Can Craniosacral Therapy Help My Sleep?

Do you go to sleep at night and wake up still feeling tired? Have you ever had a hard time falling asleep? Do you experience restlessness throughout the night? Disrupted sleep or not being able to fall into a deep, quality sleep is a very common problem and it’s also a big part of the reason we have so many chronic diseases and body breakdown. Our bodies need to sleep in order to heal and without that quality healing sleep time, our bodies continue to layer dysfunction upon disfunction until we start to break down and become more vulnerable to disease.

Why is my sleep disturbed?

Think about your life: we have stressors all around us: work and school stressors, environmental stressors, personal stressors, and our phones, and computers have us on constant “alert”- binging, chiming, vibrating, and flashing at us during all hours of the day and night- notifications from messages, emails, calls, social media, weather alerts, stock updates. This constant stimulation tells our nervous system that we are in “fight or flight”- one of two responses of the central nervous system (CNS). It’s a harsh reality that in today’s world of “connectedness” and the pressure to be busy that our body’s nervous system can become compromised- and when the nervous system is compromised, the entire body is compromised. Learn how Craniosacral therapy can help your sleep.

What can you do to improve your sleep?

We use a method of treatment in Craniosacral therapy to help your body come down out of “fight or flight” and go into the other mode of the CNS, “rest and digest”.  We need to be in “rest and digest” to heal, to experience full relaxation within our system, to give everything a chance to quiet down, AND to get good, quality sleep.
If you feel like you’re always under pressure, you can’t unwind, you have a hard time “turning off your brain”, try resetting your central nervous system.  (Your central nervous system is made up of your brain and spinal cord). 

What do try

Try this before bed, as it can be a great time to reset and help you experience more restful sleep.  Start by taping 2 tennis balls together- then lay on your back and place the tennis balls under your head at the point on your head that protrudes out the most.
When you first lay on the tennis balls, you may feel slightly tense and uncomfortable- try your best to relax through this and breathe into it as you allow your body to release and become more at ease.  At this point, you may feel like you can feel a little “quieting” of your body- this is your body going into a “still point”- which is essentially a nervous system reset button.  You can lay like this for 1-3 minutes as your body resets.  You should not experience any new pain during this time, so if you do, stop and try again another time.  Lay quietly, allowing your body to take a break in this new way and see if it helps the quality of your sleep.

In the clinic, we work on this in many different ways but we primarily use the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that flows around the brain and spinal cord) as a way to feel what’s happening in the system- we feel how it’s flowing and treat areas where there appears to be an adherence or a disturbance in how the fluid is moving.
The amazing thing about using cerebrospinal fluid to manipulate the nervous system is that it’s the most effective way to influence the central nervous system- because it’s of its proximity to the brain and spinal cord.
Looking to try out Craniosacral therapy to help improve your sleep,  contact our Grafton clinic to set up an appointment today.

Physical Therapist at Freedom Physical Therapy Services
Anne’s treatment specialties include upper extremity orthopedic injuries, overhead athlete rehabilitation, pain management (chronic and acute), lymphedema management, ergonomic and industrial rehabilitation and consultation, and craniosacral therapy (often used for support with: headache/migraine management, TMJ treatment, fibromyalgia/pain management, hormonal imbalance, autoimmune dysfunction, digestive disorders, anxiety/stress/depression, and concentration challenges).