Alternative Therapy Or Quackery?

With the advent of alternative therapy and the growth of therapeutic treatments, new branches and sub-branches of therapies are emerging. These therapies are mostly based on similar principles, but they focus on different areas of the body and specific problem zones.

Physiotherapy is the main branch from which many sub-branches are being developed every now and then. For example, there is osteopathy which focuses on the bony structure of the human body. Then there comes the Craniosacral Therapy or cranial-sacral therapy or cranial therapy, which is also called cranial osteopathy in the UK.

This Craniosacral Therapy in Singapore focuses on the area from the ‘cranium’ or the skull to the ‘sacrum’ which is a pelvic bone. So, basically, in cranial osteopathy the therapist focuses on the spine and the pelvis, and by giving light touches or therapeutic massage to these areas, the therapist intends to manipulate the cerebrospinal fluid. They believe, in this field of alternative therapy, that this fluid is the agent which controls our respiratory mechanism. Thus by regulating the flow of this cerebrospinal fluid the therapist believes to help in the respiration process of the patient.

There is no scientific evidence behind the belief-system which is the basis of this therapy. Rather, it has been criticized as being pseudoscience. Yes, it is true that cranial osteopathy can be useful in stress management and in relieving tension or anxiety. While a therapist works on the central nervous system or around the spinal cord through interconnected movements, it provides the patient with a sense of deep relaxation or a euphoric sensation during the session and even after it is over.

This particular relieving effect can be traced back with a scientific explanation behind it, which is probably the escalation of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are biochemical agents produced by the pituitary gland and the central nervous system that are responsible for keeping the sensation of pain away from the receptor. There are other scientific explanations that can be given in support of the stress-relieving quality of the cranial therapy. But, some extremist suggestions that even complex diseases like cancer can be cured through this therapy are only some baseless claims and can right away be discarded through scientific validations.

As the therapist palpates the distinct parts of the patient’s body to relieve him of anxiety, some negative effects have also been observed with some patients with accidental brain injury. There is a lot of debate about the inherent motion of the cranial bones or the mobility of the cerebrospinal fluids. So, the basis of this alternative therapy is somewhat vague and its practice is considered quackery. As an alternative therapy it still needs to find a strong scientific basis and a systematic approach.