Critically Appraised Topic
In adults and children with physical and/or mental conditions, does craniosacral therapy, compared to no craniosacral therapy, reduce frequency and intensity of symptoms related to their condition?
Clinical Bottom Line
This review is not proposing that craniosacral therapy is ineffective. Instead, it questions the proposed biological mechanisms of effectiveness of craniosacral therapy. Various research and studies have shown that the mechanisms claimed by craniosacral therapy specialists and the founder are not valid. These mechanisms may have benefits (i.e. psychological effects due to massage) but are not supported by evidence and research. The majority of research is subjective with poor design and control, or testimonials from practitioners and clients. As previously mentioned, this review is not trying to discredit craniosacral therapy as a whole, however, more research is needed and other mechanisms of effectiveness need to be explored. This research could be carried out through a variety of avenues; each time a clinician is performing CST they should be gathering information for a single case research study or case study. This will help gather information and credible research.
Cooley, Brittany; Jensen, Brielyn; Kresse, Leah; Ritter, Abby; and Teerlinck, Justin, "Craniosacral Therapy: The Science of Belief" (2012). Physical Function CATs. 33.