Mark L. Levine, B.A., R.M.T.

Pediatric + Family Craniosacral + Osteopathic Manual Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions


How is Craniosacral therapy different from Chiropractic?

While many practitioners of Craniosacral therapy are also originally trained as Chiropractors (D.C.), the focus of traditional Chiropractic is the mobilization of spinal joints using a high velocity low amplitude thrust (HVLA), which results in a popping or cracking sound.  The purpose of this is to normalize the central nervous system by reducing pressure on nerves from bones or the connective tissue connected to the bones. 

The intention of Craniosacral therapy is, in part, a similar normalization of the central nervous system, yet the technique is radically different.  The skill of Chiropractic is speed;  a good Chiropractor can adjust a joint so quickly that the patient doesn’t have time to react, and the joint pops before the muscles have a chance to react by tightening.  In contrast, rather than attempting to ‘end run’ the nervous system with speed and force, the fundamental technique of Craniosacral  is a sustained light touch in specific directions, stretching the connective tissue to which joints are attached.  

Many chiropractic patients report apprehension and anxiety before an adjustment, and find it difficult to relax while waiting for ‘the crack’; in contrast, Craniosacral therapy is characterized by a meditative slowness and gentleness, and is guided by micromovements initiated by the patient, so stretches are into the direction of ease, and are therefore free of anxiety and pain. 

Often likened to ‘flying in under the radar’, patients receiving Craniosacral therapy are not usually aware until after the session just how much movement has been achieved.  

Another difference is that while Chiropractic tends to focus on the spine alone, the Craniosacral approach also focuses on mobilization of cranium, face and jaws. 

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