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Concussion, NFL & CranioSacral Therapy

Excerpts from an article published in Massage Magazine - March 14, 2018

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  • March 14, 2018 Published in Massage Magazine

  • Written By: Allison Payne

The word concussion typically comes to mind when you think of traumatic events such as car accidents.

But for professional athletes, especially those who play football, concussion can be part of a normal day’s work—and according to NFL injury statistics released for the 2017 season, this type of head injury is becoming more common, with 281 reported this past year. That’s an increase of more than 13 percent from the previous year.

The effects of concussion often extend far beyond the acute stage of injury, and athletes seek out many forms of treatment to deal with them.

One complementary health intervention that shows promise in the addressing of post-concussion symptoms is CranioSacral Therapy (CST).

“[CST] is perfect for football players,” said Ricky Williams, a former NFL running back who also played a season in the Canadian Football League.

Williams, who trained in CST through the Upledger Institute International (UII) and is currently studying Chinese medicine in Los Angeles, partnered with UII in 2014 and 2015 to offer two intensive therapy programs to football players with post-concussion symptoms.

Some quotes from ex-NFL players that participated in the intensive treatment program at Upledger Institute in Florida:

“During the intensive, the therapists used persistent but gentle hand pressure at various contact points and areas on my body. Sometimes I questioned if anything was actually happening, but at the end of each session I felt noticeably better,” wrote Clarence Vaughn, a former member of the Washington Redskins, in a testimonial about the program. “By the end of the week I was a new man. The pain in my neck, shoulders and hips was gone!”

Eric Williams, a former member of the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions, also wrote a testimonial to the therapies’ positive effects. “My mood, my emotions and body had such a drastic change, it’s really hard to put into words. My chronic pain was drastically reduced and my range of motion on 99 percent of my body parts increased significantly,” he wrote. “I can’t explain what they did or how they did it. All I know is, I’d do it again in [a] heartbeat.”.

“I highly recommend Upledger CranioSacral Therapy to anyone who has played football,” wrote David Meggyesy, a program participant who played for the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960s, in a testimonial.

“CranioSacral was a revelation — what a gift.”

About the Author

Allison M. Payne is a freelance writer and editor who lives in central Florida. She has written many articles for MASSAGE Magazine and, “Massage on Demand: The Complete Guide for Therapists” (

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