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Human IT= RAS

Updated: Mar 29


RAS ( Reticular Activating System)

RAS is what ensures we wake up and go to sleep, it ensures we can balance our movement, keeps our heart rhythm regular , breathing and gut functioning. Made up of a group of cells (neurons) that are very organized, these neurons transmit impulses from the brainstem up into the brain and down into the spinal cord.

When all goes well, we live a balanced, physical & emotional life, where our bodily systems function properly.

If there is extreme stress, trauma or generational trauma , the RAS is activated to put us into fight or flight mode. In normal circumstances, once the threat is gone, our RAS calms down again.

In some circumstances where the RAS is in a heightened state of alert, it remains in a heightened state. This can be unfortunate if trauma happens to a pregnant woman, as the baby could remain in this high alert state after birth. Craniosacral therapy help the baby and mom , out of this heightened state of alert & restore normal balance.

Hyperactivity of the RAS underlies many causes of hyperactive behaviors, ADD, irrational and hyperactive responses to noise & other stimulus. In some cases of Teeth grinding or TMJ syndrome, it can indicate a high alert state of the system. Should this continue ,it can affect organs of the body like the heart, causing rhythm dysfunction.

Our RAS is not out to get us, it strives to keep us safe, to survive incidents, trauma, it alerts us to danger, etc... Parents will often use light and sound to soothe their children, if a child is upset ,at bedtime, etc. What else can we be done to soothe the body and mind?

Craniosacral therapy can help calm the RAS system, over time allowing the body to heal from direct trauma, or in some cases, to deal with generational trauma that was passed onto us unknowingly in utero.

The RAS will enter a new state of relaxation allowing the body/mind communication system to function as it is meant to function. Calm, relaxed, ability to get a good nights sleep, wake up feeling recharged ,ready to face the day. For children with special needs , craniosacral therapy can be very beneficial as an going long-term part of their therapy, as it soothes the RAS meaning they are less triggered by sound and other stimuli. They feel less agitated in their bodies and in their heads.


Please click on the below link for a research article and parents view points on how CST helps their child.

Sample research poster (massagetherapyfoundation.org)

Autism and CranioSacral Therapy (upledger.com)


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