Institute of Michigan

Craniosacral Therapy in MI 

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle manual (hands-on) therapy focusing on enhancing the function of the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system is the system of the membranes and fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) of the central nervous system. As craniosacral therapists we are trained to evaluate the subtle movements of the system in order to locate specific areas of restrictions or limited movement. Once located, we employ gentle, but very specific techniques to help the system return to optimal function. To learn more, or for a list of conditions that typically show improvement with CST visit our Therapies page.

What is the craniosacral system?
The craniosacral system is a system of the body, just like the respiratory, cardiac, or other systems that we typically know about. The craniosacral system is the system of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It consists of the CSF and the membranes that contain the CSF. The outer most layer is called the dura mater. The function of the CSF is to bring nutrients to, and remove toxins from the brain and spinal cord. The fluid is created by the choroid plexus located in the ventricles of the brain. As the CSF is created there is a slight, but measurable, increase in pressure within the cranial vault (the inner space of the head). As the CSF is absorbed through the arachnoid villi, there is a reduction in the pressure. These pressure changes cause small movements in the bones of the cranium (head).

Is this covered by insurance?
Craniosacral therapy (CST), Lymphatic Drainage Therapy (LDT), Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM), and many of other hands-on therapies are covered by most insurance companies. These therapies are only covered as part of a complete therapy program.

What I do I need for Physical or Occupational Therapy?
Most insurance companies require prescriptions for all PT and Occupational Therapy (OT) programs. Insurance companies will typically only cover complete therapy programs with an accepted PT or OT diagnosis. This means that individual, single sessions are not covered. A PT or OT evaluation is done on the first visit. A complete program is designed to meet all of your specific needs. This may or may not include certain types of therapies. For example, craniosacral therapy is typically used for a patient with neck pain, but not used for a patient with “tennis elbow”. Your program will most likely include both complementary modalities as well as traditional therapy activities, such as exercise or stretching. Most insurance carriers require a frequency of 2 to 3 visits per week. Most consider less than this amount to be “maintenance” and will often deny payment. PT and OT accepted diagnoses are different for each insurance carrier. Therapy programs may be as short as 2-3 weeks, or as long as 2-3 months. Contact our office for more information about your insurance program and eligibility.

What is the difference between Physical (PT) and Occupational (OT) Therapy?
Physical Therapy mostly focuses on gross motor (large muscle movements), strengthening, balance and walking/gait training. Occupational Therapy focuses more on fine motor (small muscle movements), sensory issues, occupational/job-related activities or Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). OTs tend to work more with upper extremity (arm) activities. There is considerable overlap between the two therapies. As CSI of MI is an independent clinic, Blue Cross and Blue Shield does not cover OT in this setting.

How will I know if I will owe any co-pays or deductible?
Our staff will be happy to assist you in verifying coverage, co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles. Call our office during regular business hours and they can help you. CSI of MI staff will contact your insurance carrier, however we can only supply you with the information that your carrier provides us. While the information is typically correct, there can sometimes be a lag in reporting accurate deductible amounts on the insurance carriers side. It is helpful if you can let our staff know if you have recently paid portions of your deductible that may not yet be posted by your insurance company.

How much do individual sessions cost?
Costs per session vary on the services rendered. We strive to keep our private pay services consistent with the typical prices of massages in the area. Many clients choose to also incorporate FSM, which will slightly increase the price of the session. Pediatric pricing is available for children 16 years and younger. Please contact our office to request specific pricing for the services about which you are inquiring.

How do I know what “therapy” I might benefit from?
Phone consultations are available to discuss your specific needs. More conveniently, you can also Contact Us using email. Individual consultations are available in person, but may take a bit longer to schedule. Many times our office staff can assist you with selecting the best fit of therapist and therapy for you. All of our staff are trained in multiple therapies.

Can I get more than one type of “therapy” during a session?
Yes, as all of our therapists are trained in multiple modalities/therapies, they can easily blend together different techniques to maximize your benefit from your session. Many clients choose to combine craniosacral therapy and massage therapy, or craniosacral and lymphatic therapies. Our staff can also help to assure that you are scheduled with a therapist that is trained in the modalities that can best help you.

How can I find a therapist in a different area of the state or country?
To search for practitioners trained in Upledger craniosacral therapy visit . For therapists trained in BioDynamic craniosacral therapy visit . To learn more about HoweRT™ MicroSport™ visit . To check for therapists personally recommended by our staff, contact us, we would be happy to assist you in any way possible.
What Is Microcurrent?

Current in the millionths of an Amp.

Dates back to the late 1800’s. 1830’s (Matteucci), 1843 (Dubois-Reymond) found
human tissue generated microcurrent and could be measured
1980’s (Becker), 1980, 1982...multiple authors found could be used for wound healing
1980 Wing had first Microcurrent approved for tissue healing
1984 (Cheng) found microcurrent increased cellular ATP by 500%

Most common use is in Aesthetics. (for wrinkles)
Also used in would healing and some bone stimulators
Athletics-particularly in Professional level (mostly Freq Specific)

What Is Resonance?
Resonance is a Theoretical Model is which each tissue and/or organ has a bio-electrical and bio-magnetic “signature”. Therapeutic approaches attempt to “reboot” the targeted tissue or organ by inputting the correct “signature” (by way of frequency).

Frequencies have been clinically derived and published by multiple authors. Devices and treatment approaches implemented into microcurrent, pEMF and “macro-current” modalities. 

What Is Resonance Based/ Frequency Specific Microcurrent (Therapy)?

Resonance theory applied to FDA registered microcurrent devices

First used in the NFL with Terrell Owens in fall of 2004, fracture healed by x-ray in less than 4 weeks
Now used in devices created by BioTherapeutics, Avazzia and InspirStar

Important Developers:
Carolyn McMakin, DC:

Developed FSM seminars 2003-current. Uses BioTherapeutic devices. Classes focus on Resonance programming and in depth diagnostic approach.

Ed Kondrot, MD:

Opthalmogist and author of Healing The Eye. Global leader in
microcurrent for the treatment of macular degeneration and eye disorders. Uses
InspirStar devices. Classes focus on eye treatment and very basic level user level.

Vanessa Howe, MSPT:

Previous national instructor for both Carol and Ed since 2006. Clinic owner in Rochester Hills, MI. Known for programming for clinical and home use applications. Known for treatment in the realm for athletics (all levels) as well as rehab applications. Developed first preprogrammed devices for professional athletics. Now has specialized pre-programmed devices for Home and Rehab arenas.

HoweRT Uses devices developed by InspirStar and also development of hybrid Micro/pEMF devices.

Shannon Goosen:

MT, NMT, Lac: National instructor with Vanessa. Has national curriculum focused on programming aspects. Uses devices developed by InspirStar.

Clinical Uses In Physical Medicine:
  • Nerve Pain
  • Wound Healing
  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Fractures
  • Arthritic Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ
  • Spine Pain
  • Scar Release
  • Gout
  • Joint Fibrosis/ROM
  • Post-Op Recovery
  • Much More! 

Contact Us
Call our office during regular business hours at (586) 991-0801. For single, “private pay” sessions, our office staff is happy to help fit you with a highly skilled therapist with the specialized training to meet your health needs.

For physical or occupational therapy programs, they are pleased to help you with your scheduling. To find out if a physical or occupational therapy is right for you, visit our FAQ’s .
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Phone: 586-991-0801
Fax: 586-991-0804
245 Barclay Circle, Ste 400
Rochester Hills, MI 48307