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Craniosacral Therapy School, Training and Careers

Get a Craniosacral Therapy Career and Education Overview

woman client having temples massaged by therapist
patient receiving craniosacral therapy

Craniosacral therapy originated with osteopathic physician Dr. William Sutherland in the 1900s. It is generally used to improve the movement of cerebrospinal fluid and reduce tension through gentle manipulation of the head and spine—”cranio” refers to the bony part of the head known as the cranium, and “sacral” refers to the sacrum, or the bottom of the spine. Bodywork and medical professionals alike can benefit from the techniques taught in craniosacral therapy school.

Career Overview

Craniosacral therapy is used to treat a range of ailments, from the physical to the neurological to the psychological. It has proven particularly effective in treating headaches, jaw problems such as TMJ, eye and ear ailments, and neck and back pain.

During a session, the practitioner will delicately manipulate the bones of the head and the base of the spine in order to restore an optimal, balanced flow of cerebrospinal fluid and other subtle energies within the body. Graduates of craniosacral therapy school often incorporate these techniques into their practices as massage therapistschiropractors or doctors of osteopathy (DO).

Training and Education

What You’ll Study in Craniosacral Therapy School

Craniosacral therapy school focuses on the study of the skeletal system, fluid movement, and the neuro-endocrine system, and how the body’s physical and energetic systems are interrelated. You’ll also study theoretical concepts of craniosacral therapy, and practice highly specialized observational skills that help attune you to the client’s physical state and any underlying symptoms or issues.

Average Length of Study

Full craniosacral therapy training at the foundation level requires 700 hours of study, if you pursue a program recommended by the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America. If you are already in practice as a massage therapist, you may be able to obtain a certificate in craniosacral therapy in as few as 150 hours.

Average Tuition

Depending on the length of the program and whether you’re attending a craniosacral therapy school or a massage therapy school, tuition varies between about $6,500 and $15,000 for a full craniosacral therapy training program.

Craniosacral Therapy Certification

Currently, craniosacral therapy school is not specifically regulated at the state or federal level. However, many states do regulate the practice of massage therapy and bodywork professionals, so be sure to check on the licensing guidelines of the state where you live. Craniosacral therapy practitioners can obtain voluntary Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST®) certification from the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America. Certification for bodywork and massage therapists is available from the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Craniosacral Therapy Salary

Salaries for practitioners with craniosacral therapy training can vary quite a bit depending on whether you’re working in private practice, as a massage therapist, as a chiropractor or as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. You can search salaries by state for related areas of practice below.

Chiropractors

National data

Median Salary: $75,000

Projected job growth: 10.8%

10th Percentile: $37,400

25th Percentile: $50,470

75th Percentile: $98,760

90th Percentile: $128,750

Projected job growth: 10.8%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $76,990 $37,270 $128,120
Alabama $75,040 $37,050 $132,600
Arkansas $61,700 $29,120 $126,250
Arizona $60,760 $46,940 $100,990
California $78,380 $60,580 $101,650
Colorado $62,390 $29,360 $127,470
Connecticut $125,150 $59,910 $190,440
Delaware $90,490 $38,490 $129,670
Florida $73,090 $47,470 $127,470
Georgia $61,360 $18,380 $83,220
Hawaii $57,920 $22,510 $100,000
Iowa $49,530 $18,360 $98,230
Idaho $75,470 $30,430 $159,500
Illinois $55,660 $37,440 $160,840
Indiana $77,210 $43,580 $125,130
Kansas $62,030 $45,950 $118,970
Kentucky $61,520 $37,050 $104,290
Louisiana $61,560 $21,740 N/A
Massachusetts $99,120 $47,770 $161,290
Maryland $77,810 $38,380 $127,870
Maine $71,110 $27,940 $124,780
Michigan $62,390 $47,150 $124,970
Minnesota $77,970 $37,530 $129,670
Missouri $61,800 $47,070 $161,810
Mississippi $75,970 $22,890 $132,060
Montana $37,620 $29,350 $79,360
North Carolina $62,690 $38,380 $150,430
North Dakota $78,650 $37,620 $129,670
Nebraska $75,380 $23,710 $156,460
New Hampshire $77,500 $47,570 $165,960
New Jersey $95,220 $61,180 $205,440
New Mexico $60,550 $29,020 $99,740
Nevada $61,370 $23,590 N/A
New York $77,320 $60,550 $161,810
Ohio $60,860 $47,540 $156,550
Oklahoma $74,820 $37,050 $127,470
Oregon $78,580 $47,590 $137,870
Pennsylvania $75,000 $37,450 $119,510
Rhode Island $78,960 $47,590 $152,360
South Carolina $62,390 $46,390 $119,130
South Dakota $75,000 $59,480 $100,810
Tennessee $60,740 $37,240 $118,970
Texas $76,640 $47,220 $127,470
Utah $45,900 $24,300 $155,100
Virginia $78,270 $45,470 $126,530
Vermont $75,000 $47,390 $119,530
Washington $95,210 $37,400 $160,850
Wisconsin $75,380 $39,550 $160,800
West Virginia $75,960 $45,480 $162,480
Wyoming $98,030 $47,580 $160,800

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.