Areas of Expertise
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered by Dr. John Upledger, osteopathic physician and surgeon. Dr. Upledger first observed the craniosacral rhythm during a cervical surgery in 1970 and his interest was piqued. Based on his study of William Sutherland’s cranial osteopathy and his scientific research at Michigan State University (1975-1983), Dr. Upledger developed CranioSacral Therapy.
The craniosacral system consists of the membrane (dura mater) surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and the fluid that fills it. The craniosacral rhythm is created by the ebb and flow of this fluid (cerebrospinal fluid). Similar to the breath or heartbeat, this subtle craniosacral rhythm can be palpated by a trained practitioner.
CranioSacral Therapy techniques optimize nervous system function by relieving restrictions in the dura mater and allowing cerebrospinal fluid to flow freely. Focus is given to normalizing range of motion in the slightly moveable joints between the bones of the skull, the face and mouth, as well as the spinal column and pelvis.
Fascia (connective tissue) creates a network throughout the body connecting all parts to one another. CranioSacral Therapy recognizes the importance of these interconnections. The body is treated as a whole, looking from head to toe for underlying sources of restriction that may be contributing to craniosacral dysfunction. For instance, a fall on the tailbone in childhoood may translate over time to TMJ dysfunction in adulthood.*
SomatoEmotional Release (SER) evolved as a natural progression of Dr. Upledger’s practice of CranioSacral Therapy, first in pediatric autism and then in adult general practice. This truly holistic work was informed by his background as an osteopathic physician and surgeon in combination with his study of acupuncture, the psychology of Fritz Perls, Carl Jung, Robert Assagiaoli, Robert Johnson and other disciplines.
Sometimes physical limitations in the body are associated with underlying emotional issues, or somatic memories. SER utilizes techniques to integrate these emotions and memories into conscious awareness. As a client begins to make sense of emotions that have been hidden away in the tissues of the body, physical limitations resolve. This deep-level emotional and physical release leads to sustainably improved wellness.
NOTE: While CranioSacral Therapy can be supportive to clients with serious mental health disorders, SomatoEmotional Release is contraindicated in some cases. In order to ensure you receive appropriate support, clients with these conditions are required to seek treatment from a qualified mental health professional and provide written confirmation of on-going mental health care. CranioSacral Therapy can be a beneficial adjunct to mental health care.*
Patricia’s background in hard sciences began with her Bachelors Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Marshall University, 2001. She taught Chemistry for two years with the Peace Corps in Ghana and served another three years on Indian Reservations stateside with AmeriCorps VISTA before entering the workforce as a chemical analyst in environmental laboratories.
By that time, her history of childhood trauma had begun to catch up with her. Since her preteens she’d been treated by allopathic medicine and conventional talk therapy with limited success. She found herself in a downward spiral of despair, dysfunctional coping mechanisms and broken relationships. She needed improvement in her quality of life. She was ready for a paradigm shift.
A connection with an exceptional massage therapist led her to massage school where she began her healing journey. It was her introduction to CranioSacral Therapy that opened up a world of possibilities she could never have imagined for herself.
Actively pursuing CST and SER, she began to heal from her childhood trauma, the destructive emotions she’d been carrying, and the physical tolls she’d believed were permanent. She began transforming from “a girl with potential” to a young woman actively realizing her potential at every turn. Patricia now enjoys a fulfilling CranioSacral practice. She is an Advanced Preceptor and Teaching Assistant for the Upledger Institute. She serves as a Primary Therapist at Intensive Therapy Programs for Integrative Intentions. Patricia is happily married. She is an avid yogi and she and makes time to sing, dance, and play fiddle in a Celtic rock band.
Techniques & Diplomate Certifications
The Upledger Institute headquarters in Florida coordinates CranioSacral education programs in 110 countries and has trained over 125,000 therapists worldwide to date. The Institute oversees two levels of certification to practitioners that study Dr. Upledger’s work. Practitioners may practice without certification while gaining experience with the techniques. The first level, Techniques Certification, ensures a keen understanding of anatomy, physiology and CranioSacral Therapy techniques. This certification requires successful completion of essay, objective and practical exams to demonstrate knowledge and proper practice of techniques. The advanced level, Diplomate Certification, ensures proficiency in the practice of SomatoEmotional techniques. This involved certification process includes another tier of essay, objective and practical exams, documentation of case studies, preceptorship, and academic presentation or publication. Patricia earned her Techniques certification in 2014 and her Diplomate Certification in 2016.
West Virginia, Ohio & Florida Licensed
Upledger CranioSacral studies may be pursued by practitioners with a variety of educational backgrounds and licensures including massage therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, nurses, midwives, doctors of osteopathy and medical doctors. CranioSacral Therapists most commonly hail from massage therapy backgrounds because of the nature of their training and experience with touch and palpation skills. Patricia holds active massage therapy licenses in West Virginia (2018-3650) Ohio (33.022034) and Florida (MA 57039).
CranioSacral Therapy in Scientific Literature
Leskowitz E. CranioSacral Therapy, Brain Injury, and American Football: Time for a Convergence. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Dec;23(12):905-906.
Fornari M, Carnevali L, Sgoifo A. Single Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy Session Dampens Acute Autonomic and Neuroendocrine Responses to Mental Stress in Healthy Male Participants. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2017 Sep 1;117(9):559-567.
Wetzler G, Roland M, Fryer-Dietz S, Dettmann-Ahern D. CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation: A New Treatment Intervention for Concussion Recovery. Med Acupunct. 2017 Aug 1;29(4):239-248.
King HH. Manual Craniosacral Therapy May Reduce Symptoms of Migraine Headache. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2017 Jan 1;117(1):59.
Kratz SV, Kerr J, Porter L. The use of CranioSacral therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders: Benefits from the viewpoints of parents, clients, and therapists. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Jan;21(1):19-29.
Żurowska A, Malak R, Kołcz-Trzęsicka A, Samborski W, Paprocka-Borowicz M. Compression of the Fourth Ventricle Using a Craniosacral Osteopathic Technique: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:2974962.
Castro-Sánchez AM, Lara-Palomo IC, Matarán-Peñarrocha GA, Saavedra-Hernández M, Pérez-Mármol JM, Aguilar-Ferrándiz ME. Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2016 Aug;22(8):650-7.
King HH. Craniosacral Therapy Shown Beneficial in Management of Chronic Neck Pain. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2016 Jul 1;116(7):486-7.
Haller H, Lauche R, Cramer H, Rampp T, Saha FJ, Ostermann T, Dobos G. Craniosacral Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Sham-controlled Trial. Clin J Pain. 2016 May;32(5):441-9.
Raith W, Marschik PB, Sommer C, Maurer-Fellbaum U, Amhofer C, Avian A, Löwenstein E, Soral S, Müller W, Einspieler C, Urlesberger B. General Movements in preterm infants undergoing craniosacral therapy: a randomised controlled pilot-trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 Jan 13;16:12.
Davis L, Hanson B, Gilliam S. Pilot study of the effects of mixed light touch manual therapies on active duty soldiers with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder and injury to the head. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2016 Jan;20(1):42-51.
Quraishy K. Feeding in the NICU: A Perspective from a Craniosacral Therapist. Neonatal Netw. 2016;35(2):105-7.
Liddle SD, Pennick V. Interventions for preventing and treating low-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Sep 30;(9):CD001139.
Bordoni B, Zanier E. Sutherland's legacy in the new millennium: the osteopathic cranial model and modern osteopathy. Adv Mind Body Med. 2015 Spring;29(2):15-21.
Powell W 2nd, Knaap SF. Cranial Treatment and Spinal Manipulation for a Patient With Low Back Pain: A Case Study. J Chiropr Med. 2015 Mar;14(1):57-61.
Haller H, Cramer H, Werner M, Dobos G. Treating the sequelae of postoperative meningioma and traumatic brain injury: a case of implementation of craniosacral therapy in integrative inpatient care. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Feb;21(2):110-2
Gray C. 20+ Years of Infant Craniosacral Therapy Practice. Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2015 Winter;(116):16-9.
Haller H, Ostermann T, Lauche R, Cramer H, Dobos G. Credibility of a comparative sham control intervention for Craniosacral Therapy in patients with chronic neck pain. Complement Ther Med. 2014 Dec;22(6):1053-9.
Białoszewski D, Bebelski M, Lewandowska M, Słupik A. Utility of craniosacral therapy in treatment of patients with non-specific low back pain. Preliminary report. Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. 2014 Nov-Dec;16(6):605-15.
Girsberger W, Bänziger U, Lingg G, Lothaller H, Endler PC. Heart rate variability and the influence of craniosacral therapy on autonomous nervous system regulation in persons with subjective discomforts: a pilot study. J Integr Med. 2014 May;12(3):156-61.
Elden H, Östgaard HC, Glantz A, Marciniak P, Linnér AC, Olsén MF. Effects of craniosacral therapy as adjunct to standard treatment for pelvic girdle pain in pregnant women: a multicenter, single blind, randomized controlled trial. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2013 Jul;92(7):775-82.
Arnadottir TS, Sigurdardottir AK. Is craniosacral therapy effective for migraine? Tested with HIT-6 Questionnaire. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2013 Feb;19(1):11-4.
Jäkel A, von Hauenschild P. A systematic review to evaluate the clinical benefits of craniosacral therapy. Complement Ther Med. 2012 Dec;20(6):456-65.
Jäkel A, von Hauenschild P. Therapeutic effects of cranial osteopathic manipulative medicine: a systematic review. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011 Dec;111(12):685-93.
Curtis P, Gaylord SA, Park J, Faurot KR, Coble R, Suchindran C, Coeytaux RR, Wilkinson L, Mann JD. Credibility of low-strength static magnet therapy as an attention control intervention for a randomized controlled study of CranioSacral therapy for migraine headaches. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Aug;17(8):711-21.
Matarán-Peñarrocha GA, Castro-Sánchez AM, García GC, Moreno-Lorenzo C, Carreño TP, Zafra MD. Influence of craniosacral therapy on anxiety, depression and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:178769.
Castro-Sánchez AM, Matarán-Peñarrocha GA, Sánchez-Labraca N, Quesada-Rubio JM, Granero-Molina J, Moreno-Lorenzo C. A randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of craniosacral therapy on pain and heart rate variability in fibromyalgia patients. Clin Rehabil. 2011 Jan;25(1):25-35.
Harrison RE, Page JS. Multipractitioner Upledger CranioSacral Therapy: descriptive outcome study 2007-2008. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):13-7.
Copp S. Craniosacral therapy (2): postnatal care for parents and babies. Pract Midwife. 2010 Jun;13(6):31-2.
Copp S. Craniosacral therapy (1): from conception to birth. Pract Midwife. 2010 May;13(5):20-2.
Christine DC. Temporal bone misalignment and motion asymmetry as a cause of vertigo: the craniosacral model. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;15(6):38-42. Review.
Raviv G, Shefi S, Nizani D, Achiron A. Effect of craniosacral therapy on lower urinary tract signs and symptoms in multiple sclerosis. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 May;15(2):72-5.
Whedon JM, Glassey D. Cerebrospinal fluid stasis and its clinical significance. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009 May-Jun;15(3):54-60.
Spencer KM. Craniosacral therapy in the midwifery model of care. Midwifery Today Int Midwife. 2008 Autumn;(87):14-5, 65.
Gerdner LA, Hart LK, Zimmerman MB. Craniosacral still point technique: exploring its effects in individuals with dementia. J Gerontol Nurs. 2008 Mar;34(3):36-45.
Mehl-Madrona L, Kligler B, Silverman S, Lynton H, Merrell W. The impact of acupuncture and craniosacral therapy interventions on clinical outcomes in adults with asthma. Explore (NY). 2007 Jan-Feb;3(1):28-36.
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Upledger J.E., The relationship of craniosacral examination findings in grade school children with developmental problems. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1978 Jun;77(10):760-76.
Upledger JE. The reproducibility of craniosacral examination findings: a statistical analysis. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1977 Aug;76(12):890-9.
Upledger, J.E., Cell Talk: Transmitting Mind into DNA. 2003, Palm Beach Gardens: Upledger Enterprises.
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Upledger, J.E., Your Inner Physician and You: CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release. 1997 Palm Beach Gardens: Upledger Enterprises.
Upledger, J.E., A Brain is Born: Exploring the Birth and Development of the Central Nervous System. 1996, Palm Beach Gardens: Upledger Enterprises.
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