The Craniosacral System

Polly: At the congressional hearings on autism and vaccinations, John E. Upledger, D.O., O.M.M., testified to Congress on his findings treating autism using cranial manipulation. In his opinion, some cases of autism may be due to brain membrane dysfunction. Decreased flexibility of the membrane that covers the brain can interfere with the proper flow and pumping of the fluid that baths the brain. This fluid carries nutrients to the brain and removes metabolic Hope for Autism through Nutrition The Health Forum—Book 5 20 byproducts. The membrane also contains chelating agents that help remove heavy metals from the brain. The membrane might be damaged by fevers (eg induced by a vaccine reaction), or by a mechanical injury such as a birth delivery using suction, or bending the head/neck at birth. The damage often manifests as compression at the base of the skull. He mentioned that cranial sacral manipulation can also be used to treat colic and hyperkenesis (muscle spasms).

The treatment procedure is not frightening. Dr. Upledger places his hands on the head and gently stretches the membrane that covers the brain. This treatment decreases the head-banging, thumb-sucking, and wrist-biting behaviors often found in autism. Once this mechanical stretching of the membrane has been accomplished, the parents, with proper instruction, can help with the maintenance. More information is available in the book written by Dr. Upledger, A Brain is Born (North Atlantic Books, 1996, $45.00), and available from his institute. This treatment is also helpful for many cases of attention deficit. For a directory of practitioners, the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP) publishes a directory of more than 38,000 healthcare practitioners. The directory lists their professional designation as well as listing the IAHP- recognized courses they have completed (phone 1-800-311-9204, extension 9944).

The Upledger Institute, Inc.

11211 Prosperity Farms Rd.

D325 Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410-3487

Phone: 1-800-233-5880, extension 9945

Fax: (561) 622-4771

Home page:

E-mail: [email protected]

Marie: I wanted to share my experience with craniosacral therapy for anyone considering it. At about age two, and at his worst, we went through probably the most frightening experience with our son (he’d been normal till his first MMR shots at the age of 15 months). He started losing his sense of balance and couldn’t walk but a few steps before falling, oftentimes hurting himself, and the situation was becoming progressively worse.

We were fortunate enough to hear about craniosacral therapy back then and were able to work with a therapist who, after the very first session, somehow managed to restore our son’s ability to maintain his balance; he stopped falling literally overnight. We haven’t had a problem with his balance since (that was five years ago). I would like to know if anyone has had a child treated by the Upledger Institute? We were not familiar with the principles that Dr. Upledger works with back then and I am interested in learning of anyone’s experience with his work.

Marianne: My son has been treated at the Upledger Institute about 30 times in his short 4 and 1/2 years. Starting when he was only 2 or 3 months old. Fortunately we live only 1 hours drive from the Upledger Institute. I know they see many patients for intensive work, doing many sessions in one week’s time, for people that fly in. They also do share care weekend workshops around the country for parents to learn to do some simple techniques for their families. My husband and I both did this. It was very inexpensive, and we learned the principles of what is going on (sort of, smile). John Upledger has also written a couple of books. I can’t say enough good things about the therapy. However we changed therapists early on, to one that really connected with our son, and saw much better results. Our son began speaking right after one of his sessions (age 3.5). He also began interacting with other children right after another session (age 3.6). He also turned from a VERY difficult child, into a SWEETHEART after quite a few Autism Interventions 21 sessions when he was about 2. The therapist (Jim) kept telling me there was this sweet child in there. I couldn’t IMAGINE what he was talking about at the time. Well …..HE WAS RIGHT!!!! Our son also used to hold one arm close to his side when running or walking—not swinging it freely. That was corrected also, although not right away. In the beginning, he went through many re-birthing type sessions. Jim always followed our son’s lead. It was always clear to me that our son was doing the work in the session. Jim was just facilitating. After watching all that went on, I was convinced that I would have no idea where to begin to help him myself, and finding a really experienced therapist would be important. Luckily, Jim travels all around the world teaching, so I feel we have one of the best.

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