A Brief Anatomy:
The CranioSacral System (CSS) anatomy is composed by the brain (and the cranial nerves), the spine (and the spinal nerves) and the meninges, which are 3 layers of membranes that envelope like "cling film" all the convolutions of the brain and of the spinal cord reaching the tip of our coccyx (our “tail bone”).
Inside the meninges there is a fluid, the CerebroSpinal Fluid (CSF), that is cyclically pumped and reabsorbed in the 3 different layers of the meninges.
The meninges and the CSF have the main function of protecting and nourishing our Central Nervous System and of disposing of its waste products.
As mentioned above, the CSF is pumped and reabsorbed cyclically in the meninges and this generates the so called CranioSacral Rhythm (CSR).
When the CSF is pumped in the meninges there is an increase in volume and pressure in these tissues, and when it is reabsorbed there is a decrease of volume and pressure in the meninges.
The cranial bones and the spine have the physiological design and function of accommodating this increase and decrease of cerebrospinal fluid pressure when it's pumped and reabsorbed in the meninges.
This is why Dr. Upledger assumed that the cranial bones never fuse completely,
in order to accommodate this rise and fall of intra-cranial pressure.
As our Central Nervous System governs all the tissues of our body (organs, bones, muscles, ligaments, skin, blood vessels, hormonal glands, lynphatic system, etc.)
the CranioSacral Rhythm is transmitted through all the tissues and can be palpated anywhere in the body.
A healthy CSR has its own qualities and has is comprised of 6 to 10 cycles per minute (this means that te CSF is pumped and reabsorbed in the meninges 6 to 10 times per minute).
The CSS has a powerful influence over the nervous, endocrine and immune systems and has a whole body effect.
When an abnormal rate or poor quality of the CSR is palpated anywhere in the body we have found a restriction.
CST is ultimately about identifying and releasing these restrictions present in our body that are impeding the healthy physiological functioning of our different systems and the body as a whole unit.
Anatomy of the meninges (in Blue)
in the cranium and in the spine
Diagram of target organs of the spinal nerves
Diagram of the target organs of the cranial nerves