Archived Q&A and Reviews
Craniosacral therapy involves a massage therapist, chiropractor, or other person placing their hands on the patient in order to tune into what they call the cranio sacral rhythm with the idea that the bones of the skull can be manipulated and various health problems can be cured. There is no medical or scientific evidence that the skull is moveable or that there is a cranial rhythm. (see Wikipedia for more info).
We have heard that craniosacral therapy may help infants who are colicky, and are wondering if anyone has experience with a local practitioner - esp. one that they would recommend. Anon.
Hi, craniosacral therapy ABSOLUTELY helped our newborn, who spent 3 hours in the birth canal. He was very sensitive about his head being touched and hated for us to take off his little cap before the therapy. He cried a LOT. We were very concerned. The compression on his head was still hurting him. Luckily, I had prenatal appointments with an incredible craniosacral therapist who also does amazing work with infants and children, so we called her. She made a house call to us on his 2nd day of life, and another follow up a few days later. The difference after the first session was like night and day. Our lil guy was completely relieved of the pressure in his head and was so happy and peaceful after that with no more ultra sensitivity to being touched on the head. We felt blessed to know this wonderful woman--who has treated our family for the past two years, and facilitated and brought about multi-faceted healing in all of us. I have no doubt a session with her could help your child. It is good to note that follow up appointments are just as important--to track progress--and to realize that some sessions may not be a cure-all/one-dose, but actually a good first step to bringing about healing. Her name is Tomi Knutson, and you can find her at http://www.tomiknutson.com/. In Health, Another Mama!
There are many craniosacral practitioners around but by far my favorite and most skilled recommendation is Holly Edson. She is amazing and the only one I would let touch my infant. http://www.iahp.com/Holly--Edson/ http://www.yelp.com/biz/holly-edson-rn-san-francisco Good luck, Carleigh
yes cranial sacral can help with that as well as tons of other things! we saw rose stamm and she was wonderful! she has been doing this for years and is also an OT for kids at the cameron school. her #215.7615 new believer
Hello parents of a colicky baby, I know everyone is probably telling you this, but it will pass, life will settle down, and you will likely end up with a delightful child. We had a very fussy baby girl until about 10 weeks and then she snapped out of it (after one very depressing regression, so hang in there....). One of the things that I feel helped her most was the CranioSacral Therapy that she received from Sirena Masket (her office is on Piedmont Ave in Oakland, but she came to our home to work with our daughter). Sirena is an Occupational Therapist and CranioSacral Therapist, and is particularly interested in and attuned to the needs of babies and children. Our daughter was noticably calmer during and after her sessions with Sirena, who brought a soothing presence to the whole household during her visits. It is subtle work that I don't begin to fully understand, but I know that it soothed both our's and our baby's nerves! You can reach Sirena at 510-290-8860. We also had great luck using a homeopathic remedy called ColicCalm (order online). Best of luck! Simmin
Wonderful Cranio Sacral practitioner, experienced working with babies and children (and grownups too): Nancy Burke Phone: (510) 236-1007, 237 25th St, Richmond, CA (just off Hwy 80, about 15 mins from Berkeley). www.nancyburkecst.com/ merry
Kim Lyons is a lovely person and gifted practioner and my massage therapist of choice. I can't speak from the vantage point of taking a child to see her (I've only taken myself) but I seem to remember from her website that she is experienced in working with all ages. Her phone number is 510/798-3089 and this is her website: http://www.movingfromwithin.com Hilary
For Craniosacral work, I highly recommend Celine Germain. She is hands down the best massage therapist I've ever been to (and I've been to a lot of them). She is also the most educated massage therapist I've ever met - and I mean educated in massage- she has a gazillion different certifications, and it shows in her technique. She's also very comfortable with babies- I know she's done quite a bit of birth assisting. As to whether she does Craniosacral on babies, I do not know. Her number is (510) 548-4004. I do want to caution that I have heard that Craniosacral work is not appropriate for infants. So I'd recommend doing a little research before you go that route. anon
Wondering if anyone has had recent cranio-sacral treatment with Catherine Henderson; I heard she's returned to work after a short sabbatical, and am curious whether she's treating adults as well as children at this time. Andy
[Editor Note Nov 2017: Catherine Henderson notified us that she is no longer practicing in California.]
Hi there, We recently took our baby to Catherine Henderson. Catherine was recommended to us by a lactation consultant to help resolve our baby's breastfeeding latch issues. We found her to be a bit cold and stand-offish, but apparently she's quite respected in the field and has been doing this kind of work for a very long time. The initial consult was quite spendy: $160! Because we didn't connect with her and because her prices were high, we decided not to book a follow-up appointment. Our lactation consultant also recommended a more affordable place in San Francisco: More Mojo http://www.moremojostudios.com/ Our consultant said she's sent many people there to see Kristine Hicks and they've liked her and seen good results. Good luck! Anon
My kids both have seen her several times; she's amazing. Typically she has a very busy practice and only sees kids, but due to her sabbatical there is now space in her practice for new clients. I highly recommend jumping on that opportunity. FYI, she's an osteopath not a cranial sacral therapist, though perhaps she integrates both. Local
I'm looking to try a new Cranial-Sacral therapist after working with mine for three years. I think she has done a lot of good, but i'm still having chronic back and wrist pain and would really like to have someone else's perspective to see if I can't get some relief. anon
I am very thankful for the work of my wonderful cranial-sacral therapist, Nancy Burke. She has been an enormous help to my family and me for many years, for conditions as varied as headaches, irritability, post-concussion syndrome, stress fracture and anxiety. She is a great listener, a kind and compassionate person and an extraordinary healer. Her office is in Richmond. Phone number is (510) 236-1007. Feeling so much better
Hello, I saw your request for a cranio-sacral therapist. I don't know if you would be open to seeing someone who does other techniques as well as cranio-sacral. The masseuse my husband and I have been seeing for the past four years, Dahlia Silvers does cranial work and also a host of other techniques and she's fabulous. I have suffered from severe back pain on and off all my adult life, and I can honestly say, that with the bodywork I've been having along with exercise, I finally have it managed. She's done cranial work with me when I have occasional migraines, and it did the trick. I (and my husband Joe) highly recommend her work. She's thorough, experienced and will even spend extra time with you if needed. Don't tell her I said that, but do give her a try. Dahlia Silvers (510) 759-4250 Jenna
Nancy Burke the best possible therapist out there. Maybe because I am really young, but in 3 sessions she had me up and running after 3 days of labor + c-section! 510 236 1007
I can highly recommend Susan Feldman as a craniosacral therapist in Berkeley. She is very skilled and has years of experience. My own treatments with her have been very valuable and as a health care professional and clinician myself, I feel like I am a good judge of quality work. Susan Feldman can be reached through Back in Action Chiropractic. 510-8-HEALTH. Jay Sordean
Hello, I don't know if you are open or looking for a therapist who does only cranio-sacral therapy or someone who does a combination of therapeutic techniques. If you are open to the latter, my massage therapist is fabulous. I have been seeing her for about three years now. I'm grateful to have found her after my former massage therapist moved to Australia. She's been doing massage for over twenty years and is very well versed in a number of techniques, such as cranio-sacral, deep tissue, shiatsu, abdominal massage, something called Bowen. She's very thorough and attentive and leaves no stone unturned. Her name is Dahlia Silvers, and she's in the Grand Lake area. If you're open to it, give her a call. (510) 759-4250 Abby
Has anyone out there tried to go the route of Cranial Sacral Therapy for straightening teeth (vrs. orthodonita.) My childs teeth are actually straight, but she has 3 teeth comming in next to the baby teeth. She and I would like to avoid extraction if possible. These teeth have been coming in for awhile, so I think we've given them enough time. I ask because a friend of mine has had Cranial Sacral Therapy done on her son, and I noticed his teeth are noticably straighter now. She said the person she was working on that, but they live out of town. Recommendations welcomed or stories welcomed! -I already have tons of stories about extractions, just looking to see if there is an alternative. don't like the pulling!
As a craniosacral therapist I know that teeth can be re-shaped and children are more 'fluid' so they will respond well to this treatment; but I just got set up by my dentist for invisalign (braces). After spending all day with my hands in my mouth and not getting the results I wanted I opted for the braces. Sorry I can't give any solid recomendations here. AA
I recommend Ursulal Ferreira who does great Cranial Sacral work. She can be reached at (510) 333-4721 or anahata.bhakti [at] gmail.com
I am looking for recommendations for an east bay cranial- sacral practitioner. Thanks micky
I highly recommend Anasuya Batliner in Berkeley (www.mybodywisdom.net/pages/craniosacral.html). I experienced a wonderful session with her. Or - in Lafayette - Robyn Scherr (925-788-9298), also an exceptional practitioner with a lot of experience. I felt cared for and so much better afterwards. Both Anasuya and Robyn have many years of experience with craniosacral therapy. rosie
My infant son had cranial-sacral work done by Nancy Burke in Richmond. She is truly magic. I would highly recommend her to anyone. Her phone number is 510-236-1007. I know that my chiropractor also does cranial-sacral work. I haven't tried it with him, but he's an amazing chiropractor, so I would trust him. His name is Elon Bartlett and he's in Berkeley. http://www.bartlettchiropractic.com/ A believer in cranial-sacral methods
I highly recommend Alberta Fischer. She's located in Berkeley and I think she has an office in Walnut Creek. She's fantastic and is really knowledgeable. Here is her contact information: 510-421-0485. Her e-mail is albertafischer [at] yahoo.com Ronna
Sirena Masket is a wonderful Cranio Sacral Therapist and a delightful person. I recommend her wholeheartedly. J
I'm looking for a craniofacial massage therapist in Oakland/Berkeley or downtown S.F. I've been in physical therapy for tightness in my jaw (TMJ) and neck, and I'd like to continue with a craniofacial massage specialist to help me keep things loose and stretched out. Anybody know someone? Anon
I can highly recommend Dr. Elon Bartlett DC, for CST. He's gentle, sweet and really good at CST (and a good chiropractor). His office is at 2509 Milvia Street between Blake and Dwight in Bkly. Office number is 843-1234. I'm a massage therapist in the same office as Elon. Good luck finding someone to help you. June
I highly recommend Julia Boudikian 525-4422. She is a former Dentist, who's been doing Cranio- work for years. Highly experienced. She's really helped me Sepha
Hi there, Wondering if anyone has had their child undergo Cranio-Sacral work and if so, if you have any recommendations. We actually live in the city so would prefer someone here but we'd be willing to go to the East Bay. It's for our daughter, who's 9 month's old. Thanks! Lisa
Cranio sacral is wonderful for babies, and adults. We've taken both of our sons, 3 1/2 and 6 weeks, and I receive it myself. Can help all kinds of things, like constipation, ear infections, skeletal misalignment, the list is long. Call Michael Lande 415-252-9338, he's in The Mission. He's amazing! Get yourself a session while you're there too. Lynnsey
Barbara Golden is a wonderful Berkeley cranio-sacral therapist who does a LOT of work with babies. She's been doing this for more than 20 years, so I expect she'll know if there's a competent practitioner in SF she can refer you to. Her number is 510.835.1731. Terry
I continue to highly recommend Dr. Chinabear Joseph. She is a chiropractor who specializes in cranial sacral work on infants and young children. Chinabear treated my colicky 3 month old and I noticed an immediate effect. Our whole family has been seeing her for the past 10 years. Chinabear is a gentle, intuitive bodyworker and a wonderful person. Her office is off of Grand Lake in Oakland (near 580) and her number is 510-272-9019. Ariel
Dr. Elon Bartlett (chiropractor) does CST on babies. His practice consists largely of pre-post natal care for mom's and babies. CST is VERY safe for babies adn in fact, if you look at teh Upledger website you will find a lot of info about CST for babies with varying conditions from simple colic all the way to severe birth conditions. Elon's office number is 843-1234. He's in Berkeley on Milvia Street. Good luck,(I'm a massage therapist and I work with Elon). June
We, husband, me, 4 yr old, and 6 mo old, see Laura Sheehan in the Inner Sunset. She is a chiropractor who also does Cranio Sacral. Just this week, we took our 6 mo old in for sleep issues related to teething and such. She did 10 mins Cranio. We came home and she took a 3 hour nap! It always happens. The rest of her sleep has also improved. Anyway, Laura's great and specializes in children. Let me know if you have any questions. http://www.laurasheehan.com/
Tomi Knutson is a massage therapist and cranial sacral therapist that works with infants. She is wonderful and I work with her regularly. Her telephone # is 510-502-5799. Hope this helps. Jill
Postings look oldish and saw few recommendations for the Oakland area. Anyone have a great craniosacral therapist - ideally for headaches, ADD, depression? Thanks! anon
I highly recommend Celine Germaine (510) 548-4004 at 1064-45th st in emeryville. I loved my previous cranio sacral therapist but she went on to pursue her studies, and she recommended me to Celine, who was her practioner. Celine is great at her craft and art, and is very warm and sweet. I feel very safe with her when I am typically very leary. A more balanced person
I'd highly recommend Kim Lyons. She gave me some great prenatal massages close to a year and a half ago and my husband also got a wonderful massage from her around that same time. http://www.movingfromwithin.com/massage.htm She's great and my body really felt different after one of her massages. anon
I highly recommend chiropractor Chinabear Joseph (510-272-9019) for craniosacral work. She is highly experienced, gentle, and compassionate. Her cranial work had a huge impact in reducing my daughter's colic as an infant, and nine years later, our whole family still sees her for a variety of stress related issues. I am sure she can help you. Her office in on Grand Ave. across from Fairyland. Ariel
I know you're looking in Oakland, but would you consider a trip to El Cerrito? It isn't too far to go, and the therapist I'm thinking of lives very close to the 80 freeway, just off the Carlson Avenue exit. Ellen Mossman is by far the most skilled craniosacral therapist I've ever met. And yes, her work absolutely addresses headaches, depression and the like. She's a delight to work with: perceptive, sensitive, funny, kind. I love going to her and wouldn't dream of seeing anyone else. Her number is 510-527-7968. She also often has convenient late afternoon and early evening appointments, and while she tends not to work on Fridays, she almost always takes clients on those frequent monday holidays when no one else is working. anne
Looking for someone, preferably a woman, who practices both Rosen Body & cranial sacrum work. dogspirit
You can't do better than Peggy Dey: 510-233-4086, peggydey [at] pacbell.net. She is skilled in a number of different bodywork modalities, including cranial-sacral. . Jane
Any recommendations for therepists who are experienced in working with special needs infants (in this case a baby with down syndrome). I am thinking acupuncture, massage, yoga, nutrionist type stuff but open to other recs. In North bay, East Bay or SF. Thanks!
Kim Lyons was great with my son, as well as my personal massage therapist for the last two years. My son was grinding his teeth at night during a big life-transition time and after two sessions of cranio-sacral work with Kim, he stopped. I would highly recommend her and her work. Tora
I strongly recommend Kim Lyons for support with both healthy children and children with health issues. She was a coordinator for an early intervention center and is now in private practice offering classes, massage, craniosacral therapy and yoga for children and families. Her website has a lengthy bio which shows her extensive experience and descriptions of her work including yoga for children with special needs. http://www.movingfromwithin.com
She is also a wonderful massage therapist for mothers and women and I say this from personal experience. Sherry
I have seen the recent postings recommending craniosacral therapists. Had anyone had any luck with this therapy for treating fibromyalgia in an adult? If so, is there anyone specific that you could recommend? Perhaps a physical therapist with craniosacral training? Thank you. an
Cranialosacral bodywork has helped my mother with her fibromyalgia tremendously. Most chronic illnesses respond to more than one type of treatment at the same time. If you can find an osteopath in your hmo, that might be worth looking into.
Osteopath's are Md's that also include alternative medicine/practices in their work. You get the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, even in the East Bay, finding an osteopath that is covered by health insurance isn't easy.
There is a good osteopath on Telegraph and Prince (I think). Her office is parallel to the Blue Oak Therapy center. You could call or stop by and ask them what health insurance they take.
One more thing, a friend of mine that has fibromyalgia has been taking tai-chi for a year now. It's helped her body, mind and soul, without causing her any pain. beth
I don't have fibromyalgia myself but I asked my cranial-sacral practioner, Michelle Reddel, D.C., about it. In her opinion, fibromyalgia is best treated by an integrated treatment protocol including bodywork, nutrition, and physical activity, and CS technique is ideally suited to the fibromyalgia client b/c of its systems approach of balancing muscular and neurologic dysfunction. In addition, because of its slow and relaxing components (which I can attest to!), it tends not to be as overwhelming and arousing as other techniques (which is a critical aspect for the fibromyalgia client who is in a constant state of sensitivity.) If you want to talk further about it, you can call her office at 649-9169. Janet
While there are some cranial-sacral previous recommendations they are pretty dated and I was hoping for some current suggestions. I am very interested in some cranial-sacral work for my infant and myself. She was a vacuum assist birth and I want to address anything that may have been injured. For myself, I have had a few head injuries and I am curious if it will address headaches, sinus pain and depression. I would appreciated any feedback and recommendations. Thank you.
I highly recommend Michele Reddel, D.C., for cranial-sacral work. She's a very gifted practioner, knowledgeable and intuitive, and a great listener. I know she treats infants and children as well, so I think she would be a good fit for you. Her office is the Parker Plaza building at 2560 Ninth Street (btn. Parker and Dwight), in Berkeley. Her number is 649- 9169. Janet
I would highly recommend Michelle Reddell in Berkeley. She helped me through some very intense pain. I know she has worked with many children. She is very open, kind and generous. The office number is 649-9169. Good Luck. Elyse
One resource for cranial work is our office,the ChiroCranial Center, in San Rafael. Dr. Strasser has twenty years of experience treating adults and children and cranial therapy is one of his primary approaches. Dr. Strasser uses a gentle approach that combines osteopathic ''cranio-sacral'' with chiropractic craniopathy and Cranial Release Technique. Please see our website at www.chirocranial.com. Dr. Strasser is always available for questions. Susan at Dr. Strasser's office
I highly recommend Nancy Burke, who works with adults as well as children. She helped my infant born with vacuum extraction, and I believe she really benefitted from the work. Nancy is highly trained in cranial-sacral work and has excellent rapport with children. Her office is in Richmond and her phone number is 236-1007. Yvonne
You can't beat Catherine Henderson --she's an osteopath, but I understand that it's similar to Craeo-sacral work--for infants. She helped our (then 2 month old) son out immesurably after a fall. I understand she has a huge waiting list, but I also know she will see infants fairly quickly if there has been a birth (or other) trauma. Good luck! Abby
[Editor Note Nov 2017: Catherine Henderson notified us that she is no longer practicing in California.]
When my son was first born, he had a lot of problems with breastfeeding and the lactation consultant referred us to a cranio sacral therapist who we liked a lot. I think that the work she did on our baby really helped. She also did some work on me a few times when I was there, and it felt great. Her name is Nancy Burke, and her office is in Richmond (a haul from our home in Oakland, but well worth the commute). I thought her fees were reasonable- she has a sliding scale. Her # is 236-1007. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. milli
My daughter also had a vacuum assisted birth and was an extremely intense infant. She received cranial sacral therapy when she was 1-3 months old from Elon Barnett (11/02-1/03 he was working at Back in Action in Berkeley, although I'm not sure if he's still there). It's very difficult to tell if it helped or not. The therapy itself is so mild and it's difficult to ''read'' a 2 month-old. Her response was random, some visits she'd be smiling and others fussy. She has grown up to be a very happy (although still prone to intenseness) 20 month old, so maybe it helped. Elon was very patient and kind, even through yelling and poopy diapers. He had a nice manner and appeared to know what he was doing. I always trust practitioners who tell you when they've done *enough* and Elon was one of those. We went until he felt as though the therapy had done what it could. I'd probably do it again, since it definitely didn't hurt and maybe it helped, but it was one more thing that made me feel like I was helping my daughter get through some tough times. Kim
Kim Lyons has done some very effective cranio-sacral work on me, and she's also a specialist in infants and children. She's great. Contact her at: Kim Lyons-Stuart, M.Ed., CMT (birthmate [at] yahoo.com) Letitia
We took our son to a wonderful cranio-sacral chiropractor in Santa Rosa named Dennis Hertenstein. I can't speak to his work with adults, though I would expect that it would be excellent, but we felt that he did help our son with his asthma. Dr. H. feels very strongly that the birth experience can be directly related to health problems, such as asthma, and he actually aims to re-create aspects of the birth experience during treatments. Our son did have a difficult birth (long, stalled labor, pitocin, back labor, vacuum extraction, and cord around neck), and he felt this was all very directly related to his asthma. Of course we were seeing traditional western doctors as well, and using lots of medications, so it is very hard to say what exactly is responsible for the vast improvement we've seen, but we do feel that Dr. H was at least partly responsible for the improvement. The treatments were for the most part very subtle and gentle, but it was sometimes a little weird and disturbing (especially for me as the mom) when he would talk about and re-create the birth experience. It's a little out there, and the doctor himself was very upfront about the fact that any number of factors could have contributed to the overall improvement (meds, age, etc.), but we felt it was well worth the drive up there once every 8 weeks or so. I'm really giving you a very nutshell description here, so if you are interested please email me and I'd be happy to call you. I'm pretty certain he would be of help to you as well as your child, but I can only speak to his work with children (our son was probably about 2 when we started going). I also can't find his phone # at the moment, but I'm sure he's listed, and I could dig it up if you want to contact me. Best of luck to you! Tracy
Can someone recommend where I can get a craniosacral massage? Tamara
Julia Boudakian is hard to get a hold of (she's semi-retired), but it is worth pursuing an appointment with her. I went elsewhere for craniosacral therapy treatments (to Back-in-Action on MLK) when I couldn't get an appointment with her and was really disappointed. Craniosacral therapy is very subtle work. When it's done well, it's amazing; when it's not, it feels like nothing. Dr. Boudakian is located on the Alameda near Solano Ave in Berkeley. Her number is: 510-525-4422 Ilana
Betty Segal in N. Berkeley does craniosacral (in addition to Swedish massage and lymph drainage treatments). Her number is 526-8685. J
I highly recommend Chris Iosbaker, a massage therapist in Oakland. I've been seeing Chris since the birth of my daughter 2 years ago and she is a miracle worker. I suffer from occasional TMJ and seeing Chris regularly has kept it in check. She works with each patient to determine hot spots and tailors her time with you to reflect your needs. Chris has her own studio, attached to her home off of Oakland Avenue; lovely, light filled and warm. Her number is 510 444 7997. Alexandra
There are 2 people in this area who are masters of Cranio/sacral Therapy Susan Feldman at Back in Action Chiropractic Center in Berkeley works wonders with her hands. She's sensitive, intuitive and really good at what she does (and a wonderful person too). The number at Back in Action is 843-2584. I've never seen Susan myself for Craneo/Sacral but I work with her at Back in Action (I'm a massage therapist) and she and I have worked together on patients there.
The other person is Nancy Burke, in Richmond. Nancy is master of masters in my opinion. She can work miracles. If something can be helped with craneo/sacral therapy, Nancy can do it. Her number is 236-1007. I highly recommend both people. I've seen Nancy myself and have taken my 6 year old son to her.She works with all kinds of problems. She works with kids and animals too. I'd call them both to get a feel for what they each do. Good luck. June