MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Relief from muscle spasms, back pain, even migraines may be a lot simpler than most people think.
A simple device, some are claiming, can actually help manage pain by applying light pressure to certain points on the back of your head. It’s called Cranio Sacral Therapy.
Karen Steele, a frequent traveler, suffers from shoulder, neck and back problems. While on the go, Steele brings a little red foam device to use as a mini Cranio Sacral Therapy session.
“It’s very convenient and easy to pack,” said Steele. “It helps to maintain my good health when I’m away, as well as to relax me.”
During actual therapy sessions, therapists use very light touch on the head, neck and body to gently release tension in tissues.
Proponents said these adjustments help restore “balance” and “rhythm” to a person’s cerebral spinal fluid-which cushions the brain and spinal cord.
“Most people do experience deep relaxation, as well as reduction of pain and increase in energy,” said Lynn Mabry, a chiropractor.
Medical experts and organizations say there are currently few scientific studies that have rigorously examined the role of this type of massage in treating pain and disease. But the Upledger Institute, a well-known Cranio Sacral Teaching Center, says that is changing.
“We’ve got over 125,000 therapists in over 100 countries that have treated millions of people, the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. There’s also been a lot of research over the past 30 years there’s been a lot of outcome studies as well as some evidence-based studies.”
We found now the therapy is hitting home with self-help devices, like the Cranio Cradle Home Therapy System.” The “Be Calm Balls” which are supposed to produce a “feeling of instant relaxation.”
This “still point inducer” which Steele sues, said it may help in relieving headaches and enhancing your immune system.
Some pain specialists agree it can work.
“What I think it does is treat the muscles, treat sore or tight muscles at the back of the head and provide some trigger point relief,” said Dr. Ronald Glick, a pain specialist.
Dr. Glick says you can even make your own device by simply putting two tennis balls in a sock.
“You just tie off the end with a rubber band and they can use that to provide the same kind of pressure,” he said.
When Steele’s not traveling, she also works with a trained Cranio Sacral therapist.
But she says the at-home device plays an important role in her treatment.
“I use the still point to continue the good work of a therapist and the body’s natural healing process,” said Steele.