Informative Articles by
By Ilani Kopiecki, BA and CMT

CranioSacral Therapy Can Ease Sinus Pain

When the weather turns sunny and warm we all want to kick up our heels and spend some quality time outdoors. But sinus trouble can put a damper on our wonderful plans. When the pressure, pain, dripping and sneezing begins it’s difficult to be outside, let alone having any fun. Never fear, craniosacral therapy is here! Through the light touch of craniosacral treatment many sinus sufferers have found tremendous relief.

CranioSacral therapy was developed by osteopath Dr.John Upledger over 40 years ago. His school, The Upledger Institute, trains and certifies therapists worldwide. There are thousands of practitioners; some who integrate this technique within their professions, and others that specialize solely in this healing modality. Since CranioSacral Therapy is based on light touch, an experienced practitioner can detect deep holding patterns anywhere within the body (including the mouth and cranial bones), and treat accordingly. Babies and children also respond quite well to CS treatment.

Treatment for sinus pressure and pain may include gentle release of the tissues underneath the facial and nasal bones, some light release of the TMJ and occipital areas, and neck vertebrae decompression. When the tissues surrounding the bones are released and relaxed, the circulation can flow into those areas and the tightness is relieved. Many times clients can stop taking their sinus medication because the pain and pressure have dissipated.

Because of its non-invasive nature, CranioSacral therapy can also be used for children with sinus conditions. A therapist with pediatric training will be glad to help your little one breathe easier.

So when you want to go outside and play, don’t let sinus problems block your way. CranioSacral treatment could be your ticket to a fun and pain free summer.

CranioSacral Therapy Helps Nursing Infants

A mother and baby usually share a beautiful, peaceful bonding experience every time her child nurses. When that experience is compromised, the results can be stressful, and even heart breaking, for both parents and their child. CranioSacral therapy can dramatically help nursing problems. Through gentle touch, most times less than 1 gram, baby can regain the proper sucking and drinking mechanics to enjoy a pain free and happy nursing experience.

Sucking problems usually are caused by an improper latch by the baby’s mouth. That can be attributed to a variety of reasons, such as birth defects, birth trauma, or incorrect muscle control. Whatever the reason, CranioSacral therapy can help. An experienced CS therapist can gently release the tight tissues inside the baby’s mouth, including the tongue, tmj’s, upper and lower palates, and mandibles. She can also help release any upper thoracic, neck and cranial tension that may contribute to the baby’s improper sucking motion. This helps the baby’s body to relax, so he/she can experience pain free sucking.

After the first session, mom will have homework to help baby continue to release the tissues in the mouth, and also the tight jaw joints. That may include tongue and surrounding mouth tissue massage, and gently working those tight tmj’s. Together, with a trained therapist’s help, mom and baby will be on the road to recovery, and a truly wonderful nursing experience.

CranioSacral Therapy and the Mouth

Nothing hurts worse than a sore jaw. Every time you bite down or chew the joint that connects the jaw to the upper palate (the temporal mandible joint – or TMJ) can cry out in pain. What can be even worse is when both TMJ’s are affected. Because you have to chew and eat, there is really no rest for TMJ’s. Some dentists make mouth guards for clients to wear at night. It is their hope that if the client clenches his/her jaw during sleep, he/she will have a soft surface to bite, rather than grinding the teeth and tightening those TMJ’s. But if that doesn’t work, and the condition worsens, there is no other remedy to loosen those tight joints except surgery.

CranioSacral Therapy has proven invaluable in loosening the temporal mandible joint, and all other parts of the upper and lower palates of the mouth. Many people have been relieved of TMJ syndrome simply by having a few CS sessions.

CranioSacral Therapy for Children

It has been my privilege and honor to be able to work with children of all ages within my CranioSacral therapy practice. Children definitely have needs and expressions that are different from the adult world. In general, they respond to light touch therapy with much grace and ease. Their bodies haven’t weathered life’s ups and downs, so they are usually more alive and responsive. Most of my little clients are active, and need a flexible treatment program. Sometimes I may be lying on the floor with an 18 month old, waiting for a neck release, as she happily plays with the toys I provide for her. In another session, I may be having mom read a story to a four year old while I am assisting his lower back to come into alignment. Or, I might be working with a newborn infant, who is fussy and tired, but needs very light cranial work after a traumatic birth. In each case I find that by being patient and flexible, and by trusting what my hands find with that small body, I reap great rewards from their journey into wellness.

CranioSacral therapy is a hands on healing modality based on light touch. For an experienced practitioner, that’s all it takes to see profound results. CS was developed by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970’s, and today there are thousands of practitioners world wide. Any person, large or small, can receive CranioSacral therapy. The client is clothed on the treatment table, much like physical therapy and chiropractic. What makes CS unique is the light touch involved. For adults, many times the hand pressure is no more than five grams; the weight of a nickel. For children, depending on their age, the pressure is often times much less. That is why children respond so readily to CS work; it is non-invasive and based on the principle that the practitioner is helping that body self heal into wellness.

I have seen many children over the twelve years of my practice, and CS can help a wide variety of ailments. CS is wonderful in helping newborns regain their sucking reflex and coaxing the cranial bones into healthy alignment after child birth. Children with neck, headache, back, and joint problems can be relieved of pain and find flexibility and freedom of movement. Teenagers with migraines or scoliosis can experience pain relief and a sense of deep peace within their bodies. Hyperactivity and restlessness can dissipate. The list goes on and on! The best way to find out if CranioSacral therapy is right for your child is to call a therapist and arrange for a phone consultation. Or better yet, schedule your own treatment and experience this phenomenal therapy for yourself!

CranioSacral Therapy for the Mouth

CranioSacral Therapy is a wonderful healing modality that can address many chronic conditions of the body in a gentle yet effective manner. It is also unique because advanced practitioners are trained to work with TMJ and mouth problems, such a teeth grinding, mouth surgery recovery, and TMJ syndrome. Using very light touch, the practitioner gloves up and helps the inner workings of the mouth to release. Those inner parts include the maxilla, vomer, palatines, TMJ, tongue, and zygomatic bones. Over the years I have had the great gift of treating many clients with all sorts of mouth conditions. The following are a few stories I would like to share with you.

Linda received extensive surgery to her upper right molar. The procedure lasted over two hours in which she needed to keep her mouth open. Afterwards, she complained that her right TMJ was very painful. As a result, she could not chew or close her mouth properly without extreme discomfort. During the CranioSacral session the TMJ was released, and Linda was pain free.

Mary tripped on the steps of her front porch, and fell face first on to the ground. She received a severe blow to her nose and the front of her mouth, jamming the maxilla back into her head. With the CranioSacral treatment the maxilla released into normal postion, her bite realigned, and she quickly recovered.

Ten years ago Bob had all of his teeth pulled and received permanent hardware in his mouth for clip in dentures. Since that time his tonque was constantly sore, and he suffered TMJ and jaw pain. With CranioSacral treatment, the maxilla and TMJ released, the hardware rested more peacefully in his mouth, and his tonque began to heal.

CranioSacral therapy was developed by osteopath Dr. John Upledger in the late 1970’s. His technique is now used all over the world. What sets CranioSacral therapy apart from other healing modalities is that it is based on light touch- many times no more than 5 grams. While assessing the cranial rhythm (the flow of cerebral spinal fluid that moves up and down the spine) the practitioner can treat holding patterns anywhere in the body. That also includes the cranial bones and the mouth. Children and the elderly also respond well to this type of treatment because of its non-invasive qualities.

Relief of Back Pain – Through CranioSacral Therapy

Back pain can be one of the most chronic and debilitating forms of ill health a person can experience. When someone is experiencing back problems it tends to make life a challenge, and nothing else seems to go right. Whether it is disk problems, sciatica, scoliosis, or muscle spasms, the pain can be so distracting that your whole day is formed around trying to get around the annoyance and discomfort. Does this ring a bell with you, or with someone you know? Well, the good news is that CranioSacral Therapy has helped countless people be relieved of their suffering, and regain their joy and zeal for life.

Back pain can stem from several causes. One such cause if called the “layering effect”. During a person’s lifetime many small traumas can occur to the body, and they are continually encapsulated and absorbed into the muscles and soft tissues. The body does this so that the whole body is not incapacitated and you can get up in the morning and get to work! But the body can only take so much before it begins to complain in a big way. So, maybe you are bending down to pick up a newspaper and your back seizes up. Well, that can be because it’s your body’s way of saying it is the last straw to all of the abuse it has taken over the years.

Another cause for back pain can be a sudden, large trauma, such as a car accident or major surgery. Someone once said that a car accident is surprise trauma to the body, and surgery is organized trauma to the body. Either way, the body reacts in the same manner. Again, it will seize up and encapsulate the affected area, and try its best to function through the pain. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, that is where CranioSacral Therapy can help.

CranioSacral Therapy is a light touch healing modality, in which the client is clothed on the treatment table. How can light touch be so effective? The therapist has been extensively trained to listen to your body and pinpoint the root cause of your discomfort. This is done by reading the flow of your cerebrospinal fluid – the fluid surrounding your spinal chord that runs up and down your body from your sacrum (lower back) to your brain. Your body flexes and extends to this rhythm, and where there is an obstruction in the rhythm, the therapist knows that area needs treatment. In CranioSacral Therapy it all about soft tissue release, so that the affected area can relax and realign. A really good CS therapist can find the exact locations that are causing the pain, and treat accordingly. As the tissues relax, the tightness, inflammation, and soreness start to subside. The therapist also treats other areas of the body that have compensated for the pain, so that all of your body parts can once again be realigned and work as a whole. This is called “integrated therapy”. CranioSacral Therapy has been around in the health field for about 35 years. It was developed by Dr. John Upledger, who established the Upledger Institute for CranioSacral Therapy’s continuing development and research. There are thousands of CST practitioners around the world, many of them incorporating CS skills within their professions. Others treat clients solely by this wonderful healing method. In either case CranioSacral Therapy can help you get “back” into the swing of things ASAP!

CranioSacral Therapy Description

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive hands-on practice that can provide profound, and long lasting healing results for many patients with chronic pain. Typical physical problems treated are; TMJ syndrome, migraine headaches, back and neck pain, and traumatic injury to the head or body. The CranioSacral practitioner is trained to read the cranial rhythm of the body. It is separate and distinct from the breath rate and heart beat. By putting hands on gently, the practitioner can feel this rhythm anywhere in the body. In particular, the therapist is looking for a lack of this rhythm, and by treating those areas he/she can treat the source of a wide range of physical problems, rather the just the symptoms. For more information please look up on the web, or call Ilani Kopiecki, BA & CMT – CranioSacral Therapist at (208) 610-2005.

Allopathic and Complementary Health Treatments: Working Together For Client Wellness

There is a new wave of awareness in the allopathic and complementary health communities that will greatly benefit everyone who seeks treatment. This new way of thinking is one that keeps the client’s individual health goals as highest priority, and also maintains strong communication between all practitioners involved.

Nowadays most clients want to know all the information about their medical condition, including choices of treatment, so that they can make the best possible decision about their healing process. Depending on the diagnosis, they may need immediate medication and/or surgery, or choose to use complementary treatment; such as acupuncture, bodywork, craniosacral therapy, homeopathy, nutrition, or biofeedback.

Whether the goal is to try to avoid more invasive techniques (such as surgery and/or medication) or to work in conjunction with existing medical treatment, the complementary health community can be extremely helpful. All the client needs is education about available complementary health practices, and guidance from their trusted physician.

As long as the condition isn’t critical, nowadays many medical practitioners encourage their clients to try complementary therapies to see if their condition is lessened or completely alleviated. This can be part of the “watchful waiting” phase of medical help. And the less invasive the therapy, the quicker the client will be on the road to wellness.

So what treatment to choose? I suggest you use your computer to investigate different treatments and what medical conditions they can help. When you have a good idea which treatment interests you, look in your local phone book or on line and give those practitioners a call. In most cases they will be more than happy to answer all of your questions. Also, ask your medical practitioner if she/he knows about that therapy, and if this one might be best to try.

Lastly, if your instinct says to go for it, then do it! You will never know unless you try! Most experienced complementary health practitioners will be honest with you about length and quantity of treatment, and if their therapy is the right one for you.

If the therapy works, please do give feedback to your physician! The information may be helpful to other clients they may be treating. Also, it keeps the communication flowing from the complementary health community to the allopathic world. And this will benefit everyone!

CranioSacral Therapy Can Help Seniors

As we get older, more aches and pains can appear in our bodies. Physical activity that we took for granted when we were young can sometimes bring sore, tight muscles and chronic pain. After an injury or operation we may never quite feel the same. And, in general, we find that many of our physical ailments take longer heal. For the senior crowd, craniosacral therapy can provide much relief.

Craniosacral therapy is a light touch healing modality that is practiced on a treatment table, much like chiropractic or physical therapy. The client is clothed during the session, and need not practice any exercises or movement during the treatment. In fact, most clients get very relaxed, and some even fall asleep. The therapist is trained to find the underlying cause of an ailment, and can treat anywhere on the body for tissue release. In fact, CS therapists can also work on the cranial and facial bones, as well as the mouth and jaw. Craniosacral therapy can treat many ailments, including neck pain, sciatica, scoliosis, migraine headaches, TMJ, vertigo, hearing problems, as well as injury and operation recovery.

Because craniosacral therapy is based on light touch, it is perfect for many seniors that cannot take rough or jarring movement. And because an experienced practitioner can get right to the root of the problem, even long-standing discomfort can be permanently relieved. I encourage you to look at the website of the doctor who developed craniosacral therapy 35 years ago, The Upledger Institute has been in operation for over 30 years, and has trained thousands of practitioners, including me. Then schedule a session with a craniosacral therapist. You will be glad you did.

CranioSacral Therapy With Mothers and Infants

The birthing process is one of the most miraculous and strenuous events a mother and child can experience. The mother must endure immense pressure within the pelvic area while giving birth. And her baby, as well, must move through a relatively small space in order to come into the world. After the birth, sometimes the mother and/or the baby have experienced too much trauma for their bodies to self-heal. Craniosacral therapy can be of great help.

Craniosacral therapy is a light touch healing modality that uses the body’s cranial rhythm to assess where deep holding patterns are residing anywhere in the body. The client is clothed on the treatment table, much like chiropractic or physical therapy. Through a series of assessment tools the therapist pinpoints the areas in the body that need help. Because it is based on light touch (many times 5 grams of pressure or less), this practice is useful for treating newborn infants, as well as their mothers.

The experienced craniosacral practitioner can help the mother with many pelvic bowl issues, as well as the surrounding tissues. Treatment can help with conditions such as lower back pain, stretched or torn muscles and/or ligaments, the uterus and ovaries, and tail bone misalignment. Mothers can be treated even years after giving birth, thus finally helping the body to release and re-integrate from the birth experience.

Babies can also benefit from craniosacral therapy. Sometimes the cranial bones become misshaped while moving through the birth canal. The neck can also become out of alignment, as well as the upper palate of the mouth. While these conditions are usually temporary, every once in while the infant is stuck in one or more of these areas, and needs gentle assistance for full release to take place. Craniosacral therapy can also address other infant conditions, such as colic, nursing problems, teething issues, and failure to thrive. When all is in balance in the body and the infant is pain free, he/she can truly come into life, and the rest of the family breathes a sigh of relief!

Please feel free to look at the website The Upledger Institute is the school where I was trained, as well as thousands of other craniosacral therapists worldwide. If you know of a mother and/or an infant that could use some help, please do refer them to the website.

Ilani Kopiecki, BA & CMT is a CranioSacral Therapist and Therapeutic Massage Practitioner. She has been in practice for eleven years. She received her CranioSacral training through the Upledger Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a certified advanced practitioner, and has additional certification for pediatrics. Ilani works with all ages of people including infants, children, and the elderly.