What is CranioSacral Therapy?


Embarking on a path toward wellness often begins with understanding. We invite you to delve into the gentle realm of Craniosacral Therapy through the series of videos below. Each video unveils a facet of this soothing therapy, helping you better understand and know what to expect during your appointment.

What is CranioSacral Therapy (CST)?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach pioneered by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger following extensive clinical research at Michigan State University. This therapy aims to release tensions deep within the body to alleviate pain and dysfunction, thereby enhancing whole-body health and performance.

Utilizing a soft touch, generally no greater than 5 grams – about the weight of a nickel, practitioners work to release restrictions in the soft tissues surrounding the central nervous system. The CST practitioner evaluates the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then employed to release any restrictions in the tissues influencing the craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord, and bolstering the body’s ability to self-correct, CST has become an increasingly utilized preventive health measure. It’s known for its effectiveness in addressing a wide range of medical issues associated with pain and dysfunction, including chronic pain, sports injuries, stroke, and neurological impairment.

How does CranioSacral Therapy Work?

Few structures have as much influence over your body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, Dr. Khalsa uses her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing your craniosacral system.

By normalizing the environment around your brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

What conditions can CranioSacral Therapy address?

CST is known for its potential to address a variety of conditions including:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • And Many Other Conditions
How does CranioSacral Therapy benefit children? (Pediatric Services)
Children, including infants, can benefit from CST as it aims to address issues from a foundational level. Dr. Arjan creates a comfortable environment for children during the session, adapting to their needs whether they are feeding, sleeping, or seated with a parent. The gentle touch used in CST is safe and often soothing for children, helping to address various symptoms in a non-invasive manner.

Craniosacral Therapy (or ‘CST’) looks pretty much like it does for adults, except it may look like Dr. Arjan is playing the game ‘Twister’ while she works with babies and young children. 🙂

She sits on the floor, walks with babies, or sits beside a parent; whatever is most comfortable for the child.

Whether your child is feeding, asleep in the car seat, squiggling on the adjusting table, or in your lap, she can get the work done to help alleviate the signs and symptoms that you’ve come in for treatment.

Nothing that Dr. Arjan does would be considered painful or harmful to your child. If you place your finger on your closed eyelid, that is the amount of pressure she will be using with your child. Most babies aren’t even aware that there is work being done

Are there any risks associated with CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy is considered to be a safe treatment. However, it may not be recommended for individuals with certain severe medical conditions such as acute aneurysms or cerebral hemorrhage. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.

How many CranioSacral Therapy sessions will I need?

Response to CST varies from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your response is uniquely your own and can’t be compared to anyone else’s — even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely — from just one up to three or more a week over the course of several weeks.

When was CranioSacral Therapy developed?

t was in 1970, during a neck surgery in which he was assisting, that osteopathic physician John E. Upledger first observed the rhythmic movement of what would soon be identified as the craniosacral system. None of his colleagues nor any of the medical texts at the time could explain this discovery, however.

His curiosity piqued, Dr. Upledger began searching for the answer. He started with the research of Dr. William Sutherland, the father of cranial osteopathy. For some 20 years beginning in the early 1900s, Sutherland had explored the concept that the bones of the skull were structured to allow for movement. For decades after, this theory remained at odds with the beliefs of the scientific and medical communities. Dr. Upledger believed, however, that if Sutherland’s theory of cranial movement was in fact true, this would help explain, and make feasible, the existence of the rhythm he had encountered in surgery.

It was at this point that Dr. Upledger set out to scientifically confirm the existence of cranial bone motion. From 1975 to 1983 he served as clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics at Michigan State University, where he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in research and testing. The results not only confirmed Sutherland’s theory, but led to clarification of the mechanisms behind this motion — the craniosacral system. Dr. Upledger’s continued work in the field ultimately resulted in his development of CranioSacral Therapy.

How do I prepare for my CranioSacral Therapy session?

There’s no special preparation required for a CST session. Simply wear comfortable clothing and be ready to relax and communicate with your practitioner about any sensations or feelings you experience during the session.


Ready to schedule your CranioSacral Appointment?

Frequently Asked Questions — General Questions

How much will it cost?

The cost of your treatment with Dr. Arjan Khalsa varies based on the personalized care you receive. As a dedicated practitioner, Dr. Arjan does not generally accept insurance, allowing her to foster a direct healing relationship with you. This approach ensures that each session, normally ranging from 30 to 60 minutes, is focused on your comprehensive health without the constraints typically imposed by insurance companies.

Investment in Your Health:

  • New Adult/Pediatric Patient Visit (60 min): $142.16 – This includes a full history, physical exam, and your initial treatment.
  • Chiropractic Adjustment (15 min): $44.60 – Available for existing patients, this option is for a straightforward chiropractic adjustment without craniosacral therapy.
  • Standard Session (30 min): $70.62 – Ideal for chronic pain, combining a chiropractic adjustment with muscle work and a short craniosacral therapy session.
  • Premium Session (45 min): $100.35 – Delve deeper into the root causes of your health concerns with extended time for adjustment, craniosacral therapy, and/or bodywork.
  • Premium Session (60 min): $142.16 – A comprehensive session for current patients, including chiropractic adjustment, CranioSacral Therapy, and additional therapies as determined by Dr. Arjan.

All prices are subject to applicable taxes.

Payment Options: Payments are accepted via cash, check, or credit card. Full payment is required at the time of service.

Insurance and Reimbursement: While Dr. Arjan primarily operates on a self-pay basis, there is an option to bill select insurance companies for a 15-minute chiropractic adjustment only. If you wish to use this service and know that your plan covers chiropractic, please contact us in advance to verify if your insurance is accepted.

For patients with health insurance that covers chiropractic care and seeking reimbursement for a portion of their appointment costs, we can provide a superbill. Many patients have successfully received partial reimbursement by submitting this to their insurance company.

Treatment Plans and Savings: Dr. Arjan’s goal is to optimize your health efficiently, with the number of visits tailored to your unique needs. Treatment plans can range from a single session to several months, depending on the severity and duration of your symptoms. Package deals are available, offering savings of 15-20% if you choose to pay upfront for 5 or 12 visits.

By choosing to pay upfront, you not only invest in your health journey but also benefit from a considerable discount, supporting your commitment to long-term wellness.

For a detailed overview of services and to schedule your appointment, please visit our online scheduling page.

How often will I need to come in?

Dr. Khalsa spends an hour with every patient on their first visit. In this first visit, she will get to know you and your history so that she can best understand and determine where the root of your current health issues have come from. This is followed by Orthopedic and Neurological exams to determine if your health issues are something that she’s able to help you with. If she feels that she can help you, she will treat you on the first visit. 

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and how long you’ve been experiencing them, she will discuss a treatment plan with you. 

Dr. Khalsa tries to get you better as soon as possible so that you can get back to the life that you love. Sometimes this is 1-2 visits, and sometimes it takes months to achieve this goal. 

You can expect anywhere from 2-6 visits upfront. She has packages available for you to save 15-20%, if you pay upfront for 5 or 12 visits upfront.

Because you’re unique with your own set of health concerns, a standard course of care will be developed. Some people make their health top priority and want to make their treatments as often as possible, until the acute pain is relieved. This varies from person to person. If you’re in severe pain, it may be beneficial to come in multiple times during a week or two.

After Dr. Khalsa assesses your situation, she will give you her opinion as to how often she feels is the most beneficial for you to get better fast.

How often will I need to return?

After your consultation, Dr. Khalsa will discuss the frequency of your visits with you. This will vary from person to person, and will depend on your current condition and overall health goals. Routine visits to a Doctor of Chiropractic may be necessary in order to promote proper spinal function and overall well-being. Dr. Khalsa is willing to work with you to meet your time and budget restraints, keeping in mind that the best care is often received when both doctor and patient work together as a team toward a common goal.

How long will my treatment take?

Sometimes one visit is all it takes, and sometimes it takes weeks or months of work. Every person is different, with their own set of life circumstances that may speed up or delay the healing process. 

The length of your treatment depends on many factors, including: your age, the amount and severity of injuries you’ve incurred in your life, the levels of mental/emotional stress and the severity of your symptoms.

When will I start feeling better?

Each person is unique. Some people start noticing changes immediately during and after the treatment session. For others, they notice within a few minutes or a few hours. For some, they notice changes the next day and some may not notice changes for 3-4 sessions.

It takes time for your body to undo the malfunctions and that may take some work.

Our society has been trained to believe that taking a pill will solve the issue immediately because the pain is relieved. This may not be the case when you’re seeking alternative and holistic solutions. Healing takes time and to expect immediate relief isn’t always realistic. While Dr. Khalsa expects miracles, she also knows that it can take days, weeks, or months to fully recover.

Why doesn’t Dr. Khalsa take my insurance?

Dr. Khalsa provides care that goes beyond what insurance will cover. Her approach to your care is about fostering a direct, unencumbered healing relationship with you. She believes in providing care that is thorough and personalized; this is why she dedicates 30 to 60 minutes per appointment, far exceeding the typical 5-10 minutes allocated for standard chiropractic adjustments. This time allows for a deeper understanding of your health issues and more effective treatment.

In her practice, Dr. Khalsa focuses on long-term health solutions rather than quick fixes, empowering you to take an active role in your health journey. Each session with her is an opportunity to explore a blend of treatments and holistic lifestyle changes, including gentle chiropractic care and CranioSacral Therapy, all tailored to your individual needs.

By choosing not to participate with insurance, Dr. Khalsa removes the barriers that often dictate the scope of your care, ensuring that the treatment plan is aligned with your health goals and not limited by insurance coverage. This decision is rooted in her commitment to deliver the highest standard of care and to support you in achieving lasting wellness.


Can Dr. Khalsa work with me if I’ve been in a car accident or if I’ve been injured at work?

Dr Khalsa is able to work with people who have been involved in injuries. And the sooner you come in for care, the better. 

If you have insurance coverage through your auto insurance, or ‘Medpay’ the insurance company will pay Dr. Khalsa directly. If you have an attorney, Dr. Khalsa will contact him or her directly to see if she is able to work with them. 

You also have the option of paying for your treatment at the time of service and she will provide you with a superbill that you can submit for reimbursement with your insurance company.

Can Dr. Khalsa work with my condition?

Dr. Khalsa doesn’t diagnose and treat specific conditions. Her primary focus is treating you as an individual and to unwind the areas of tension and stress in your body that’s keeping your nervous system from fully functioning and communicating to know what it needs to do to heal itself.

However, many people find relief through her work from: Headaches, neck,shoulder, upper, mid and lower back pain, anxiety, sports injuries, falls, wrist pain, joint pain, sinus issues.