Heather Skramstad discovered a lesser-known form of healing massage as a mother. Her son’s experience led her, along with husband Justin, to train in what she calls “a newer therapy than can be the missing link” – craniosacral therapy, or CST. She and husband Justin are now offering the specialized treatment at Unwind Massage, their new office in the Krabbenhoft Real Estate Building on Eighth Street and 30th Avenue South (the old Country Kitchen).
Craniosacral therapy is a light-touch therapy that seeks to help the body function better by healing the fascia and soft tissues. Fascia, according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine website, is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. “The tissue does more than provide internal structure,” the site asserts. “Fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin.
Heather explains that the hour-long, light-touch treatments – performed much like traditional massage but with the patient fully clothed – seeks to help the whole body function better from the top of the head to bottom of the feet. “Chiropractors work with bones. Massage therapists work with muscles,” she says. “CST works with the tissue that holds them all together.”
It can be helpful for adults with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental issues, digestive dysfunction, TMJ, low back pain, sports injuries and concussions. It may also help children, she says, with a variety of pain and chronic health issues, headaches, ADHD, bedwetting and sleep issues. Among conditions in infants: tongue-tie related issues, breastfeeding, birth trauma and other needs.
Heather first learned of the technique when her own son was treated for tongue tie by a practitioner in Alexandria, Minnesota, Brittany Traynor. “Then I wondered, ‘Could this help with my headaches?’” she recalls. She and her husband went into training with Traynor, who has become something of a mentor.
She explains that the connective tissue runs throughout the body, explaining the connection that may make the pain of an injured shoulder seem to express itself in an aching hip. “Picture a hooded oneie,” she says. “If you bunch it up in the middle, it pulls from everywhere else. Fascia is like that – connected to everything. It can generate pain far from the original site.”
The Skramstads accept walk-in patients, though others are referred by chiropractors, physical therapists and holistic physicians. Sessions are generally one hour long. The therapists’ regular hours are on Friday and Saturday, but times may also be arranged on other weekdays. The sessions, including consultations, may be booked online at unwindmn.com.