have all the tools it needs to heal. You do not have the inner power required for healing because you are sick.
What you need is a supportive, nurturing, healing environment where body, mind, and soul are safe to let go, process, and heal. What you need is therapist with a variety of tools and the power of a strong healing presence to support your body’s natural healing abilities.
You may also need traditional medicine or medications. You may also need to make some lifestyle changes. Our bodies need a combination of these. That's why complementary therapeutic bodywork can be so effective. It supports the body and helps the medications and traditional therapies be more effective.
A CranioSacral Therapist is a facilitator of healing for your body. We are trained to communicate with your body’s inner wisdom and follow its treatment plan. And our treatments affect the whole body, gently and powerfully because we are giving the body exactly what it needs.
I’ve never found another modality that truly respects the patient’s body and wisdom in this way, the sessions can be profound.
So at the end of a few appointments, your body does let go of the pain. It just needed a healing facilitator to help do what it needed to do.
Have you ever experienced CranioSacral Therapy? Maybe it’s time to experience it yourself? You’re body with thank you!
Politics. Whether we like to stay informed or not, we are being affected by politics and news. Many feel uneasy about the future of our country. Many of us are getting stressed out by the news. Some of us are being triggered by the news.
What I keep seeing with clients is that the headlines and political events are causing people to be triggered by past traumatic events. Even if we are actively trying to stay out of it, we are often hit with headlines involving rape, sexual assault or abuse. And for the people in our country that have experienced these traumas, it can be a very stressful time. I know it has been for me.
Memories of trauma come up, but we still have to carry on with our lives. We have dinner to make for the family, we have meetings to run and people to manage. We often just don’t have the time to process or to even talk about what may be going on with people we trust. Sometimes all I can do is turn it out and think to myself, “I can’t deal with this now” or “not now.” And I carry on.
Keeping busy does get us through the day. But we may notice it’s not so easy for our bodies. We may feel an increase in headaches or aches and pains. Maybe it’s a lump in our throat that just won’t go away. Or maybe we’re just so good at being busy our mind can’t turn off when it’s time to sleep. Maybe our bodies just needs a good cry.
I sometimes feel like this too. It’s my body’s way of getting my attention.
These physical signs mean it’s time to get bodywork. It’s time to care for your body and nervous system.
CranioSacral Therapy gives our body a re-set. CranioSacral Therapy nourishes the nervous system so we can turn down our stress levels and get the pain relief we need. CranioSacral Therapy provides the safe and supportive environment for our body to release, so we can reclaim our strength and vitality.
At Twin Cities CranioSacral I provide my clients the safe and supportive environment their bodies need to release the stress and trauma weighing them down. It’s a very important time for us to get bodywork. It’s time to release the trauma for a new you.
What is self-care?
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Twin Cities CranioSacral
Janet Crow MS, CMT, CST-T
557 West 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102