Differences between Craniosacral Therapy and Spiritual Healing

Perhaps you too wondered at some point what Craniosacral Therapy is, or what indeed Spiritual Healing is, and how the two compare? A client of mine suggested I learn Craniosacral Therapy next, to add to my repertoire of bodywork and energy work therapies, so I endeavored to find out more about Craniosacral Therapy. I did some general internet research and booked myself a session.

I have been doing energy work since 1995 and am an mNFSH (member NFSH (National Federation of Spiritual Healers) – aka The Healing Trust; i.e. a Spiritual Healer). Since I have studied under The Healing Trust, I will compare to how they teach and practice Spiritual Healing to Craniosacral therapy. (Please note that there is many different energy therapies, and some might have different approaches or philosophies to The Healing Trust. The Healing Trust is a part of the UKH (UK Healers). As far as I am aware healing organizations, that are a part of UKH, strive to deliver the same Standards. Standards dealing  with qualification of Healers and Student Healers, Training, Code of Conduct, Legal Aspects, Assessment, Complaints and Discipline, so other UK Energy or Spiritual Healing organizations should be comparable )


What is Spiritual Healing?

What is Spiritual Healing? What is a Spiritual Healer? How does Spiritual Healing work? To spiritually heal, a healer ‘connects/ attunes’ to Spirit and channels that energy for the (highest possible good) benefit of the client. Spirit is universal, beneficial, intelligent energy. The Healing Trust is a non-denominational organization, so whereas different Healers might have different explanations for themselves, what the Source of this beneficial energy is, Healers are free to choose what to believe in, and what to call the source of the energy they work with! In the same way clients are not told what to believe, or even that they must have any (higher) believes.

Healers are taught how to connect, how to ground and how to protect themselves and the healee before commencing a healing session. The aim of this process is to assure that the energies channeled are as healing and pure as possible.

Funnily the greatest challenge for a Spiritual Healer is to then actually do as little as possible. Well, that was the greatest challenge for me, in my training. A healer trusts that the energy channeled and the healee’s body have their own intelligence. The energies will go where most needed and heal, balance, clear and or protect what is required. Also there is some trust that our bodies have great innate self-healing abilities, these self-healing abilities might just not work effectively, due to lack of (good) energy.

A healer will attemptto be a channel to help the client become more connected to healing energies him-/ herself, ground him/ her and work through the client’s main chakras (to help cleanse, balance and or strengthen them). Chakras are energetic energy centers, where energies can enter and exit our energy bodies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies). You can compare it somewhat with our physical breathing, just on an energetic level. When the chakras are sluggish or their flow is else wise not optimal, the associated energy body can become dis-eased.

Spiritual Healing hence potentially works on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Spiritual healing is a complementary therapy, not an alternative to Western Medicine! Most clients will feel improvements to their wellbeing after 1-6 sessions. They might feel lighter, happier, more confident, sleep better etc. Some feel that Spiritual healing has helped them to overcome physical ailments and or see positive changes in their lives after having received healing.

Whereas a one-on-one healing session is performed on the client, a good healer will not stop the healing energies form potentially also helping outside of the client’s body; e.g. to heal a relationship or help else wise to improve a client’s life.

 What is Craniosacral Therapy?

As mentioned, I cannot speak for what a Craniosacral Therapist learns during his/ her training, only what I can publicly glen from an internet search.  This is what the UK Craniosacral Therapy Association has on their website as an explanation for what Craniosacral Therapy does (http://www.craniosacral.co.uk/this-is-craniosacral-therapy , viewed online 13/03/2015):

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle way of working with the body using light touch. People sometimes ask about the name Craniosacral Therapy and think it only refers to the head. In fact Craniosacral Therapy works with the whole person and changes may occur in body, mind and spirit during and after sessions.

When a Craniosacral therapist places her hands lightly on you, she is using them to listen to you in much the same way that a counsellor might listen to your words. Your body responds to this sensitive touch by beginning to listen to itself. A feeling that you have been heard in the truest sense of the word is a common experience during and after a Craniosacral session.


Craniosacral Therapy supports your body’s innate ability to balance, restore and heal itself, as well as helping to reduce stress and build your underlying energy. The practitioner senses tensions in the body and helps to release them in a supported and comfortable way. During or after a session you may feel calm and energised, with increased clarity of mind and a feeling of well-being..

Wikipedia also says that (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craniosacral_therapy, viewed online 12/03/2015):

Practitioners of craniosacral therapy assert that there are small, rhythmic motions of the cranial bones attributed to cerebrospinal fluid pressure or arterial pressure. The premise of CST is that palpation of the cranium can be used to detect this rhythmic movement of the cranial bones and selective pressures may be used to manipulate the cranial bones to achieve a therapeutic result. However, the degree of mobility and compliance of the cranial bones is considered controversial and is a critically important concept in craniosacral therapy

Craniosacral Therapy was originally created/ discovered by American Osteopath William Sutherland. Supposedly the light touch utilized by Craniosacral Therapists is equivalent to the weight of a 5cent coin.

Some therapists seem to be more spiritual in their approach, so Andrea Sea, Craniosacral therapist from California writes on his website (http://www.andreasea.com/cranio-sacral_therapy.html, seen online 12/3/2015):

Craniosacral Therapy works with the rhythmic wave-like motion of the cerebrospinal fluid, which can be felt anywhere on the body, and out to the edges of the auric field. The brain and spinal cord float in a sac containing the cerebrospinal fluid, which bathes the nervous system and allows for movement of neurotransmitters.  The entire body is connected by nerves and fascia to the spinal cord, which gently moves up and down inside the vertebral column as much as half an inch with each wave of the cerebrospinal fluid.

The cerebrospinal fluid is the lightest, finest fluid in the human body, similar in chemical composition to amniotic fluid, which in turn is similar in composition to the ocean, source of all life on this planet.  Beyond serving as a transport medium for neurotransmitters, this fluid carries the energetic imprint of Spirit from the third eye chakra throughout the rest of the physical body.  Cerebrospinal fluid is generated in the ventricles (spaces) of the brain.  There are neurotransmitters generated by the pineal and pituitary glands, which just happen to be situated in exactly the location of the third eye chakra, on the "saddle" of the sphenoid bone in the center of the skull.  As divine energy is gathered in through the crown chakra, it is focused down into the third eye chakra, and as neurotransmitters are released into the cerebrospinal fluid, they are bathed in this divine light and infused with the energetic imprint of pure Spirit.  I hold the understanding that I must approach each person with deep respect for the innate intelligence of the divine pattern held in their cerebrospinal fluid.  I understand that I am not just touching a cranial rhythm, I am touching a Soul.

I could not find any mention though what “energy” Craniosacral Therapist use? Obviously if Craniosacral Therapists are trained in other energy healing techniques, they might channel energy, when treating clients, similar to Spiritual Healers, but I could not get this verified by my online research.

My experience receiving Craniosacral Therapy

My therapist received me professionally, in a professional environment set up. Let’s call him ‘John’. The initial interview was all about possible accidents or surgeries I might have encountered in my life. There were 4 eye operations in very early childhood and a bike accident at the age of 17 (I am 43 years of age currently). I was also asked about why I was there? Did I have a specific problem? I told John that I am a Spiritual Healer and Masseur and just wanted to experience Craniosacral Therapy. John mentioned that he too comes from a massage and energy healing background, but now mostly only does craniosacral work.

We then commenced with my session. It took me a good while to relax. I am pretty sensitive to energies. I would not say I am a 100% reliable psychic though, so I try to not judge prematurely. Anyway I did not feel comfortable ‘letting go’ fully. The energies I felt did not feel pure or unconditionally loving enough, so I spend plenty of energy to assert healthy protections for myself and maybe try to connect John to a purer source. That took about 20 min. I cannot say that by the end of that I felt all was good now, but I figured then that I can heal any possible contamination coming in with the session, by clearing myself sufficiently afterwards.

I definitely did feel energy though. And we were relatively in sync with what we seemed to sense. When having his hand on my sacrum I felt some tightness on top of my quadriceps. John asked me to send healing intend into this, to relax it. We then seemed to ‘feel’ simultaneously when it had dissolved and John seemed very happy with the result. Overall I did feel some minor energy blockages dissolving and energies potentially flowing better thereafter, but in no way more pronounced when I just meditate or give healing to myself (the main difference being though, that when working on and with myself, I am more relaxed, as I know I am asking to be connected to, what I call, Ultimate Good (energies).

What slightly annoyed me was, when working up my body and getting to my lungs John said – ‘The lungs are where the body stores sadness. Now, how to make Alex cry?’ I found that very inappropriate and a bit offensive! This was our first session and asking a client to break out in tears in a first session smelled of emotional manipulation to me. Sure, some client’s might go off on getting to cry in a therapy session, but I would never just assume that off a client of mine.  Plus having meditated for thousands of hours myself in my life, I know there is no significant amounts of accumulated sadness in my being anymore. Any sadness that does manage to sneak in, I just channel out again on a regular basis; and I tend to do so without having to cry (especially in front of relative strangers!).

I had also mentioned to John that I seem to be an empath, i.e. I often seem to take on other people’s emotions, especially my clients - but that I can handle it! I.e. likely anything he helped to shift in energy blockages that day, was stuff from my client to see that day, not my own. Still I kept on getting the impression he was trying to heal me. It seemed that even though I had told him that I had meditated and practiced self-healing for years, he believed that I needed him to heal potential surgery trauma from operations 20+ years in the past. I would think that Spirit has taken care of those long ago!


Comparing Craniosacral Therapy and Spiritual Healing!

Obviously I cannot talk about and generalize for all therapists in either healing modality. I am sure there will be Craniosacral Therapists (perhaps pre-trained in a good form of energy healing), who can deliver/ facilitate some decent healing results. On the other hand I have received healings of Spiritual Healers, whose energy I did not like and fully trust too. I can therefore only really compare the theory or philosophy behind both therapies.

In my experience healings are an energy expending process! I.e. our bodies require energy to heal themselves, be that energy from e.g. food, herbs, medication, a therapist’s attention/ love/ care/ healing intend or healing energies. I am not even going to try to validate that a pressure excerpted onto a bone (cranium/ spine/ sacrum), equivalent to the weight of a 5 Cent coin alone, will have healing potential. If that were the case, we would have to live forever paranoid about tiny pressurespotentially screwing everything up again too, and then some. The acceleration in a car or just lying down your head on a pillow at night would excerpt greater pressures and then theoretically potentially cause grave damage??? 

A good therapist, especially alternative or complementary should have empathy and healing intend as a solid basis of his/ her practice, anything else is built on top (e.g. prescribed herbs, nutrition, Spiritual Healing energies etc.). A Craniosacral Therapist ‘just’ listening to a client’s body would therefore potentially just do the bare minimum needed to assist a client’s body in healing itself. In a way a Craniosacral Therapist is connecting to the client’s body and telling it –‘ I trust you can heal yourself’. Maybe the client has never told his/ her body this before, and the body was feeling lonely and misunderstood? Being seen and felt will give it the comfort to heal? That is all nice and well, but I am pretty certain that most bodies inherently continuously try to fix themselves anyway, so if something is so out of sync, so much  that it causes dis-ease, it will likely be because the body has lost the tools to fix itself or lacks the energy. Telling a body then – ‘Go on, fix yourself, you can do it! I trust you!’ – will likely just irritate and frustrate the body intelligence even further. It would be like telling a car mechanic to fix a car without any suitable tools or spares. You can tell said mechanic a thousand times how great a mechanic he/ she is and how much you trust his/ her ability – you car will remain broken…

Even if a Craniosacral Therapist adds more energy into the mix, which energy is it? There is biomagnetism, i.e. a therapists transferring his/ her own energy into the client. That can help, if the transferred energy is intelligent and capable enough. It goes hand in hand with the risk though that the therapist might deplete his/ her own energies and consequently get sick him-/ herself. Or he/ she might transfer confused energies, that possibly do nothing or even make things worse… If a Craniosacral Therapist does actually channel (good) healing energies, this could surely help the client’s body, it still would potentially be unnecessarily self-limiting though. A Craniosacral Therapist would potentially only work with the crown chakra (+3rd eye chakra?) and cerebrospinal fluid. Sure, after a while healing on crown chakra level can work itself through to lower chakra levels – all is interconnected, that can be a long and laborious process though.  A Spiritual Healer on the other hand will treat all chakra levels outright; that as well as potentially help the client to be more grounded, and help him/ her with his/ her Hara, Kundalini etc. Another great advantage of Spiritual Healing is, that it does not necessarily limit the extend of it’s efficacy on the client’s body alone! I.e. if the actual cause of someone’s disease is in the outside, maybe a bully at work, then that can possibly be healed with a spiritual healing session too. Or some clients might have ‘lost’ or given away parts of their soul (we easily give away parts of our heart in relationships, but don’t always receive an equal part or any in return), in such cases a bit of a soul retrieval might be required – again something that does not seem to be within the scope of a Craniosacral Therapy session?

With all that one can obviously still argue that Spiritual Healers and their clients are deluding themselves, as there is no source of higher, intelligent and healing-capable energy, which one can attune to and then channel for a client’s benefit? Any positive healing effect would therefore just be placebo?  If that were the case then transferring biomagnetism would likely be an illusion and nothing but placebo too though. If both therapies are just placebo, then they might be en par with what they can achieve? This is a whole other discussion though. I can only mention that I have read enough studies attesting to significant healing effects after Spiritual Healing (not just on impressionable humans, but also animals, bacteria, inert materials etc.), and have seen and felt enough energy effects in my own practice to strongly believe that I am not deluding myself and my clients with what I do….


When comparing Spiritual healing and Craniosacral Therapy, Spiritual Healing, in my opinion, comes out on top. If Craniosacral Therapists add any extra energy into the healing mix at all, besides their empathy and healing intend - Spiritual Healing works on/ with all chakras (plus potentially Hara, Kundalini etc. too), whereas there is only mention of working with the Crown Charka (+3rd eye Chakra)  in Craniosacral Therapy.  Spiritual Healing too has the potential of having direct, extended healing effects outside the client’s body,  in the client’s life, which, according to its theory,  could not happen with Craniosacral work.

After all, if you do have a Craniosacral therapist, with whom you are happy and with whose assistance you experience satisfying healing results, by all means stick with him/ her. Maybe you and or your body is strong enough, all it really needs is to be ‘listened’ too, or even if your therapist has never learned the theory of Spiritual Healing, with some humans it is an innate ability….

All the best for your healing journey! Love and Light

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