Linda Ciampoli, Upledger Certified CranioSacral Therapist, Boulder
Dec 31, 2018
2 min read
CST and your ANS system in the New Year
Updated: Jun 11
Your ANS functions best when in balance.
CranioSacral Therapy holds the potential to greatly help an automatic portion of our nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
It is that part of your central nervous system which controls the things you don’t think about, but that your body does daily including digestion, elimination, breath and cell regeneration. Your ANS functions best when in balance.
When a patient receives CST, she moves into a parasympathetic state a.k.a. “rest/digest” and her entire central nervous system moves toward stasis and relaxes.
CST promotes health and wellbeing by easing you into your parasympathetic state.
The balance of her ANS is so basic to her health that if it is out of balance and stays so over time, her wellbeing is compromised.
So many of us are finding we are stuck in the sympathetic state “fight/flight” resulting in too many stress hormones being released into the blood.
This results in a suppression of the immune system, increased inflammation throughout the body and in general a sense of discomfort and dis/ease.
A balanced ANS is essential for your long term health.
This is not to say that our “fight or flight” state is not needed.
It is needed for quick reaction time to avoid a car collision.
It is needed during intense exercise to push beyond your own limits.
It is needed if you are in danger and need to escape.
Our “fight or flight” state is needed at times.
But “fight or flight” is not needed all day, every day.
Spending too much time in a sympathetic state is detrimental to our basic health and over time brings burn out, discomfort, attention priority issues.
Factors that may tip us into our sympathetic state and keep us held there include surgery, relationship transitions, traffic, loss, unattended grief, unending stress at work, spending most of our day seated at a computer or in front of screens, lack of contact with nature, overscheduling, and negative news story overload.
play music and book your next session with me
The parasympathetic state promotes “rest and digest” as its nickname suggests.
Besides digestion (absorption and elimination), the parasympathetic state in a balanced and healthy system allows for ovulation and sperm production, the ability to learn new information assimilate and retain it, a healthy heart rate variability, and quality sleep; these basic functions our body does in the background and that without healthy functioning, compromise the quality of our lives.
Things we can do to bring ourselves into the parasympathetic state: play music, be in nature (even a pocket park at lunch can help), meditation, breathe deeply as a practice, take breaks at work, set up screen free time for yourself (and follow it), and book your next CranioSacral Therapy session.
By gently looking for and listening to patterns of restriction within your body, by finding and releasing tension, by improving your range of breath, by bringing your awareness into your body and into this precious present moment, CST helps your system to find tension, let it go,
and to lean toward balance.
Incrementally and over time, your ANS can move between fight/flight and rest/digest as it is intended.