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  • Niyati Nath

Craniosacral therapy treats Vertigo

Updated: 3 days ago


Vertigo is the sensation that you or everything around you is moving or spinning, enough to affect your balance. It is more than just feeling dizzy. Often, this sensation is triggered by a head movement.

Inner ear problems which affect balance are a common cause of vertigo. These include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – specific head movements cause vertigo. It is believed that this is due to displacement of crystals in the ear. The Epley maneuver helps to reposition the ear crystals.

  • Labrynthitis – vertigo occurs due to an inner ear infection caused by a cold or flu virus

  • Vestibular neuritis – vertigo caused by inflammation of the vestibular nerve

  • Meniere’s disease – an inner ear condition which can involve tinnitus (ringing in the ear) or hearing loss, in addition to vertigo


Often, there is no known cause for the onset of vertigo. Patients cannot identify a trigger. Many vertigo patients associate their symptoms with periods of stress and anxiety. Some are unaware of the connection between their anxiety and their symptoms.

The vestibular system of the inner ear contains the balance organs that help us to sense and decipher our physical position by processing data received during linear movements of the head (forward to backward, left to right) and rotational movement. Input from the vestibular organs travels along the vestibular nerve to the central nervous system (CNS) – and this generates the sensation of physical balance and equilibrium within our environment. The vestibular nerve is one of our cranial nerves, which are a vital part of the human nervous system.

When a person experiences extreme anxiety or distress, the CNS signals a flood of hormones and cortisol to course through the body, to prepare the body to engage in a fight/ flight/ freeze response. This results in a cascade of physiological changes – resources are diverted toward survival functions and away from regeneration and growth. The nervous system is unable to self-regulate effectively and function efficiently. Craniosacral therapy works directly with the nervous system to increase resilience and facilitate self-regulation. It helps to balance the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It is a calm and soothing therapy that alleviates anxiety and stress. For these reasons, craniosacral therapy has emerged as an effective remedy for patients with vertigo, who report a dramatic improvement of their condition – for some, quite rapidly; for others, gradually over a period of time in treatment.

The cranium consists of closely articulated bones and membrane and when there is a misalignment of any of these structures (such as the sphenoid bone or the tentorium cerebelli membrane), it can adversely affect the alignment and function of the neighbouring structures of the vestibular system. Many people who suffer from vertigo have stiffness in the head, neck and shoulder area or a misalignment of the temporal bones that house the vestibular system. Craniosacral therapy is a gentle and painless way to restore the alignment of these parts of the body.

Where vertigo is caused by an inner ear infection, craniosacral therapy reduces the inflammation, bringing the infection down. Where it is caused by a neurological condition such as nystagmus (involuntary eye movements), craniosacral therapy works to improve neurological function.

Numerous research studies, including the following, confirm the beneficial effects of craniosacral therapy for vertigo patients.



Craniosacral therapy is extensively recommended as a complementary and alternate medicine remedy for vertigo by support groups for vertigo patients and by medical healthcare organisations for vestibular disorders. It is reassuring for vertigo patients to know that this therapy has an established track record, given that conventional medicine does not offer much relief.


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