The Meninges: Key to Our Well-Being

Tension in any of the meningeal layers affects our central nervous system

Thanks to Dr. William Warner Sutherland, we know that the skull and face bones move throughout our lifetime; i.e., the sutures between them do not fuse until we die.  We also know that the brain and spinal cord, also referred to as the central nervous system (CNS), are encased in a three-layered membrane system, called meninges, that attaches to the inside of the skull, the first two neck vertebrae, and the sacrum.   Furthermore, we know that the meninges envelopes the CNS as a single unit.

Hence, any tug on the meninges anywhere from the top of the head to the bottom of the sacrum will affect what is inside the membrane system, namely the brain and spinal cord, comprising the CNS.  This is what Dr. Sutherland discovered as he continued to explore the effects of shifting  head bones on a person’s well-being.

What does that mean to you and me?

Because the membranes attach to the inside of the skull bones, any shifting of the skull bones or facial bones creates a tug on these membranes.  Any muscle tension along the spine will also create a tug on the membranes since these are attached to the spine at the top of the neck and to the sacrum.  How?  The muscles shorten when they tense up, pulling the spine slightly out of alignment, and along with it the membranes that cover the spinal cord.  Moreover, any trauma to the head, face, spine, or sacrum may cause many different symptoms depending on what nerves are affected by this trauma.

These symptoms are universal and common place.  We’ve learned to palliate them or suppress them with medication, alcohol, or drugs.  Some of these symptoms are headaches, vision changes, mood changes, nausea, generalized pain, discomfort, muscle and joint pain, joint dysfunction, restricted range of motion — difficulty moving any part of the body, nerve pain and dysfunction, difficulty swallowing, talking, and hearing, sleep problems, digestive issues, developmental difficulties in children, difficult pregnancy and birth,  difficulty with concentration and memory, and so much more.

Craniosacral Therapy helps the body to tension and restrictions in the membrane system.

However, thanks to Dr. Sutherland’s discovery, as well as Dr. John E. Upledger, who further explored, developed, and helped to make known craniosacral therapy, we now have a very gentle and non-invasive, yet very effective tool to release these tensions and thus the pain and discomfort caused by them.

The spinal cord is the highway of our nervous system, relaying sensory signals from the body to the brain and response signals from the brain back down to the body.  The spinal cord and the brain are bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which buffers the brain and spinal cord from injury due to minor and major physical trauma, as well as nourishes the nerves, and returns metabolic toxins back out to the venous system of the body.

My next post looks at the three layers of the meninges.