Benign Intracranial Tension Case History

Craniosacral therapy case history of a 32 year old woman who, after a routine eye examination, was alarmingly diagnosed with Benign Intracranial Tension, at high risk of having a stroke and was scheduled for urgent surgery.

For patients who wished to remain anonymous, a pseudonym system is in place. All male patients are called Jack and all female patients are called Jill. Surnames are colours.

Ms Jill Rose

– Benign intracranial tension

Birth year & month 1966 May

Date of first treatment 5/10/1998       Age 32


Jill had been suffering constant headaches and fatigue for six months prior to her first treatment.

A month before coming for treatment she had gone to her ophthalmologist for a routine check up. Upon examining her eyes, her ophthalmologist became alarmed and referred her to a neurologist. The diagnosis was swift and dramatic, benign intracranial tension. The prognosis was not good. The neurologist told her that she was at a high risk of having a brain haemorrhage or a stroke. He told her that she would need to have immediate surgery to alleviate the mounting pressure in her head. The proposed surgery involved putting what is called a shunt from her cranium into one of the major veins in her neck.

A shunt is a tube arrangement that provides a sort of overflow for her cerebrospinal fluid. It would mean that cerebrospinal fluid would be continually draining from her head.

Being a nurse herself Jill knew exactly what was involved in the surgery and was disinclined to rush into it. She asked the surgeon if she could take some time to consider her options. He gave her 4 weeks and told her to loose some weight. She came to see me that week.

Treatment progress

When I palpated Jill’s system I could feel the build up of pressure in the cerebrospinal fluid inside her cranium.

The pressure felt like it was originating in her ventricular system. This is the system of canals and cisterns at the centre of the brain that are full of cerebrospinal fluid.

brain ventricles

One of the canals, the cerebral aqueduct or aqueduct of Sylvius had a pattern of restriction in it and this was causing backpressure in her head and leading to the headaches.

The restriction felt to me like it had been caused by the use of forceps at birth. Jill later confirmed she had been delivered with forceps.

I told Jill what I had found and that I would do everything I could to assist the restriction to release. I explained that what I did was assist her body to release. I couldn’t make it release. I couldn’t guarantee that it would release within the neurologists time frame. Jill was happy to give it a try.

After the first session she reported that the severity of her headaches had decreased. They had also reduced in frequency from daily to one every three days. She also had more energy.

The pressure continued to ease as the treatments progressed. My work was mainly focused on the canals that contained cerebrospinal fluid deep within Jill’s brain and spinal cord. As they released and became less restricted the pressure in her system became less.

She attended her check up on the fourth week. The neurologist told her that the pressure had reduced and he gave her another three weeks and told her to loose more weight. By the seventh session, Jill wasn’t having any more headaches.

Jill attended nine sessions altogether with me. She consulted her neurologist at this stage and was advised that her eyes were almost 100% better. He told her that losing weight had done the trick.