Tibetan Cranial® Practioners believe that Tibetan Cranial therapy works by fine-tuning the plates of the skull, along with their relationship to the neck. This fine-tuning optimizes the physical relationship of the bones to each other as well as the flow of energy and fluids through the recipient. Physical touch promotes opening of energy channels that in turn promotes healing at the levels of the physical and energetic bodies and the mind. Because people often store emotions in their bodies, Tibetan Cranial work also can assist with healing at an emotional level. Moreover, by incorporating a spiritual aspect via the alignment of the Practitioner and recipient and the silent recitation of mantra, Tibetan Cranial therapy can bring integration of spirit, as well.
Thus, Tibetan Cranial therapy takes a holistic view, seeing the body, mind, emotions, and spirit as linked, with Tibetan Cranial work having the potential to affect all of those aspects of the Being. A Tibetan Cranial Practitioner views the person on the table as already perfect but perhaps in need of assistance to rebalance or to reconnect to that innate perfection.
Instead of merely working with symptoms or providing a temporary fix, Tibetan Cranial therapy can initiate or boost the recipient’s own innate healing capacity, leading to a more complete and deep level of healing.
The Scientific Basis for Tibetan Cranial Work
Tibetan Cranial therapy has not been evaluated from a Western medical standpoint. Practitioners, however, have a sense of what is happening from within a modern scientific framework. (Please keep in mind that this discussion reflects the opinions of Tibetan Cranial Practitioners and is not intended to be interpreted as medical statements.)
Tibetan Cranial Practitioners believe that Tibetan Cranial therapy has a significant impact on cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), which accounts for much of the profound healing experienced by recipients. From an Eastern perspective, Tibetan Cranial therapy works primarily with the water element, which includes CSF. Although this has not been measured in a Western scientific sense, Tibetan Cranial Practitioners believe, based on what they feel and observe, that Tibetan Cranial work balances the flow of CSF.
CSF circulates through the body’s entire nervous system, performing a variety of functions. It cushions the brain and nerves, regulates brain extra-cellular fluid, purifies neurons and glial cells, allows for distribution of neuro-active substances and nutrients, and is the “sink” that collects waste products produced by the brain for disposal. Recent research, using mice, has found that CSF flow increases during sleep, resulting in CSF acting like a “dishwasher” to remove plaque and other waste products from the brain. Scientists hypothesize that disruption of CSF flow, for example from sleep disturbances, can result in the build-up of waste products and thus contribute to conditions such as dementia. Proper CSF flow thus is essential for the healthy functioning of the central nervous system.
Given the many roles of CSF, any disturbance in the flow of CSF can create imbalance. Even slight cranial trauma, such as bumping one’s head on something hard, or more serious situations like car accidents or concussions, can cause compression or misalignment in the skull. The traumatized area may develop swelling and scar tissue. Inflammation and scar tissue can block the flow of CSF and blood. Even sleep disruptions may affect the proper flow of CSF. Tibetan Cranial Practitioners credit the relief that many people experience from Tibetan Cranial work at least in part to its balancing effect on CSF flow.
Tibetan Cranial therapy also may affect the flow of lymphatics in the brain. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, responsible for removing toxins and waste products, transporting infection-fighting white blood cells, and removing excess fluids from tissues. Until recently, Western medicine denied the existence of a lymphatic network in the brain. However, scientists recently have proved that there are lymphatic vessels in the brain, with direct connections to the lymphatic system elsewhere in the body. The brain lymphatics now are considered likely to be important for clearing excess fluids and waste products from the brain, protecting against and healing neuro-immunological diseases, and removing waste products that otherwise lead to diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Tibetan Cranial Practitioners believe that Tibetan Cranial aids the lymphatic system of the brain through fine-tuning the alignment of physical structures and clearing energy blockages, thus supporting the flow of fluids.