B1.11.0 – The Cranio Sacral Sysytem overview.

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*As with all anatomy I suggest you search for each new term on google then click on the ‘Images’ tab at the top of the page. Look at as many different pictures of each structure, from as many different angles as you can. Then look at it on the Visible Body. This will help you get a 3 dimensional image of the structure in your head.

The cranio sacral system is a physiological system within the body. Along with the Respiratory and Cardio-Vascular systems, it forms one of the three primary life systems.

The Cranio Sacral System consists of –
❍ Fluids
❍ Membranes
❍ Fascia
❍ Bones

Each is a recognised anatomical structure but outside Cranio Sacral Therapy they are not treated as one integrated system.


A clear colourless fluid which surrounds and bathes the central nervous system, creating the environment within which the brain and spinal cord grow, develop and function. It provides nutrition and drainage for the brain and spinal Cord also. It is in continuous motion, as any stagnation would undermine the brain and nervous

Cerebro spinal Fluid is produced in hollow spaces at the centre of the brain called ventricles and circulates throughout the membrane system.


Containing the cerebrospinal fluid is a tough waterproof sack made up of three membranous layers called the meninges which surround the brain and spinal cord. The meninges have horizontal infoldings in the cranium which separate the cerebrum from the cerebellum called the Tentorium Cerebelli and a vertical infolding called the Falx Cerebri and Falx Cerebelli which divide the right and left hemispheres of the Cerebrum and cerebellum respectively.


Fascia is a connective tissue which forms a continuous sheath throughout the body from the top of the head to the soles of the feet. It envelops every organ, nerve, blood vessel, muscle and indeed every structure throughout the body.

This continuous fascial sheath forms a close connection to the meninges at the point where each peripheral nerve emanates from the spinal cord. As the spinal nerves penetrate the Dura they pull some of the Dura with them and this blends into the fascial sheath which covers the spinal nerve on its journey. This transition point from membrane to fascia is called the epineurium. It is one of the ways the Cranio Sacral Rhythm is translated to the rest of the body


The meninges are closely attached to the bones of the Cranium and also to the 2nd and 3rd Cervical Vertebrae (C2 and C3) and to the Sacrum and Coccyx. The outer layer of the Dura is so closely attached to the bones of the Cranium that it forms a periosteum or inner lining to these bones.

Consequently, all the bones to which the membranes attach must inevitably follow any motion exhibited by the membrane, expanding and contracting in accordance with the membrane and reflecting every pull or tension within the membrane system.

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