Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic is now part of the
Response Physio & Sports Therapy group

Fibromyalgia / ME and CranioSacral Therapy

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

May 12th has been designated as International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) since 1992. The CIND illnesses include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

May 12th was chosen as it is the birthday of Florence Nightingale. She was believed to have suffered from ME/CFS. In 2010, a write-up was done to give a history of May 12th.


What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain and muscle stiffness all around the body.  People with Fibromyalgia also suffer from general fatigue and difficulties with concentration and memory.

It is a condition that the cause of is still unknown, however it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body.  In many cases, the condition appears to be triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event.


How do we treat Fibromyalgia?

At this present time there is no known cure for Fibromyalgia, however there are a lot of things that could help with the symptoms.

As well as gentle exercise, healthier eating and trying to reduce stress in your life another tool that could help is a treatment called CranioSacral Therapy (CST).


What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CST is a very gentle hands on treatment that works on the deep fascial (connective tissue) structures of the body.  It evaluates and treats the craniosacral system (the bones, membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) which has a profound effect on the nervous system, thus having a therapeutic effect on the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.

Tension can be held deep inside the body, causing pain and dysfunction. CST helps to release these tensions, thereby relieving the associated pain and improving whole body health and function.

Physical and Emotional trauma can be held in our tissues for years after the incident that caused the initial trauma, causing a build up of pain over time. CST helps release these retained emotions and therefore the pain associated with them.


What happens during a CST treatment?

Treatment takes place with you lying fully clothed usually on your back. The treatment position can be adapted however if you are unable to lie in this position.

Treatment may start at the feet or the head as part of an evaluation in order to work out where your body needs the therapist to start.

The therapist will apply a 5 gram pressure to release and redirect the fascia (connective tissue) of your body. This will intern improve the movement within the CranioSacral system thus releasing tight structures and promote your bodies healing process. CST techniques influence movement and coordination, pain pathways, the digestive system, the respiratory system, heart function, the endocrine system… potentially the majority of the body systems.

Treatments usually last 45 minutes.


How do I book a CranioSacral Therapy treatment?

Sharon Smith (MCSP, HCPC, AACP) is a Chartered Physiotherapist with 16 years experience and is based at Sunderland Physiotherapy Clinic.

Sharon has a special interest in soft tissue release and is qualified in both Myofascial Release (MFR) and Craniosacral Therapy (CST).

Her area of expertise is the treatment of spinal and pelvic disorders, Women’s Health and CranioSacral Therapy. She was trained in CranioSacral Therapy at The Upledger Intitute UK.

To book an appointment with Sharon or ask a question about CST please email us on info@sunderlandphysiotherapyclinic.co.uk or call 0191 548 3388. Alternatively you can book direct into Sharon’s diary here.

Please visit the team page for more details about our therapists.


(Ref- NHS, Upledger CST)

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