Craniosacral therapy is a most powerful, yet gentle tool to help resolve tension headaches because this therapy deals with all the structures involved with tension headaches: the head, spine, muscles of the head, muscles of the spine, fascia (connective tissue) that envelops and weaves through the muscles, the nerves of the head (cranial nerves), nerves of the spine (spinal nerves and the spinal cord), as well as the nerve tissue in the head we call brain.
Tension headaches are ubiquitous.
It’s the rare person who hasn’t experienced them. The name refers to headaches caused by muscular tension anywhere along the spine, especially the neck, as well as the upper back and shoulders.
What causes this muscular tension? Poor posture, eye strain, sitting for a long time, old and new injuries, curvature of the spine (scoliosis), and asymmetric exercises or hobbies, as well as carrying a heavy bag either on primarily the left or the right shoulder or diagonally across the body. Emotional or mental distress often manifests in muscular tension. Previous back surgery may be another cause tension headaches.
Tight muscles can cause pain and much more.
When muscles tighten up, they put pressure on nerves, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and meridians. Hence, muscle tension not only causes tension headaches and pain, but also decreased nerve conduction, decreased blood flow, decreased lymph flow which leads to an impaired immune system, and decreased flow of energy.
Most Westerners don’t know about the meridian system (the energy pathways of the body), or its importance. Meridians are analogous to the electric wiring in your home. The wires carry electricity within the walls to all the wall outlets in every room of your house. All your appliances, including the light fixtures, as well as your computer, TV, and your entertainment system depend on the uninterrupted flow of electricity. Wires that are fried or loose can no longer do the job. So it is with meridians.
Tight muscles, and the fascia that envelops and weaves through them, compress, stretch, or distort the meridians. Surgery often cuts right through them. Since meridians are connected with each other directly and through other meridians, cutting through them does not interrupt the energy flow entirely. However, it may weaken it substantially. Decreased energy, or erratic energy (like electricity from a loose wire) impairs the function of the tissues supplied by it.
Although the dominant symptom of tension headaches is head pain, we often feel irritable, tired, or stiff in the neck, shoulders, or upper back. We may also experience blurry vision, difficulty focusing, decreased appetite, difficulty with digestion, difficulty concentrating, problems with short-term memory, and mood changes, among others.
So how can craniosacral therapy help with tension headaches?
Craniosacral therapy releases the tension in the fascia and muscles. This creates more space for the blood vessels, nerves, lymph vessels, and meridians, resulting in decreased (or no) pain, more energy, better blood circulation (oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues via blood), greater emotional well-being, increased mental functioning, and improved immune system.
Note: A sudden headache with no history of a previous headache like it may be caused by an aneurysm (bulging of an artery where the arterial wall is thinning; like a tire that’s ready to blow) in the brain and requires immediate medical attention. Rupture of this aneurysm may result in permanent brain damage, or death.