Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gentle Therapy For Seniors And The Infirmed

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive form of bodywork that enhances the body's natural healing mechanisms by helping it dissipate the negative effects of stress on the central nervous system. This therapy is increasingly used by many as a preventative measure to maintain good health. Because of the gentle application of CranioSacral Therapy it is especially appealing to seniors and the infirmed.

I first began treating on of my clients, who is 73 years old, because he had been suffering from chronic migraine headaches his entire adult life. Especially under times of stress, he would experience an unrelenting headache that would last 4 or more days at a time. Pain medication would barely bring him relief. He had come to accept the headaches as a way of life, but decided to try CranioSacral therapy on the advice of a friend.

During his first therapy session I discovered that the patient had experienced a blow to the head at the age of 19 when he was in the military. After his first 2 CranioSacral sessions this patient noticed a reduction in the frequency of his headaches. He continued therapy sessions with me twice a month. After 6 sessions, this patient noticed that he would get the feeling that a headache was about to begin, but the sensation would disappear and never turn into a full-blown headache. By his eighth session this patient was no longer experiencing migraine headaches. He now receives treatment once every two months to maintain the state of his health.

Seniors, especially once their spouse has passed away, are rarely touched in a nurturing way. The same situation exists for those who are infirmed. They are usually only touched by someone who is caring for their medical needs. CranioSacral Therapy gives me the opportunity to give seniors and the infirmed healthy, nurturing touch.

The Infirmed
My work as a hospice therapist brings me in contact with seniors in nursing homes and those who are bedridden and terminally ill. CranioSacral Therapy is such a gentle therapy that it can be used even on patients to are seriously ill. It can safely be used in conjunction with other therapeutic and medical procedures.

One of my CranioSacral patients was a 69 year old who had recently revocered from surgery and chemotherapy for bladder cancer. The patient's main complaint when he began treatment was that he was having trouble sleeping. He explained that since the surgery he could sleep for no more than 2 hours at a time. He had to get up all night long with the urge to empty his bladder. The morning after his first CranioSacral session this patient phoned me to say that for the first time since his surgery he had been able to sleep for 6 hours straight. This patient received only 2 more sessions and now, a year later, reports that he continues to sleep through the night.

How CranioSacral Therapy Works
The cranium, or skull, is made up of 22 separate bones. There is a misconception that the cranial bones grow together and fuse as we age. In fact, barring some trauma or rare condition, these bones continue to move throughout our lifetime, ideally in a rhythmic, healthy pattern. CranioSacral Therapy involves the therapist following the rhythm of the CranioSacral system and balancing and gently aligning the cranial bones and the sacrum. A very light pressure of as little as 5 grams is used. This is about the weight of a nickel.

A CranioSacral session usually takes place with the patient remaining fully clothed and reclining on a treatment table. For the patient who is seriously ill, the session can take place with the client on a bed. A therapy session can last from about 15 minutes to more than an hour. As a practitioner of CranioSacral Therapy I have seen my senior and infirmed clients benefit with better memory, better circulation, more energy and fewer aches and pains.

No comments:

Post a Comment