Recovery from a Car Crash Using CranioSacral Therapy
By Anasuya Basil, NC, Dipl. ABT, CST
One moment you’re having a routine day, and the next moment, the sound of squealing tires and crunching metal jolt you into a new reality. This happens for almost 2.5 million Americans every year, so if you have been in a recent car crash, you are not alone, and craniosacral may be the therapy you are looking for.
Consequences of a Car Crash
After a crash, you may feel pain from an injury, but sometimes you are just numb and shaken. The next day, swelling and discomfort intensify. Whiplash is a neck injury caused when the force of impact snaps the neck rapidly back and forth. Other common injuries are to the head, back, knees, and across the torso where the seat belt held you in place. Fourteen percent of all traumatic brain injuries are from motor vehicle accidents. Even with relatively mild injuries, the shock to your nervous system can linger for months. Depression, irritability, and anxiety increase, interfering with productivity and pleasure.
Getting Help to Recover
A visit to a medical doctor is necessary to rule out, or treat, serious injuries. Modalities such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture are helpful to relieve symptoms. I find craniosacral therapy (CST) to be an important adjunct therapy to all of these modalities because it is particularly effective for reducing both the emotional shock and trauma, as well as the physical discomfort.
Overcoming Anxiety and Physical Discomfort
Jill was rear-ended by a distracted driver and came to me with headaches, neck pain, difficulty breathing, and increased anxiety. At the time of the accident, she had been preparing for an extended work project overseas, and she had a long to-do list to accomplish before her departure. The stress of the car crash magnified her worries about the trip. We were able to fit in four sessions before she left and eliminated her symptoms. Jill also let go of fear and was able to prepare for travel calmly and with renewed excitement.
What Is CST?
CST is a gentle, light-touch therapy that enhances the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) created in the choroid plexus of the brain. The CSF movement is essential to our well-being because it circulates around the brain and spinal cord, bringing nutrients and flushing away waste. According to an article in The Journal of Neuroscience, this process “… actively coordinates the development and health of the nervous system throughout life” (Lehtinen et al., 2013). After a car crash, muscles, ligaments, and even the sutures between bones are compressed and torqued, which creates restrictions that impede the motion of the CSF. CST is one of the few modalities that focuses on improving the function of this system.
A New Study on CST and Neck Pain Shows Benefits
A study published in the May 2016 issue of Clinical Journal of Pain compares two groups of neck pain sufferers: one treated with CST and the other treated with sham CST. Only the group treated with genuine CST techniques experienced a significant reduction of pain and anxiety and an improvement in quality of life after eight weeks. This result held when checked again at 20 weeks (Haller et al., 2016).
Does Car Insurance Cover CranioSacral Therapy?
After a session, I give my clients a receipt to submit to their car insurance and they are usually reimbursed fairly soon. Health insurance may cover CST, but it is usually more restrictive than car insurance.
Take Excellent Care of Yourself
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities we do regularly. If you get into a crash, don’t ignore your symptoms. The best way to overcome them is to seek support for your healing journey and take excellent care of yourself. You will then return to enjoying life as quickly as possible.
Anasuya Basil has been in practice for 20 years and is certified in craniosacral therapy, acupressure, Asian bodywork therapy, and holistic nutrition. She is the author of the ebook Midlife Renewal for Women, available as a free download on her website at www.mybodywisdom.net.
Lehtinen, M., Bjornsson, C., Dymecki, S., Gilbertson, R., Holtzman, D., & Monuki, E. (2013). The Choroid Plexus and Cerebrospinal Fluid: Emerging Roles in Development, Disease, and Therapy. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(45), 17553-17559. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/jneurosci.3258-13.2013
Haller, H., MSc, Lauche, R., PhD, Cramer, H., PhD, Rampp, T., MD, Ostermann, T., PhD, & Dobos, G., MD. (2016). Craniosacral Therapy for the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain. The Clinical Journal of Pain. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894825/