This is not a question I get asked often by clients, but it is often on their mind in the background as they consider the time and monetary commitments required by them to work on their condition through CranioSacral Therapy.
I'll answer the question in two ways. Firstly, by giving some general guidelines and secondly, by giving some specific examples of work with clients in the past.
Some General Guidelines. So, firstly, the most important step is to attend for an initial appointment. From that point it becomes evident how many sessions are likely depending on your condition and how well you respond to the treatment.
Some people may need just two sessions to relieve the main symptoms of their conditions whereas others may need four or five sessions inside a month followed by maintenance sessions for some time afterwards. I often find that the therapy workes very effectively when given intensively over a short time e.g. 2-4 sessions inside a 2-3 week period.
One of the things that I am very conscious of is to not generate a level of dependence on myself, the therapist. As result I am always happy when the client decides that they have got what they needed from the therapy for the present and rebook when they feel they need another session - or indeed, they are happy to move on.
As Your Sessions Progress. As the sessions progress, the client is always in the "driving seat". Payments are made at each session and suitable gaps between are chosen to suit the needs of the client.
Oftentimes, clients may need to attend another therapist e.g. a nutritionist, counsellor, herbalist to assist them in their journey to optimum health. These sessions often happen in parallel with the CranioSacral treatments. This is a client's individual choice and unfolds as treatments progress.
Individual Examples. Here I have included some individual examples to illustrate what can happen in terms of the symptoms presented and the amount of sessions required to see progress towards healing:
Birth Difficulties for Infants: I recently worked with a five-week old infant and her parents. She experienced some birth difficulties and was generally uncomfortable, finding it difficult to settle, experiencing periods of frantic crying and constipated a lot of the time. I had 3 sessions in total with the infant (and with both her parents present) over a six week period.
At the third session, the relief on both the child's and parent's faces was wonderful to see. Their child was now going to the toilet easily (originally once every second or third day - and now twice each day) and sleeping much more soundly. Of course, their own quality of life had grown immeasurably over that time also.
Migraines: Another client of mine presented with migraines that he had been experiencing through his adult life on a regular basis - but he had learned to live with them! After 2 sessions, I did not see him for a while. I rang him and found that he had not sufferered migraine for quite some time and had "forgotten" to get back to me.
However, I saw him again about 6 months later when the migraine had returned. Sometimes, people can apply a little too much of a break/fix mentality to their health. In this case I would recommend seeing the individual each month or so for about six months or so.
This is one of the more obvious ones! Pregnant mums often come for initial CranioSacral sessions after the first trimester (12 weeks) is complete. I have then worked with them over the following 28 weeks (yes, right up to the birth) usually about once a month.
In Summary So, hopefully the above gives you a flavour of how many sessions of CranioSacral Therapy are necessary for different conditions - but the main thing to remember is that each person has individual circumstances and will be treated accordingly.