Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy and Pain Relief

“Our latest addition of bodywork services at Thrive is Craniosacral Therapy”, explains Heidi Johnson, owner of the Ann Arbor Massage Office, Thrive Massage & Bodywork, LLC. “Sammie Nicole Anderson-Magiera is actually Licensed in CST and our community is very fortunate to have an Ann Arbor Craniosacral Therapy Therapist like her. Sammie is very skilled at her passion and she is licensed in CST through the state of Colorado and she keeps her license valid with continuing education credits every couple of years because the state of Michigan only licenses for Massage, not CST,” explains Heidi.


Craniosacral Therapy is very different than Massage Therapy. In Craniosacral Therapy (CST), the therapist uses very light and gentle touch to assess the system’s state and help create space within the bones of the skull, spine, and hips. With this light touch, the therapist can release restrictions and tension, improving the functioning of the central nervous system. Prenatal CST can aid in the pregnancy process by releasing tension in the pelvis and allowing for better alignment, which can alleviate complications such as pubic, low back, and sciatic pain. A more relaxed pelvis will better prepare the body for labor.You may also benefit from this type of bodywork if you have:



-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



-Chronic neck/back pain or hip pain

-Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJD)


CST is a very light-touch form of bodywork performed while you are clothed that enables the therapist to better locate the real source of pain or injury and release tensions deep within your body. Based on extensive clinical research at Michigan State University by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger, a professor of biomechanics, CST has brought relief and healing benefits to thousands of patients around the world.

“We recommend CST as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease. It can relieve pain and dysfunction associated with a wide range of injuries and medical problems,” the owner of Thrive Massage and Bodywork explains.

“I became a believer in Craniosacral Therapy through my own experience,” says Thrive Massage and Bodywork of Ann Arbor LLC’s newest therapist: Sammie. “I became a licensed practitioner through hundreds of hours of training and years of client therapy success.”

Samantha Nicole Anderson-Magiera is a passionate modern dancer and aerial silks performer. “Learning aerial silks has been particularly helpful to me to understand the human body. During an aerial silks exercise, part of the body is gripped tightly to enable another part to relax to the point of becoming limp. For example, I might use my core muscles to raise my legs and lock them overhead in a silk wrap, and then release all the muscle tension in the arms, fingers, neck and shoulder to dangle below.”

“Many of my clients arrive in much the same state. It’s not of their choosing. A part of their body is locked tight, perhaps from office or home stress, perhaps from an athletic performance, perhaps from the pains of pregnancy, perhaps from an accident and physical injury such as a fall or crash,” Sammie says. “My heart goes out to them immediately, and I want to help.”

Depending on the source, Thrive Massage and Bodywork may help people with one or more of the following conditions:

  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Chronic Neck and Back Pain
  • Autism
  • Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
  • Motor-Coordination Impairments
  • Conception Challenges
  • Pregnancy Pain
  • Infant and Childhood Disorders
  • Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • TMJ Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • Central Nervous System Disorders
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Orthopedic Problems
  • General Pain

“For pregnant mothers, CranioSacral Therapy can be received from the time of conception and onwards,” Sammie adds, “and it can provide significant relief from the pains and emotional states incurred during a pregnancy.

“We want to bring relief of pain and stress as early as in the first session, if possible,” Sammie continues. “But the body often tricks us, and the spot where you experience pain—a headache, back or hip pain, for example–is sometimes not the source. Craniosacral Therapy enables me and our other trained therapists to find your real pain source, to then deeply relax you, and enable your body to more effectively heal itself,” Sammie explains.

“The addition of Sammie, who brings a range of massage therapy skills to our staff, enables Thrive Massage and Bodywork of Ann Arbor to be open seven-days-a-week,” says Heidi Johnson, owner and lead therapist and herself a trained athlete. Heidi, like Sammie, has found that Craniosacral Therapy to be as highly effective on her own body stresses as on many of her clients.

“Google Craniosacral Therapy and you will find skeptics and critics who acknowledge its benefits but can’t explain how or why it works,” Heidi says. “Among my favorite critics is one who writes that ‘it is truly, deeply relaxing and comforting’ and another who states that CST ‘was one of the most relaxing experiences I have ever had on any massage table I have experienced.’

“Craniosacral Therapy, like all bodywork techniques, is an excellent supplemental treatment of the body that helps that body heal itself. It is not an alternative medical treatment,” Heidi emphasizes. “If you have a serious medical problem you will be best served by seeing a physician.”

Sammie graduated from the Colorado School of Healing Arts in the 700-hour massage program as well as the Upledger Institute Craniosacral Therapy program. She also has training in Lymphatic Drainage massage, Healing Touch, and Aromatherapy. Her love for massage developed after learning Reiki energy work at the age of 19. Shortly after finding energy work, she experienced Craniosacral Therapy. It led her into a deep state of relaxation, releasing anxiety and trauma.

This is when Sammie realized her calling to be an aid to others with focused intention and a nurturing heart. “What I truly enjoy about working in the massage field is seeing people transform. I love being an aid in their healing process, whether that healing is physical or emotional,” Sammie says.

Sammie would love to grow her Ann Arbor Craniosacral Therapy practice. If you are searching for a qualified therapist for Craniosacral Therapy, Ann Arbor is the place to be. Please consider Sammie and book with her here.