Craniosacral Approach to the Cardiovascular Physiology: Characteristics, Mechanism and Therapeutic Perspectives

Massimo Armeni, Veronica Bravi, Stefania D’Emidio, Massimo Leggio


Although there are dissenting opinions, the “classic” craniosacral therapy has gained a role in the management and treatment of clinical problems for which the traditional therapeutic strategies led to fluctuating results. Similarly, the biodynamic craniosacral therapy perspective, which involves the intrinsic healing power of the life breath, has been emphasised. Hemodynamic and cardiopulmonary parameters are above all influenced by the heart and brain centres, besides peripheral resistance. Considering the small number of scientific studies on this topic existing in literature, we focused on the anatomical aspects and neurophysiological or vascular connections that can be influenced by craniosacral therapy As far as the spinal neurophysiological complex is concerned, the nervous system preganglionic neurons are located in a cell column in the intermediate area of the lateral horn of the spinal cord; this area is called the intermediolateral cell column. The important vascular effects mediated by the sympathetic chain neurons are only ipsilateral. The right and left columns have different effects on the heart: the right primarily innervates the sinoatrial node, and the left innervates the atrioventricular node; therefore, an increase in the parasympathicotonia and vagal hypertonia induced by biodynamic craniosacral therapy at the superior centres and the suprasegmental nuclei level can directly lead to a reduction in the frequency of firing of sinoatrial and atrioventricular nodes, modifying the hemodynamic and ventilatory parameters. Even if further in-depth studies are necessary to confirm our hypothesis and experiences, this therapeutic perspective could potentially provide a robust tool to approach the cardiovascular patophysiology.


Craniosacral approach; Cardiovascular physiology

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