Introduction to Equine Craniosacral Therapy.

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on technique that originated in the early 1900’s with the work of osteopath Dr. William Sutherland. It draws from the traditions of osteopathy, energy work, and Taoism. Dr. Sutherland sensed a “cranial wave”, or minute movement within the craniosacral system. This system includes the cranium (head), sacrum (tailbone), spinal column, and spinal dura or covering of the spinal cord. Thus, craniosacral therapy is based on very gentle finger pressure as well as advanced anatomical knowledge. It honors analytic understanding as well as intuitive perception.

Craniosacral practitioners feel for imbalance in the cranium, spinal cord, sacrum, and “core link” (the brain and spinal cord) using sensitive finger palpation. The horse’s head and hind end are connected by the spine, spinal cord, and dura. The dura can become twisted or restricted due to trauma. These twists affect the cranial wave and create imbalances in the body. Using gentle hand pressure, the practitioner assists the horse to release the stored injury or trauma. The dura, the cranial bones, spinal cord, and sacrum are subtly but powerfully realigned.

Why Use Craniosacral therapy for your horse?

Horses respond very well to craniosacral work. This sensitive technique optimizes body movement and is effective in addressing a number of conditions, including tempromandibular dysfunction, headshaking, behavioral issues, and lameness. Because craniosacral therapy rebalances the cranium, many horses benefit from a treatment after they have dental work, which can be traumatic to the jaw. This therapy works well with other modalities such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustment, and dentistry. The number of sessions needed will vary from horse to horse.

Dr. Cissell is trained through level 4 with Maureen Rogers of Equine Craniosacral Workshops.


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Relaxed patient.