Cancer and Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy helps patients cope with cancer pain
Jack Bleeker July 2010
For cancer patients, CranioSacral therapy has been known to reduce stress, tension and headaches. The therapy involves a gentle massage of bones in the skull, spine and pelvis for a session of 30 minutes to an hour. The treatment is typically performed by osteopaths, chiropractors and massage therapists.
Although the theoretical basis of CranioSacral therapy differs from scientists’ ideas of anatomy and physiology of the skull, brain and spinal fluid circulation, anecdotal reports have shown successful treatment of the therapy.
For patients diagnosed with aggressive, incurable cancers, such as those with mesothelioma, the treatment may help them feel more relaxed. Cancer treatment is a painful process, and can lead to patients’ loss of hope.
Mesothelioma cancer, caused by asbestos exposure, is rare. The disease affects nearly 3,000 Americans each year, and attacks the body’s mesothelium. The lung, heart and abdominal cavities are most commonly affected by the cancer.
Unfortunately, the mesothelioma survival rate is poor. Patients are typically given a life expectancy period of less than a year, once diagnosed with the disease.
Craniosacral therapy, along with other complementary treatments, may help patients cope with mesothelioma radiation and chemotherapy pain. The gentle massage of bones in the head, spine and pelvis are thought to increase the flow of cerebrospinal fluid–which can cure a number of ailments. Craniosacral therapists have also noted a link between the fluid in the head, and the sacrum (the base of the lower back)–that the rhythm of the fluid that flows between these two areas can be detected like a pulse. The fluid normalizes, balances and eliminates blockages in various systems throughout the body. And once such obstructions are moved, the body can function in a healthier manner.
Promoters of CranioSacral therapy claim that the therapy helps relieve headaches, neck and back pain, problems with the temporomandibular joint (the hinge of the jaw), chronic fatigue, poor coordination, and a slew of other conditions.
Practitioners have even noted that the therapy can relieve depression–a common side effect of those with aggressive diseases, such as asbestos cancer.
Although scientists have yet to discover solid information on craniosacral therapy, which demonstrates evidence to support the claims made about it, practitioners and patients have noted that the complementary therapy eases pain caused by cancer and its corresponding treatment.
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