Karen L. Jaeger P.T.
2701 International Lane
Madison, WI 53704
Many craniosacral therapists are evolving their practices as we learn more about the lymphatic system. The reason for this is that we are finding we can see faster and often more extensive change combining these two techniques.
In common is their focus on fluid flow, spinal fluid for craniosacral therapy and lymph for lymph drainage. What has become clearer as we study these two systems is that a source of lymph is spinal fluid. Studies have shown that spinal fluid not only drains out of the dural system directly to the heart from the veins. Significant amounts of spinal fluid are absorbed into the lymphatics around the dura, especially where spinal fluid seeps from the dural sleeves of the cranial and spinal nerve routes.
The therapeutic applications, what is felt by the therapist when feeling into both of these systems, have to do partly with increasing the volume of both fluids, therefore creating improved hydration in and outside the brain within all the tissues of the body. As spinal fluid production and flow are facilitated with craniosacral therapy, there is greater volume drained into the lymphatic system. Places in the brain that make spinal fluid become a well-spring for hydration for the entire body.
The other application has to do with induction of fluid flow. Here induction of lymph flow done with lymph drainage techniques creates a vacuum effect that in turn induces greater spinal fluid flow. Brains and bodies depend of vigorous flow of both these fluids in order to remain or regain health.
All tissues have as part of their activity release of waste products. Inflamed tissues, or tissues distressed or traumatized in some way, produce even more wastes. if left in the system, you have toxicity, pain and further dysfunction. Spinal fluid and lymph wash the tissues and drain wastes, creating a healthier environment. During a therapy session, the therapist can actually map by feel the release of toxins out of the tissues (muscles, bones or other connective tissue, the brain, or the organs), through the drainage patterns of the spinal fluid and lymph, to the heart and then to the spleen, liver, kidneys, bladder and intestines .
The end result for the patient is that often they will be more thirsty, less hungry, and have an increase in urination or possibly an increase or decrease in bowel movements. They might immediately feel better. Sometimes, however, they have a period of feeling less well, as toxins are released into the system and before they are eliminated. Long term results are decreased pain, agitation or anxiety, increased flexibility and improved function.
Another function of lymph and spinal fluid that becomes evident with these therapy techniques is the capacity for them to nourish and provide hormonal balance for not just the brain but for the whole body. Most brain cells do not have direct access to blood. They are, however, bathed in spinal fluid that has as its source blood. This is how much of the brain is nourished. Produced in the brain and flowing into spinal fluid are numerous hormones and neurotransmitters that also bathe the brain. There are also numerous endocrine glands in the rest of the body that find as a vehicle for their transmission not only blood, but lymph and spinal fluid. The free flow of these chemicals between blood, lymph and spinal fluid create environments throughout the body that influence the system as a whole, depending on the various concentrations of what is produced. Promoting free and easy lymph and spinal fluid flow avoids the build up of hormones that at one level are healthy but at another level cause depression, agitation, anxiety, hyper vigilance, over whelm or under activation of organ systems for such various and diverse functions as heart rate, digestion, respiration, bowel and bladder control, mucous production.
Having started with craniosacral therapy and added lymph drainage, I have seen that by using both I am more fully and more quickly able to help the body release tensions, toxins from local areas and from the body as a whole. What I see with CranioSacral Therapy is care, attention, patience and dialogue regarding energetic events and emotions. CranioSacral Therapy allows emphasis on the story that the person and body on the table might need to tell in order for there to be full recovery and better integration of the mind and the body. Lymph drainage and focus on the spinal fluid flow then actually deal with the molecules of emotion, trauma, stress, inflammation and memory, washing out the old, bringing in the new.
Welcome to the combination of craniosacral therapy and lymph drainage, a dynamic healing combination.