Can Craniosacral Therapy Help with Anxiety and Depression?

February 15, 2021

Mental health challenges abound as the pandemic continues to take its toll. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a tripling of anxiety and a quadrupling of depression among nearly 5,500 adults surveyed in 2020 compared with 2019.

Children and teens in particular are feeling the enormous impact of COVID-19, and the stress and trauma could have long lasting effects on this generation. It’s not helping that the Food and Drug Administration added the popular antidepressant Zoloft to its list of drugs experiencing shortages due to the pandemic.

Fortunately, there are many options to combaft the stress and support our mental and physical well-being, needed now more than ever. Holistic health provides many alternatives beyond medication. One of my favorite approaches is craniosacral therapy (CST), a gentle, hands-on body technique that aids the body in self-healing.

My first experience with CST was back in massage school while in a deep tissue class. CST enhances the function of the central nervous system, comprising the brain and spinal cord, gently encouraging proper production and distribution of the cerebrospinal fluid. The circulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) provides essential nutrients to the brain and spinal cord.

At the time, I thought deep tissue was what my body needed. However, during a class break, the teacher offered me CST. The pressure of her hands was so light, yet I remember feeling deeply relaxed, safe, and supported. In just seven minutes, CST seemed to reach a new layer within me, like I had started to enter unchartered territories that needed my attention in order to heal and grow. For me, this was the beginning of a beautiful glimpse into what CST offers. I now receive CST at least once a month, which has been crucial to my healing path.

As a craniosacral practitioner, I work with clients to release tensions and restrictions deep within the body in tissues negatively affecting the craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CST works to release physical restrictions, and in turn, symptoms related to dysfunction, including anxiety, depression, and trauma. 

In an optimally functioning central nervous system (CNS), muscles relax, circulation improves, pain and swelling decrease, the immune system is better equip to fight infections and disease, and symptoms of anxiety and depression ease. CST can also be extremely helpful to move energetic cysts as well. 

Release signals include body twitches, change of breath, eye fluttering, temperature change, and more. CST does not heal or cure anything, but simply encourages the body to self-regulate in order to heal itself.

I offer CST and Reiki together for a 60-90 minute session where the client remains completely clothed. I also offer 90 minutes of massage therapy blended with CST and Reiki. This is a great option that helps clients relax and let go of what is not serving them. As massage is involved, the client undresses to their comfort level. 

The goal of CST is to release clients’ individual physical restrictions deep within the body to facilitate healing and find balance, where anxiety and depression and other dysfunction cannot thrive. 

Young or old, we are each unique, individual bodies of energy that can inherently grow into our most beautiful selves with the proper support and care.

Meagan Visnaskas works with massage clients at the NH Health & Wellness Center, including guiding them in self-care practices. She has been trained in deep tissue, reflexology, somatic massage, Swedish massage, and craniosacral therapy. She is a registered yoga instructor and certified Reiki Master Teacher. To schedule a session or for more information, call 603-801-2777 or email

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