How it works

Craniosacral therapy is often likened to a head massage. It is based on the notion that the human skull and brain make intrinsic movements, and these wave-like patterns can be picked up to monitor health.

A therapist, most commonly an osteopath, massage therapist or physiotherapist, places their hands on the patient’s head and body, “listening” with their hands to carefully ease problems.

Evidence base

The claims of craniosacral therapists of the ability to treat a variety of symptoms are largely unsupported and no research exists into its effectiveness in dealing with stress and related symptoms – the majority of positive reports come from personal accounts. It is also unknown whether there is a healing effect in the massage-like motions of the therapist’s hands on a patient’s head and body.

How it works

Sessions usually take place in a quiet therapy room, where patients remain clothed as they sit or lie down. After taking an initial health and medical history, the practitioner will ‘check’ the craniosacral system for any blockages or inconsistencies in the wave patterns that are thought to cause problems.

This feedback to the therapist can then guide the type of hand movements and techniques that may help the patient. This can be accompanied by movement of limbs. No instruments are used.

What to expect

Craniosacral therapy can be very relaxing. It is not uncommon for clients to fall asleep during treatment. Ensure you take your time getting up afterwards, as doing so too quickly may result in dizziness. Ensure you find a qualified and experienced therapist that suits your needs.


The number of sessions will depend on the symptoms being treated, the average is between two and six sessions, which usually last one hour. Prices vary depending on the therapist, their experience and your symptoms. Expect to pay anything from £25 to £65 per session.

How does craniosacral therapy work?

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