Alternatives A-Z

Donna Easto, C.H., H.C., M.H., Certified Herbal Educator

CranioSacral Therapy (CST). Craniosacral therapy was developed by osteopathic surgeon John E. Upledger who built upon the earlier work of William Garner Sutherland, the founder of cranial osteopathy. Practitioners of this therapy use gentle hands-on pressure to provide relief from a variety of symptoms including headaches, neck pain and some side effects of cancer treatment. By relieving tension in the central nervous system with gentle pressure on the head, neck and back, CST promotes a feeling of well-being by eliminating pain and boosting health and immunity.

Many massage therapists, physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors are able to perform cranial sacral therapy. It can be part of an already-scheduled treatment visit or the sole purpose for your appointment. Depending on what you’re receiving CST to treat, you may benefit from between 3 and 10 sessions, and scheduled maintenance sessions. Your healthcare provider will help you determine what’s right for you.

A CST session is similar to massage therapy, except you stay fully clothed. The treatment session begins with a consultation with a trained therapist to identify troubled areas. Soft music and low lighting are often used to increase your state of relaxation. CST can benefit almost everyone. With a few conditions, however, craniosacral therapy may not be appropriate; you’ll need to talk with your CST practitioner and physician.

Flower Essences are similar to essential oils, but where essential oils contain a very concentrated amount of a plant (often intended for aromatic and topical application,) flower essences are quite diluted and are made from the living blossoms of flowers from plants and trees. Flower essences are intended for ingestion or topical application. They are natural, non-toxic, and non-habit-forming, and can be combined with other treatments such as homeopathic remedies, natural supplements, and conventional treatments. Flower essences are particularly effective at healing the mind and uplifting the spirit. The following are some that may be new to you, or as familiar as Bach’s “Rescue Remedy”—for emergencies and crisis situations in which someone is in a state of extreme stress. It’s a blend of impatiens, star of Bethlehem, cherry plum, rock rose, and clematis flowers in combination. Hawthorne—protects, strengthens and heals the heart. Useful in heartbreak, the loss of a loved one or pet, it helps heal emotional pain and support emotional wellbeing. Passionflower—for inner peace, it’s relaxing and harmonizing properties calm the mind, and deepen meditation. Use it for agitation, anxiety, sleep support; calming nervous tension, spiritual insight, and balancing an over stimulated body & mind. Vervain—anti-inflammatory, reduces swelling, is a known anti-spasmodic (heals muscle spasms), and analgesic. Vervain helps calm an over-active mind, supports healthy sleep, and alleviates migraines, headaches and abdominal cramps. Use it for anxiety attacks, stress or trauma, and out of control emotions. If you’re looking for work and anxious about an interview, take Vervain or “Rescue Remedy” and also apply directly to the pulse points in your wrists and neck. As with all remedies, prior to use consult your health care practitioner if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a medical condition and/or are taking medications.

Flower essences are easy to make, there’s any number of recipes on the “net,” or if you’d prefer email me at Lumby Valley Times and I’d be happy to share the method with you.

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