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CNS Anatomy


Commonly-Asked Questions

1. What is CranioSacral Therapy?
2. What should you expect from your initial consultation?
3. Do I need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment?
4. Is there a rebate for physio from my Private Health Fund?
5. Is physiotherapy covered by Medicare?

Q1. What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive manipulative soft tissue technique, derived from osteopathy, discovered by Dr. John Upledger in the 1970s in Florida, United States. It balances tension patterns of the fascia (connective tissue) in the body.

It is called "CranioSacral" because it involves all the bones of the skull, face and mouth which make up the cranium and extends by a system of hydraulics and membranes to the lower end of the spine, or the sacrum.

Trauma to the lower end of the spine (e.g. fall on the tail bone) can have adverse effects on the "cranial" (or head) end of the craniosacral system. Likewise, injuries to the head can cause lower back pain.

Fascia is an extensive network of connective tissue that weaves throughout the body. It separates body cavities, covers all organs, separates the muscle layers, covers the brain and spinal cord, all the nerves, all vessels (blood and lymph) and even the bones.

It can be compared to a sheet on the bed, that when pulled on one corner of the sheet, the tension can be seen across the other side of the mattress.

Similarly, when you have deep scar tissue from a past injury or surgery, this can create a tension in the body that can affect tissue far removed from the original injury.

CranioSacral Therapy is a way to release the tension in the body.

How can CranioSacral Therapy help me?

CranioSacral Therapy always helps by enhancing your physical and emotional health, even when you feel well.

It treats the core system and therefore restores the autonomic flexibility (sympathicus and parasympathicus are in balance), which is an increased ability of the autonomic nervous system to accommodate stress or increased demands on the body. That means that functional diseases are less likely to develop and the immune system is bolstered.

Optimal physical, emotional and mental health of the individual creates a safer, happier and richer environment for the entire society.

The general healthcare costs can be reduced with early screening and intervention (especially neonates).

With the use of CranioSacral Therapy some of the expensive interventions like magnet resonance imagery (MRI) or exploratory surgery for apparently unrelated symptoms may be unnecessary.

How many sessions will I need for my problem?

The frequency of treatment depends on the client’s state of health and their readiness for various levels of engagement and on the devotion and skill level of the practitioner.

Generally the therapeutic facilitator would need three one-hour sessions to cover the ten-step protocol in the first, the sphenoid protocol in the second and the hard palate protocol in the third session (if the facilitator chooses to work with protocols to cover all areas).

If there is no improvement to the parameters of the craniosacral system and the client does not perceive any change after 3-4 treatments, it would be advisable to recommend other modalities (e.g. accupuncture) or to refer the client to another specialist.

I don’t feel much, why not?

In order to achieve corrections in the client’s body the therapist uses the natural corrective tendencies of the body like the loosening of a light connective tissue stretch over a prolonged period (30-60 seconds). The gentlest touch is used not to provoke the tissue’s defence mechanism.

Being used to the "no pain-no gain" maxim or having had a different previous experience (e.g.vertebral mobilisation or massage treatment), the client’s senses may need to be educated to access their more subtle perception.

How come I feel pain in my ....... when I didn’t feel it at the beginning of the session?

Post treatment soreness or discomfort can have several reasons:

1. Tissue is still releasing trauma (memory stored in the tissue) long after the "hands on" treatment.

2. Clinical quiescent areas may become apparent after main dysfunction was dealt with (e.g. old injuries suddenly re-appear). This offers an opportunity to correct dysfunctions fully (clearing up old and recent tissue restrictions). Layer after layer of tissue restriction is resolved ("onion peeling" concept).

The idea is that the body moves from organised (but "stuck") dysfunction via disorganisation (and this may be perceived as pain and/or emotions) to organised functionality.


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Q2. What should you expect from your initial consultation?

During your initial visit the physiotherapist performs a thorough hands-on physical assessment to diagnose your condition. The therapist will explain your condition and provide appropriate treatment, including exercises, and discuss with you further management of your condition. This process takes about 45-60 minutes.

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Q3. Do I need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment?

A doctor’s referral is not necessary if you are attending the clinic as a private patient.

A doctor’s referral is required if your problem is related to a workplace injury (Work Cover), is the result of a motor vehicle accident, or if you are a Veterans Affairs patient.

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Q4. Is there a rebate for physio from my Private Health Fund?

If you are in a Private Health Insurance Fund and are covered for Ancillary Cover, you will be eligible to receive a rebate. Please check with your fund prior to your consultation.

At the clinic we offer an electronic payments and claims system called HICAPs.

This system allows you to automatically claim your rebate from your Health Fund immediately following your treatment (please bring your Health Fund card for swiping). Once this is completed, all you need to do is to pay the ‘gap amount’ (the difference between the treatment fee and the rebate you received from the Health Fund). This can be paid with cash, cheque, credit card or EFTPOS.

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Q5. Is physiotherapy covered by Medicare?

There are some provisions for limited physiotherapy costs to be covered under Medicare. To qualify for this you must be suffering from a condition that has been present for at least six months and your GP must provide an Enhanced Primary Care Plan. This enables you to receive up to five Medicare-assisted treatments per year.

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Contact us now to ask a question or make a booking! or call (02) 9798 6115





© 2006 Ashfield Physiotherapy Centre. All rights reserved.
56 Elizabeth Street, Ashfield NSW 2131.

Tel: (02) 9798 6115; (mob) 0405 501 012. Fax: (02) 9798 6115.
Mon - Fri: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm