Abbreviations: CSR = craniosacral rhythm, ECM = extracellular matrix
The craniosacral rhythm (CSR) is an ongoing minute full-body movement that helps each cell in the body flourish. Cells must have uninterrupted access to essential nutrients, oxygen, and pathways that process waste products. Illness or dysfunction can develop when the flow of substances to, or from, cells is compromised.
Flow to and from the cells is dependent upon the quality of the material in which cells live; this material is called the extracellular matrix (ECM). Everything cells require to survive and function passes through the ECM, and everything cells get rid of likewise passes through the ECM. The motion of the CSR helps move substances throughout the ECM.
The CSR is an ongoing cyclic movement that occurs six to twelve times per minute. Each cycle is made of two phases. One phase causes a slight expansion of the body and the other phase causes a slight contraction of the body. The CSR expansion and contraction phases are reflected throughout the entire body, including the ECM.
During the expansion phase the ECM spreads itself out a little which helps to propel substances towards cells. During the contraction phase the ECM squeezes itself slightly helping to propel waste material away from cells. When the ECM does not easily expand or squeeze then elements cannot flow efficiently through it, and this can cause cell deficiency or toxicity that can eventually lead to illness and dysfunction.
A major cause of decreased ECM expanding or squeezing is adverse tension of the ECM, which may be formed by problems such as inflammation, traumatic impact, scar tissue or infection. This often leads to thickening of the ECM, or the development of pulls and twists within the matrix, which can all reduce the flow of substances.
To release stressful ECM areas the CSR is used first to locate and then release the strained areas. As the ECM regains its normal consistency and pattern the natural flow to and from cells can be reestablished, cells will be able to thrive at their peak levels, and when cells thrive the body as a whole flourishes.