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Cranio Sacral Therapy.

Keep the horse his body in balance with a light touch.

Since the last 10 years there's a new treatment adapted to the equine world, Cranio Sacral Therapy. Cranio Sacral Therapy is an unique efficient way to keep horses in biomechanical balance and maintains muscular en skeleton health. Carnio Sacral Therapy is also successfully in treating specific conditions like:
- headshaking
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint)
- Imbalances.
- head traumas.
- facial nerve paralysis

Cranio Sacral Therapy is highly effective in treating both acute and chronic injuries. This therapy is unique because it is specifically focused on the equine skull and his relation to the rest of the body.

Core Link
Cranio Sacral Therapy evolved from the practice of osteopathy. At the 19th century Dr. William Sutherland (an osteopath) discovered that the bones of the cranium connected to the sacrum to what he referred to as the “core link”
The core links is made up of:
- The skull or cranium.
- the spinal cord.
- the dura mata (which is a protective sleeve around the spinal cord)
- the sacrum.

Dr. William Sutherland noticed that when he puts pressure to the various bones on the skull that that effects the sacrum and the pelvis and the other way around. These structures are connected not only by muscles, fascia, ligaments and tendons on the outside, but more impotently, by the tissue from the inside from the core link.
The traditional osteopathy focuses on the bones themselves, while Cranio Sacral Therapy focuses on bringing balance throughout the skeletal and muscular system with specific focus the intricate connection of the individual bones of the skull, the spine and the sacrum.

Application of Cranio Sacral Therapy.
Equine CranioSacral practitioners apply specific techniques to the horse’s body to release restrictions in the musculoskeletal system and in the fascia, which is a tissue that weaves the whole body together like a spider web. Cranio Sacral Therapy is an energy-based therapy using light contact like acupressure. There is no physical manipulation to the bones and the tissues. While specific c attention is given to the cranium, spine and sacrum, the treatment is not limited to these areas because of the way the body is connected.
Cranio Sacral practitioners are trained to first assess the horse his movement, posture and soft tissue. That applies Hands-on techniques help to release restrictions throughout the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous system, which helps to restore the postural balance and fluidity of the biomechanics.
The horse his body will do everything to come into balance and will do so if necessary to compensate by itself. By compensating the his body the horse will overburden his muscles and joints and this will cause behavior problems. Nearly all horses will have in a greater of lesser degree compensation patterns. Every horse can benefit from Cranio Sacral Therapy, because al horses will have pressure on their skull throughout their lives. This pressure will change the position on the bones and can cause compensations patterns in the TMJ. The TMJ is connected to the rest of the body by means of the skull, and so this can affect the motion device.
Bringing the horse his body in balance again can be vital to, health, life and welfare of the horse.

The equine skull.
The equine skull is like a giant jigsaw puzzle made of 26 individual plates of bone joined together by sutures. Sutures act like joints between the cranial bones and are designed to help disperse the energy from an impact to the skull. All bone is healthy living tissue and has both a blood supply and fatty tissue, giving it a degree of natural pliability.
The skull of the newborn foal is made up of more individual plates, than the skull of a fully grown horse and develops until five to six years of age. External pressures, like pull backs or compression from trauma, on the young horse’s skull will have long term ramifications and deep effects.
Especially, when the compression is left untreated, it can result in behavior issues, spookiness, TMJ issues, collection issues, or other difficulties in work. Throughout the life of most horses, many pressures are regularly applied to the cranium, from:
- tight fitting nosebands.
- pressures from bits.
- improperly fitting bridles or halters.
- dental procedures.
Whether pressures are applied from devices or injury/ trauma occurs to the bones of the skull, their natural positions become disorganized and out of balanced alignment.
The bones of the skull can get compressed and the sutures jammed, affecting the horse’s neurology, muscle and nerve function, sinuses, balance, TMJ function, gait movement, head carriage, poll flexion and overall biomechanics.

The body loves balance. The Cranio Sacral Therapist will try to create balance in an imbalanced state via compensation patterns. These compensations cost the body over time and aid in the breakdown of joint function and musculoskeletal health.
Many times we see people using devices to correct these imbalances,( which is like putting a band aid on to correct the body and movement) which only creates more imbalance. And it finally will cause behavior problems.

Any horse can benefit from Cranio Sacral Therapy because all horses experience in regular pressures to the cranium throughout their lives. These pressures on the skull affect bone growth and position, and contribute to compensation patterns in muscles of the TMJ, its function, and mastication patterns, which influence the overall biomechanics of the horse. Retaining or reinstating the integrity of skeletal and muscular systems is vital for any horse, especially the equine athlete, because than they feel healthy and comfortable in their one body and that will create a happy athlete!

It is important to work with professionally trained Equine Cranio Sacral Therapist. Equine Cranio Sacral does not replace traditional veterinarian medicine or care.

Special thanks to Maureen Rogers.