Concussion - or just a little bump on the head

Photo by MaximFesenko/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by MaximFesenko/iStock / Getty Images

Concussions happen unexpectedly

A simple bump on the head that didn’t seem like much at the time – falling off a ladder, tripping on the stairs, a bicycle crash – may have jarred your jelly-like brain as it floated within the cerebral spinal fluid in your skull. It’s also known as TBI: mild traumatic brain injury.

Concussion symptoms

Headaches, dizziness, irritability, disrupted memory and concentration, altered mood, fatigue, or insomnia may be among your symptoms.

Craniosacral treatment works!

I’ve treated clients suffering from concussions who were amazed at how quickly craniosacral treatment relieved symptoms that had bothered them for days, weeks, even months. For some, coming out of the very first session, it was like night and day how much better they felt!

A blow to the head

You might have been in a car accident where your head bounced off something - the window or headrest. Or you may have been hit in a sports/recreation situation or a domestic violence incident.

To go or not to go...that is the question

I know what it’s like to debate with myself whether to make an appointment with my doctor. I am afraid that I’m making too much fuss about nothing – note to self, this is a saying from my childhood! Seek an evaluation from your doctor right away, even if it seems minor and inconvenient.

If you’ve had a concussion previously, especially one that hasn’t healed, then your brain is especially vulnerable. Children and adolescents need more recovery time than adults. By the way, Bike helmets are not designed to prevent concussions!

How does Craniosacral Therapy help?

Craniosacral therapy helps the physical and psychological after-effects of concussion.

1) The cranial bones (and the membrane attached on the underside called the dura mater) readjust from any displacement, compression or strain.

2) Tissues heal from any distension or displacement that occurred during the blow to the head. Reverberations from an impact to the head can cause stretching or twisting in some structures of the jelly-like brain, or in the folds of the dura mater membrane (the folds called the falx cerebri and tentorium cerebelli support the brain tissues).

3) Restrictions in circulation of the cerebral spinal fluid and blood are released so that flow of nutrients to your brain and removal of waste products are more efficient. 

4) The autonomic nervous system recalibrates from fight-or-flight mode or freeze-or-dissociation modes to a more balanced state. These modes are your body’s ways of coping with overwhelming experiences and are absolutely necessary for survival under the circumstances. But it’s very detrimental to all your body systems to operate in fight/flight or freeze/dissociation mode for any length of time. Think adrenal fatigue for one example. The value of craniosacral therapy for the autonomic nervous system needs a whole other blog to discuss. I’ll get right on that!

Psychological Symptoms

5) When you are in a situation where the event could possibly re-occur (for example, when your car could be rear-ended again), you may experience fear or anxiety. Or you may have flashbacks or nightmares of the event.

The psychological after-effects of the concussion may subside after craniosacral sessions. If the post-traumatic symptoms persist, you may want to see a counsellor for a session or two.

During a session, I encourage clients to focus on the bodily sensations they are feeling here and now. A feeling of calm and peace, a normal heart rate and skin temperature, and belly breathing are the signs of feeling safe - that your autonomic nervous system is not activated. Remembering these bodily sensations is an anchor you can return to if you feel anxious. That gives your cognitive processes a chance to kick in and evaluate whether you are actually in danger or just remembering what happened to you.