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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

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 education 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 can vary 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.


National data

Median Salary: $75,380

Projected job growth: 8.8%

10th Percentile: $38,170

25th Percentile: $52,750

75th Percentile: $100,320

90th Percentile: $132,630

Projected job growth: 8.8%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alabama $66,370 $44,010 $117,580
Alaska $78,350 $47,490 $216,770
Arizona $63,800 $47,990 $105,860
Arkansas $77,480 $29,510 $226,660
California $78,980 $40,170 $127,810
Colorado $90,390 $33,180 $119,830
Connecticut $99,610 $48,580 $145,500
Delaware $64,270 $41,760 $154,720
Florida $79,720 $46,630 $127,940
Georgia $86,380 $60,210 $97,880
Hawaii $57,420 $21,010 $99,550
Idaho $80,940 $39,790 $101,750
Illinois $61,200 $42,370 $103,180
Indiana $84,710 $45,220 $172,470
Iowa $60,620 $27,650 $91,800
Kansas N/A N/A N/A
Kentucky $72,580 $44,250 $170,910
Louisiana $63,960 $26,950 $127,290
Maine $60,880 $26,520 $127,340
Maryland $105,560 $32,490 $134,540
Massachusetts $102,840 $51,660 $158,000
Michigan $69,660 $35,090 $135,140
Minnesota $75,230 $46,200 $133,340
Mississippi $59,720 $24,310 $170,000
Missouri $60,090 $30,600 $166,330
Montana $61,500 $30,290 $93,870
Nebraska $69,070 $27,590 $160,410
Nevada $97,930 $51,930 N/A
New Hampshire $78,180 $46,050 $176,230
New Jersey $86,130 $62,400 $221,230
New Mexico $66,430 $26,640 $106,740
New York $93,260 $45,030 $130,000
North Carolina $79,470 $40,870 $135,280
North Dakota N/A N/A N/A
Ohio $65,180 $44,260 $131,640
Oklahoma $47,850 $35,800 $142,460
Oregon $84,990 $51,020 $123,850
Pennsylvania $59,960 $26,820 $103,220
Rhode Island N/A N/A N/A
South Carolina $63,980 $29,990 $98,810
South Dakota $71,430 $61,020 $106,350
Tennessee $62,220 $30,990 $101,650
Texas $78,000 $23,400 $120,020
Utah $63,570 $35,600 $157,610
Vermont $58,360 $50,690 $124,800
Virginia $62,040 $42,400 $145,370
Washington $71,990 $36,000 $149,360
West Virginia $77,380 $42,630 $177,420
Wisconsin $74,130 $42,460 $129,150
Wyoming $45,820 $22,520 $198,310

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2022 median salary; projected job growth through 2032. 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.