The outbreak of Covid-19 from the beginning of 2020 has not just threatened our physical body but also our mental health. Since the outbreak, I have seen more and more clients coming in with sleeping issues, which are caused by fear and stress rooted from many uncertainties such as how can we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe; how can we secure our jobs and incomes; how can we maintain a normal life during this challenging time, and so on. With fear and stress piling up, suddenly our autonomic nervous system becomes overwhelmed and lose its balance. Our sleep often gets interrupted and wakes up in the middle of the night. Some of us can go back to sleep and some can’t.
Cranioscaral Therapy is very efficient in helping the autonomic nervous system to regain its balance. It supports the body’s central nervous system and helps down regulating the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic function to facilitate the body to rest and have a good sleep throughout the night.
The craniosacral system is a body hydraulic system, which pumps cerebral fluids from the sacrum to the brain. It is this hydraulic system that nurtures our body’s parasympathetic nervous system. By listening and responding to the craniosacral rhythm, the flow restrictions are removed during the process and this promotes relaxation and healing throughout the body.
Our autonomic nervous system works like the Yin and the Yang. The sympathetic nervous system (the Yang) directs the body’s rapid involuntary response to dangerous or stressful situations. A flash flood of hormones boosts the body’s alertness and heart rate, sending extra blood to the muscles. Breathing quickens, delivering fresh oxygen to the brain, and an infusion of glucose is shot into the bloodstream for a quick energy boost. This response occurs so quickly that people often don’t realize it’s taken place. I vividly remember I was almost hit by a minibus on my way to work last year but somehow my body’s instinct has taken me over and pulled myself back right before it would have literally hit me.
The sympathetic nervous system doesn’t destress the body after I could cross the street alright or when the danger has passed. Another component of the autonomic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system (the Yin), works to calm the body down. To counter the fight-or-flight response, this system encourages the body to “rest and digest.” Blood pressure, breathing rate and hormone flow return to normal levels as the body settles into homeostasis, or equilibrium, once more.
Ideally, this is how our body functions – the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems working together to maintain this balance. However, too much stress can disturb our body’s homeostasis. Craniosacral therapy helps to restore balance in our body so that we can once again feel calm, safe and heal.
The number of sessions that will be needed for insomnia and other sleep disorders depends on each individual person’s health needs. In general, three to ten weekly sessions is what is often recommended. Bi-weekly or monthly sessions may be suggested after progress has been made for maintenance.