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Natural Awakenings Tampa Florida

Discover Rapid Stress Relief with Cranial Release Technique: Designed to Release Entrenched Stress

May 31, 2013 04:31PM ● By Dr. Clark C. Walters

Dr. Hans Selye, world-renowned endocrinologist, known as The Father of Stress Research, said something very important yet many have never heard: "The cause of ALL disease is unresolved stress."

What is stress? Dr. Selye defined it as "the non-specific response of the organism to any demands made upon it." In other words, there is no particular way that the body will handle it. The physical manifestations will vary from person to person. With some, it may be heart conditions, others it may be stroke or diabetes, among many other possibilities. A rubber band stretched beyond its capability will eventually break, depending on its weakest point.


The Stress We Do Need

Stress does have its purpose. Originally, it was for our protection. It occurred when there was the perception of imminent danger, but was intended to resolve itself once that danger was over. It is what is referred to as the "fight or flight" response, and your body can easily handle it.

Let’s say you were walking across the street at a lighted intersection and while crossing, a vehicle runs the red light and is coming towards you; in just a flash a series of physiological changes happen. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise to get the body ready to respond. Your liver dumps glucose and triglycerides in the body for rapid energy, and the blood previously directed to the organs is now quickly shifted to the brain and muscles. All of this happens in a fraction of a second so you can escape the impending danger.

Continuing with this car scenario, you can either leap out of the way, drop down to the ground so the car passes over you, or maybe even jump on top of the car’s hood and run across the top of the car as you see in the movies. Whatever the mode, it represents how your body can immediately adapt to stressful situations.

Once the danger has passed, your body can now shift out of its stress mode and return to normal. You don’t need to remain in this high alert state.


The Stress We Don’t Need

In these modern times we come across a new "complex" stress. That is because some perceived dangers don’t go away, but rather linger on in the form of long-term fear and worry; perhaps fear of the unknown or fear of loss. This type of stress remains almost constant with most people, differing only in intensity at various times. "The human body was never meant to deal with prolonged, chronic stress." Pamela Peeke, University of Maryland

Stress remains at an all-time high level for many of us. No longer is it limited to a body’s response to an immediate threat. It’s like having your foot on the gas and the brake at the same time. After a while, something’s going to give. With this pressure of what is perceived as persistent, constant and continual, the original program of stress has been replaced. Now, this new stress results in physical manifestations such as sustained elevated heart rate and blood pressure which damages arteries; sustained elevated levels of fats in the blood, causing plaque, heart disease and strokes; sustained elevated levels of blood glucose, leading to diabetes; and elevated levels of cortisol, resulting in problems with memory, thought, and the immune system. "Unrelieved stress contributes to family breakdown, chronic health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure, memory loss and depression, even on-the-job accidents and injuries." Dr. Alexander Rich

All of this continual, low-level stress wreaks havoc with your nervous system and your immune system.


Cranial Release to the Rescue!

Perpetual anxiety eventually expresses itself through various physical expressions in the body. One place this tension expresses itself is within the cranium. Did you know that your skull "breathes?" Your head is not just one solid bone, but rather is made up of 22 bones that fit together in such a way that allows for a slight rhythmic motion. As a matter of fact, it expands and contracts generally between 10 to 12 times per minute. This is called the "primary respiratory mechanism" and has been well documented through NASA research.

Inside the head is the brain with its various coverings, the outermost one being called the dura mater, or "dura" for short. This dura consists of a double membrane, the outer portion being firmly attached to the inside of the cranial vault like wallpaper, consisting of blood vessels. The inner portion is found dipping into the center of the brain and forms a membrane which separates the two hemispheres of the brain as well as the membrane that separates the major portion of the brain, the cerebrum, from the cerebellum.

This same membrane also firmly attaches itself to the hole in the skull where the brain stem goes through (foramen magnum) and continues down the inside of the spinal canal as a hollow tube, the uppermost portion gripping onto the first, second and third vertebrae in the neck, and finally attaching to the base of the spine at an area called the second sacral segment. This tube is called the "reciprocal tension membrane." This causes the sacrum to respond to the motion of the cranium.

Now, why is this cranial motion necessary? It’s one of the methods that the body uses to gently move cerebral spinal fluid. This spinal fluid is what continuously bathes the brain and spinal cord, providing the nutrients for the nervous system as well as an enveloping cushion in which the brain "floats." This cranial-sacral motion has to be very gentle because any appreciable modification of the pressure within the tube where the spinal fluid is located would cause very severe headaches.

To show how far reaching this dura is, it also surrounds all the nerves. First, it surrounds all the cranial nerves. When a spinal nerve exits the spine (31 pairs) they travel through what is termed the "dural sheath." However, these nerves don’t pierce through this sheath, but instead the sheath actually becomes the outer covering of the nerves themselves, and becomes the "epineurium."

When you experience ongoing stresses, your body can respond with various types of contractions. Some are muscular which can pull against vertebrae and result in the torsion (twisting tension) of the dura. Inner cranial tension also can cause dural torsion as well as causing one or more of those cranial bones not to move as intended.

It is believed that this internal tension and accompanying torsion has wide-ranging effects on the body, one of which is an internal imbalance of the circulation of the cerebral spinal fluid. This leads to other imbalances as well.

The Cranial Release Technique is specially designed to re-establish the subtle yet vital movement of those cranial bones. This process relieves the interwoven matrix of dural tension throughout your entire body, from inside out, from head to toe and impacts all the issues that such tension affects.

Those who have experienced this gentle technique often report having a sense of deep relaxation that is not felt in any other way. At the same time, the issues associated with internal stress are allowed to ease up or vanish.

The entire process only takes a few minutes to administer, but it’s like pushing the reset button. My patients are thrilled with the results, so let me encourage you to discover for yourself the far-reaching benefits of this wonderful procedure.


Dr. Clark C. Walters, second generation chiropractor, has been in practice in Florida since 1986. Dr. Walters has over 10 years experience with Cranial Release Technique, and has presently joined the Vital Well-Being Center, 210 South Pinellas Avenue, Suite 106, Tarpon Springs. For more information, call 727-786-1661.

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