How Craniosacral Therapy Can Benefit People with Autism

An Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis can be difficult news to hear. Parents of newly diagnosed kids, or adults with Autism, actively seek out treatment methods that relieve the anxiety and stress that accompany Autism. When that anxiety and stress are relieved, daily function improves, sometimes drastically. A reliable and gentle method to provide that relief for people on the Autism Spectrum is Craniosacral Therapy.

What Is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy is a manual, hands-on form of therapy that utilizes gentle touch to the head, neck, and spine to promote better health, both physical and emotional, in its recipients. When possible, the individual receiving craniosacral therapy will lie down while the therapist places their hands on the head, neck, and spine, much like a massage therapist would. The therapist will often maintain physical contact throughout the session, which may last as little as fifteen minutes, but often lasts as long as an hour or more.

The therapist will then engage in a gradual, gentle series of manipulations intended to promote muscular and emotional release. The therapist seeks to feel the craniosacral rhythm of the recipient’s body, working to move the muscles and bones in time with that rhythm.

The intention of these manipulations and adjustments is to aid in the circulation, pressure, and flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which is the fluid produced by the body that insulates and cushions the brain and the spinal cord and removes toxins and cell waste from the central nervous system. This treatment relieves restrictions, or areas that are not moving in a prescribed and healthy way, which increases activity in the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, physical symptoms and emotional challenges can be relieved and potentially eliminated.

How Does Craniosacral Therapy Benefit People with Autism?

A healthy dose of bonding hormones. First and foremost, as a hands-on form of therapy, craniosacral therapy presents the recipient with a healthy, even pleasant flood of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone often associated with childbirth and breastfeeding, but it occurs in the human body throughout the life cycle. The body produces oxytocin when there is extended physical contact between people, generally with skin-to-skin contact. Because of social challenges and possible physical discomfort, some with ASD may produce far less oxytocin than the average person, leading to feelings of disconnectedness, isolation, and even depression or anxiety. Having a caring, compassionate individual place hands on one’s body with the loving intention to lessen discomfort and improve one’s daily life can help release oxytocin into the patient’s body, producing feelings of connection and increased well-being.

A meditative experience. Many doctors and therapists recommend yoga and meditation practices for those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This is because the ability to quiet the body and mind when needed not only decreases tension and anxiety, but improves the ability to deal with stress and other negative emotions. Because craniosacral therapy is generally done in a quiet, meditative space, the recipients can typically relax their bodies and their minds, possibly helping them to exert more control over their mood and actions in daily life situations.

The promotion of relaxation. While every individual on the autism spectrum is unique, several struggle with muscular tension. Whether this is the result of co-morbid conditions or due to increased physical activity or emotional tension caused by difficult social interactions, it can be difficult to deal with and even harder to reduce or do away with. Craniosacral therapy can help melt away that muscular tension, as it promotes both physical and mental relaxation. Those with ASD, in particular, may have difficulty slowing down and relaxing. Craniosacral therapy can help recipients learn to relax physically, mentally, and emotionally.

A possible connection with their therapist. One of the most difficult aspects of some varieties of ASD is that it can impede social development and result in uncomfortable social interactions. By having regular, expected appointments with a craniosacral therapist, the patient can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with his or her therapist. The patient may come to enjoy and pleasantly anticipate regular craniosacral sessions as a time of relaxation and physical relief. This positive relationship can help the patient feel more confident in other social interactions.

If you are looking for craniosacral therapy in Seattle, whether for yourself or for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, your first call or visit should be to Bek Wiltbank, who is considered one of the most skilled and experienced craniosacral therapists in the area. She has experience working with hundreds of families, including small children and infants, and she hopes to improve the health and well-being of those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by providing this hands-on, relaxing therapy. Call or email today to discover how craniosacral therapy can benefit you or a loved one with ASD!

Bek also offers If you are looking for craniosacral therapy in Seattle, whether for yourself or for a loved one who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, your first call or visit should be to “>Craniosacral Therapy Training Classes for individuals hoping to expand their knowledge and careers.