What is dizziness?
The word dizziness is used to mean various sensations of body disorientation and position that are often difficult for patients to describe. Several categories of dizziness have been defined:
Vertigo: sensation of motion either the body moving or the environment moving without actual movement. Usually experienced as spinning, but may be rocking as on a boat or other sensations.
Presyncope: feeling of lightheadedness/impending faint.
Disequilibrium: a sense of imbalance (postural instability) without a sensation in the head.
Other dizziness: vague or floating, swimming, woozy, difficult to describe.
What Kinds of Dizziness Does Craniosacral Help?
Craniosacral therapy can help with just about any kind of dizziness. However, it is most effective for vertigo—dizziness accompanied by a sensation of spinning. Symptoms may not begin until weeks, months or years after the precipitating event. Once a critical structural imbalance has been created, any number of stressors [such as venous pressure changes, muscle tension, organic dysfunction, menstruation, allergies or emotional disturbance] may trigger acute symptoms.
CST does not work for particles n the inner ear, BPPV) See below.
When should I see a craniosacral therapist for my dizziness?
Although many types of dizziness and vertigo can be disabling, they are usually not life threatening. Nevertheless, anyone experiencing severe vertigo or dizziness should first consult a physician to rule out potentially serious causes including medication-related, seizure, stroke, transient ischemic attacks, vertebral-basilar insufficiency, hypertension, pericarditis, arrhythmias, carbon monoxide poisoning and other serious conditions that may need immediate medical attention.
The prospect of serious conditions of course makes sudden dizziness very frightening, but scientific literature has shown that most cases of dizziness are not lief-threatening. Medcial cuases for vertigo are unknown in 50 to 70 % of vertigo cases. It also appears that many cases of dizziness are attributed incorrectly to psychiatric problems simply because the medical system has failed to find any specific cause.
may be due to an unrecognized craniosacral problem. Moreover, the scientific literature affirms what many vertigo suffers already know: chronic cases of dizziness are not often helped by medical treatment. And many workers who leave their jobs because of dizziness never return to work.
If you have chronic dizziness or vertigo and medical treatment is not completely relieving your symptoms, or the medicine helps but the dizziness returns at another time, you are a good candidate for craniosacral therapy.
Why doesn't medication help my vertigo?
Vestibular suppressants are usually prescribed when vertigo is known or highly suspected to be caused by an inner er problem. The most common of these is Meclizine (Antivert, Bonine) These drugs are not meant to cure the vertigo but simply deaden the balance nerve. The most common response is drowsiness. If you are taking these medications it is a good sign that you have a craniosacral problem involving asymmetrical movement of the temporal ones. This is a structural problem that cannot be fixed with medication. A skilled craniosacral therapist can determine if there is a temporal bone problem in few seconds to a minute by palpating the movement of the cranial bones.
Does Craniosacral therapy help with particles (BPPV)
Craniosacral therapy is excellent for people who have spinning vertigo lasting minutes or hours. It may also be help with positional vertigo that last a few seconds and then calms down , however this symptom—positional vertigo lasting for seconds-- is usually caused by particles in the inner ear. This is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV. Craniosacral therapy will not help with (BPPV).
BPPV is diagnosed using the DI-Hallpike maneuver in which the physician tlts th aptient backward from a sitting potion and watches for characteristic eye movements called nystagmus.
Once you have a proper diagnosis of BPPV the recommended treatment is the Epley maneuver. You can have a health professional perform this for you, however it can also be done at home by yourself or with a partner. There are many videos on You Tube demonstrating how to do it. You may also like th newer Half Somersault with may take more reptions but doesn not cuase as much dizziness. This seems to work quite well.
Not all cases of positional vertigo are caused by BPPV in the inner ear. Occasionally, someone may have a cranial problem with similar symptoms or they may have both particles and and a crainal problem. Also, BPPV is sometimes misdiagnosed when the person actually has a craniosacral problem. If you have chronic positional vertigo and have not received any relief from the Epley maneuver see a craniosacral therpaist.
Craniosacral therapy will not help with true BPPV. Likewise, the Epley maneuver will not work if the positional vertigo is caused by a craniosacral problem.