After a craniosacral therapy session with a client, I often hear back that sleep has improved. What’s the connection?
First let’s ask: Why do we spend a third of our lives sleeping?
We know some things about the importance of sleep. Sleep is essential to form and consolidate memories, and also to create and prune neuronal connections. What else could be going on?
One common belief has been that the brain gets rid of its own waste, breaking it down and recycling it at the individual cell level. By exploring the activity of the cerebrospinal fluid, a group at the University of Rochester’s medical school discovered something amazing.
In an article published last fall in the journal Science, Dr. Nedergaard, a researcher at the University of Rochester’s medical school, proposed that we have a “brain equivalent of a lymphatic system, a network of channels that cleared out toxins with watery cerebrospinal fluid.” Using advanced microscopes and fluorescent tracers injected into the cerebrospinal fluid of mice, researchers could follow the tracers into the brain and eventually out of it along specific and predictable routes. This “interstitial space … takes up to 20 percent of the brain’s total volume [and] is mainly dedicated to physically removing the cells’ daily waste.” This alternate lymphatic system has been identified in baboons, dogs, and goats; human studies are coming up.
This research does not specifically mention craniosacral therapy, but it does explain the importance of cerebrospinal fluid, the craniosacral system, and the quality and quantity of our sleep. And as a craniosacral therapy practitioner, I would love to know what could be observed during a CST appointment! Learn more at the New York Times: Goodnight. Sleep Clean.
I invite you to try this restorative work to see what it can do for you. It is profoundly calming and gentle, and can help people suffering from headaches and migraines, disturbed sleep, and sinus issues.