2014 – The Use of Craniosacral Therapy in the Treatment of Constipation

Posted:Monday, February 27, 2017

Patricia Rogers

Introduction: Functional constipation, one of the most common somatic complaints encountered by practitioners, both negatively affects quality of life and leads to increased healthcare costs. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a form of bodywork that addresses micro strain patterns which accumulate to create macro dysfunction. The core physiological intent of CST is to free restrictions in the cranial membrane and the dural tube to enhance central nervous system function. CST can elicit the release the somatic memories and residual effects of past injuries and negative experiences.

Objective: There is a paucity of data in the literature on the use of CST in the treatment of somatic complaints such as gastrointestinal distress. This case report highlights the effect of CST on functional constipation in a trauma survivor.

Case Presentation: A 49-year-old, Caucasion female with a history of childhood abuse and domestic violence presented with a chief complaint of difficulty with elimination. She was treated with CST twice per week for four weeks and once per week for four weeks. The Constipation Assessment Scale (CAS) rates the severity of constipation on a scale of 0-16, with 16 being most severe. The CAS was administered before the start of treatment and again at four and eight weeks.

Results: After eight weeks, a reduction in the severity of constipation was noted. The initial CAS score of 8 was reduced to 5 at four weeks and 2 at eight weeks.

Conclusion: CST facilitated the release of adverse mechanical strain patterns associated with somatic memories. Constipation decreased in severity. In this case study, CST was a useful tool in the treatment of constipation, underscoring the need for further evidence-based research in the use of CST to treat somatic complaints.