CST for canines

Cranial sacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on form of energy healing. It’s very subtle and simple, yet it can have profound effects.

Cranial sacral therapy (CST) is a form of energy medicine that involves a very gentle and subtle application of hands-on healing. By utilizing the electromagnetic points within the palms of your hands and your fingertips, it is possible to balance the pulse of an animal’s meningeal system (see below) and release constrictions. This therapy allows you to reset the central nervous system and promote auto regulation and self healing.

Many cranial osteopaths have contributed to the development of CST, but it was Dr. John Upledger who discovered the “pulse” of the central nervous system (CNS). During a surgery of the CNS, he was unable to stabilize a section of the spinal cord and palpated a pulse of about ten per minute that was independent of the heart and respiratory rates. It is this pulse that a CST practitioner seeks to detect.

Understanding the cranial sacral system

By understanding the cranial sacral system (CSS), you can better understand the foundation of cranial sacral therapy and get started with the basics.

The CSS is a unique organ system within itself. It consists of the cranium or skull bones, the sacrum (at the base of the spine) and all the membranes and fluids around the brain and spinal cord, including the nerves, vessels and organ systems.

Remember the old game of telephone children used to play with two tin cans connected to each other by a rope? You could talk into your tin can and the person on the other end would hear what was being said. This is the same type of communication that occurs within the body through the meningeal system, from the cranium down the spinal cord to the sacrum.

The meningeal system consists of three layers: 1. Pia 2. Arachnoid membrane 3. Dura mater

The pia, the inner layer, is tightly attached to the brain and spinal cord and extends all the way down to the sacrum. It is covered by cerebral spinal fluid secured by the arachnoid layer with the dura mater closely adhered to that. The dura covers the spinal cord and the entire nervous system, has a tensile strength of 1,000 pounds per square inch, and extends out of the transverse vertebral processes. Once it leaves the CNS, it becomes the fascia system, which covers everything and interconnects the entire physical structure.

Aside from carrying waste, nutrients and serving as a lubricant, it is responsible for eliciting its own pulse or rate. Cerebral spinal fluid is produced by the choroid process in the ventricles and is filtered through the brain into the CSS, resulting in an increase in the pressures. In turn, when the CSS sends the cerebral spinal fluid back to the bloodstream, a decrease in pressure occurs. This is where the dura pulse comes from.

CST case study

My own first CST patient was an aggressive ten-year-old female Chihuahua with congestive heart failure. Despite being on traditional cardiac drugs, she was going back into congestive heart failure and her family was told by the cardiologist that there was nothing more they could do.

With nothing to lose, I started CST at the sacrum and experienced the dog relaxing in her person’s arms. She commented that if she wasn’t there to experience it, she would not have believed it. My hands lightly touched the dorsal surface and I felt a soft gelatinous flow of energy under my hand, like a glob in a lava lamp moving slowly and continuously under my palm. Each time the dog released by taking a deep breath, I moved my hand up her body towards her head. Not once did she try to bite me. Once I got to her neck, she lost her tolerance for my touch, seemed startled out of her quiet state, and moved away. I then knew she’d had enough CST.

After this single treatment, she went on to live another six months, much to the surprise of the cardiologist.

CST is a safe and non-invasive technique that brings with it many lasting and benefcial results. By partnering it with traditional and other alternative therapies, your dog’s innate healing abilities can be greatly enhanced. traditional cardiac drugs, she was going back into congestive