Updated: Sep 9, 2022
It was never easy for me, returning to the classroom after a three-month break. There were so many reasons to worry. Trying to recall information from years past, which I had not thought about all summer. Some subjects were always a struggle - and others I couldn't get enough. Not to mention the learning curve of meeting new classmates, forming and retaining friendships. The struggles that fall within the social circles can add to depression, lack of confidence and reduced self-esteem. As I got older, physical and hormonal changes along with finding hobbies, sports and other extracurricular activities that distracted me from scholastics.
Since discovering CranioSacral Therapy (CST), I have learned much about how physical restrictions can influence not only the physical changes, but the hormones, emotions and brain function. By engaging with the soft tissues of the body, spine, and skull, CST encourages the body to recognize any restrictions, find the path to release and hold that new identified form.
Let's talk about some common issues your child may be experiencing with the return of school - and how CST can help.
Anxiety & Depression
School can cause stress in MANY ways for children. It could be getting to know a new school building layout, new teachers, school schedules, new peers, reconnecting with friends, or a new routine at home. Increased stress can lead to noticeable changes in children and teens, including grinding teeth, disturbances in sleep patterns, emotional outbursts, lack of personal hygiene or physical changes in facial appearance.
Stress causes tissue to lighten up, restricting the nerve communication and the flow of spinal fluid in the spine. These restrictions heighten the 'fight flight' mechanism in the body which leads to anxiety and depression.
CranioSacral Therapy works with the body's soft tissues to release restrictions applied to the spinal system. When the spinal system moves correctly, it releases waste and toxins from around the brain and spinal cord, providing a cushion and a healthy environment for the central nervous system. By releasing these restrictions, a person is able to approach new or stressful situations with a calm and balanced nervous system. When the nervous system is balanced and relaxed, it increases gastrointestinal function (which reduces stomach pains and constipation), decreases any teeth grinding (which promotes tooth and gum health along with reducing face, jaw and neck pain), increases sleep quality and decreases a fight flight response triggering emotional outbursts.
Research indicates that prolonged exposure to physical or emotional stress can contribute to chronic pain, as mentioned in this article, "Temporomandibular Myofascial Pain Syndrome—Aetiology and Biopsychosocial Modulation. A Narrative Review - PMC."
"Prolonged exposure to physical and emotional stress can contribute to chronic pain stemming from the TP formation. As much as 75% of patients report that stress is the main reason for a doctor visit." Read entire article.
Weakened Immune System
Parents are all too familiar with the first quarter illnesses kids bring home each fall. The immune system, which may have also taken the summer off, needs to reboot in order to battle the increased exposure to viruses and bacteria and to maintain overall health. When an immune response is triggered, the body has an increased inflammatory response. If not addressed, this inflammatory response can lead to diseases including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, and arthritis later in life.
CranioSacral Therapy practitioners engage with the body's cells to find those that are not moving, apply a light touch and work with the body as it unravels whatever tension is applied to the cell. Releasing restrictions increases cellular movement, decreases inflammation and increases the cell's ability to defend the body from invaders.
Tim Hutton, PhD discusses the benefits of CST in his article "Palpating and Treating the Immune System Usingn CranioSacral Therapy". He says,
"Following the subtle micro-movements of the tissue and of the immune cells will then facilitate the release of conflict within the body and allow the inflammatory condition to gradually begin to resolve...CranioSacral Therapy, with its ability to map inflammation in the body and treat it with precision and specificity, is an ideal vehicle with which to address such issues." Read entire article.
Reduced Focus and Concentration
Soft tissue anywhere in the body can get "bunched up" - or folded onto itself - applying external tension to the spinal system. This external tension can pull vertebrae or sacrum out of alignment, causing tension to the internal soft tissues surrounding the spinal cord. Cranial bones can be out of alignment causing tension on the internal tissues surrounding the brain. When these tissues are restricted, the brain can actually shift, applying forces to centers of the brain responsible for different functions and the nerves that reside within the skull. These restrictions to the brain could result in difficulty with memory, have problems analyzing situations, the ability to add or subtract, ability to read or write and/or comprehension and difficulty in making healthy decisions.
Parents and teachers may recognize some physical complications like headaches, migraines, problems with seeing the classroom board, not hearing the teacher properly, inability to sit still, or falling asleep in class yet having trouble sleeping at night.
With the light touch on the cranial bones, CranioSacral therapy assists the body to realign and release the tension in the tissues connecting the bones. When cranial bones can move, they flex to move the spinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, eliminating waste and toxins built up and providing nutrients and promoting a healthy environment. This allows the communication of the nerves, the function of the brain and the fluid to increase the cognitive processes.
When I had my first CranioSacral Session, I noticed a reduction in migraines, clearer thinking and better deeper sleep quality.
CranioSacral Therapy is a light touch non-invasive alternative medicine that works with the body to find restrictions, helps to balance the body physically which allows the body to balance mentally and emotionally. Regular sessions can help maintain a balanced system to increase the body's ability to self-correct when external stimuli are applied.
Book a session to help your child balance and adjust to the new school year. Click here to book today.