Does Insurance Cover Craniosacral Therapy? Exploring Your Options

Have you ever heard of craniosacral therapy? If not, don’t worry, you’re not alone. While it’s a relatively unknown form of alternative medicine, those who have benefited from it swear by its effectiveness. But here’s the million-dollar question: does insurance cover craniosacral therapy? The answer isn’t exactly straightforward, but I’ve done some digging to help you better understand the ins and outs of this intriguing practice.

As someone who’s always been skeptical of traditional medicine, I’ve always been drawn to practices like craniosacral therapy. It’s a holistic treatment that focuses on the connection between the bones of the skull and vertebrae in the spine, and can help with a wide range of conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, and even anxiety. However, because it’s considered an alternative medicine practice, many insurance providers may not cover the cost of treatment. That said, there are some situations where insurance may cover it, and I’m excited to share what I’ve learned with you.

Given the many benefits of craniosacral therapy, it’s easy to understand why someone might be curious about insurance coverage. Whether you’re someone who’s been struggling with a health issue for years or if you’re just curious about alternative medicine practices, it’s worth exploring whether or not you can get coverage for this unique treatment. So, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the world of insurance and craniosacral therapy.

What is craniosacral therapy?

Craniosacral therapy is a holistic therapy that involves gentle, non-invasive manipulation of the craniosacral system to promote overall health and well-being. The craniosacral system is made up of the bones, membranes, and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Craniosacral therapy practitioners use their hands to apply gentle pressure and manipulate the bones and tissues in the craniosacral system. This helps to release any restrictions or tension that may be present in the system, allowing the body to better regulate itself and function more efficiently.

The therapy aims to balance the nervous system and enhance the body’s ability to heal itself, promoting relaxation and reducing stress and tension. It is often used as a complementary therapy to traditional medical treatments for a wide range of health conditions, from chronic pain and migraines to stress, anxiety, and depression.

Types of Insurance Plans That Cover Craniosacral Therapy

For individuals seeking craniosacral therapy, one of the most significant concerns is whether it will be covered by insurance. While not all insurance providers cover this therapy, some plans do. Understanding the types of insurance plans that cover craniosacral therapy can help individuals make informed decisions about their healthcare.

  • Medicare: This federal health insurance program covers craniosacral therapy when it is deemed medically necessary and provided by a licensed practitioner. However, the therapy must be performed in a clinical setting, and the practitioner must submit a claim for reimbursement.
  • Private Health Insurance: Many private health insurance plans cover craniosacral therapy. However, coverage may vary depending on the plan. It is recommended to review the plan’s documentation and speak with a representative to determine the level of coverage available.
  • Worker’s Compensation: Craniosacral therapy may be covered by worker’s compensation plans for work-related injuries. However, this varies by state, and it is essential to check with the employer’s insurance provider.

Additionally, some insurance plans may cover craniosacral therapy under the umbrella of alternative and complementary medicine. It is crucial to check the plan’s benefits documentation and speak with a representative to determine coverage.

It should be noted that not all practitioners accept insurance. It is essential to determine whether a practitioner is in-network or out-of-network before receiving treatment to ensure that insurance coverage is maximized.

Insurance PlanCoverage
MedicareCovers when deemed medically necessary and provided by a licensed practitioner in a clinical setting.
Private Health InsuranceCoverage varies by plan. Review the plan documentation and speak with a representative to determine coverage level.
Worker’s CompensationCoverage varies by state and employer. Check with employer’s insurance provider.

Those interested in craniosacral therapy should take time to research insurance coverage options or consult with an insurance representative to determine coverage eligibility. Of course, the most important factor should be individualized healthcare needs and choosing the treatment that works best for the individual.

Criteria for Insurance Coverage of Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle bodywork technique that involves applying light touch to the body to help release tension and promote relaxation. It is a form of alternative medicine and is therefore not usually covered by health insurance plans. However, some insurance plans may offer coverage for craniosacral therapy under certain conditions.

  • The therapy must be deemed medically necessary by a qualified healthcare provider.
  • The therapist must be licensed or certified by a recognized organization.
  • The therapy must be performed in a medical setting, such as a hospital or clinic.

If all of these conditions are met, insurance may cover craniosacral therapy as part of a patient’s treatment plan. However, it is important to note that coverage and reimbursement varies greatly between insurance providers, and patients should always check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage options for this therapy.

It is also important to find a qualified and experienced therapist to perform the therapy. Patients should look for a therapist who is certified by a recognized organization, such as the Upledger Institute or the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America. These organizations require therapists to undergo specific training and meet certain standards in order to become certified.

Benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral therapy has been shown to be beneficial for a variety of conditions, including migraines, chronic pain, stress and tension-related disorders, and physical and emotional trauma. The therapy works by gently releasing tension in the body, which can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

Studies have shown that craniosacral therapy can also be effective in reducing anxiety and depression, improving sleep quality, and increasing overall feelings of well-being. It is a safe and non-invasive therapy, and can be used in conjunction with other medical treatments to help improve overall health and wellness.

Risks and Side Effects

Craniosacral therapy is generally considered to be safe, and side effects are rare. However, some patients may experience mild discomfort or soreness after a session, particularly if the therapy involves deep tissue work. Patients with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy or a compromised immune system, should consult with their healthcare provider before undergoing this therapy.

EpilepsyCraniosacral therapy may trigger seizures
Compromised immune systemPatient may be at increased risk for infection

Patients should also be aware that craniosacral therapy is not a replacement for standard medical care, and should always consult with their healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.

The Cost of Craniosacral Therapy Without Insurance

Craniosacral therapy is a complementary therapy that uses gentle touch to manipulate the skull and spine to improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. While some insurance plans cover this therapy, many do not. Here is what you can expect to pay for craniosacral therapy without insurance.

  • The cost of a single session of craniosacral therapy can range from $50 to $200 depending on the location and qualifications of the therapist.
  • Some therapists offer package deals for multiple sessions, which can result in a lower cost per session. These packages can range from $250 to $800 for four to ten sessions.
  • If you are seeking craniosacral therapy for a specific condition, such as chronic pain or migraines, you may need more sessions than someone seeking it for general wellness. This can increase the overall cost of treatment.

It’s important to note that craniosacral therapy is not a substitute for medical treatment, and you should consult with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any health issues.

Here is an example of what the cost of craniosacral therapy without insurance might look like:

Initial consultation$150
Four craniosacral therapy sessions$500
Total cost$650

While craniosacral therapy can be a beneficial therapy for some individuals, the cost without insurance can be a barrier for many. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the cost when considering this therapy option.

How to Find Out If Your Insurance Covers Craniosacral Therapy

If you are considering craniosacral therapy as a treatment option, the cost of the therapy may be a major concern. Many people wonder whether their insurance covers the cost of this therapy. Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends on your insurance policy. However, there are some steps you can take to find out if your insurance covers craniosacral therapy:

  • Contact your insurance provider: The first step in determining whether craniosacral therapy is covered by your insurance policy is to contact your insurance provider. You can find the phone number for your insurance provider on your insurance card or by calling your employer’s human resources department.
  • Ask specific questions: When you contact your insurance provider, be sure to ask specific questions about your coverage for craniosacral therapy. Ask whether this therapy is covered at all and if so, how many sessions are covered per year.
  • Check your policy documents: If you have a copy of your insurance policy documents, check them to see if craniosacral therapy is explicitly covered. You can also check for any exclusions or limitations that may apply.

The above steps should give you a good idea of whether your insurance covers craniosacral therapy. However, keep in mind that insurance policies can be complex and there may be additional factors that affect your coverage. For this reason, it is also a good idea to speak with your healthcare provider or a representative from the therapy clinic to get more information about the cost of craniosacral therapy.

If you find that your insurance does not cover craniosacral therapy or that coverage is limited, there are still options for lowering the cost of treatment. Some clinics may offer sliding-scale fees based on income or other financial aid programs. Additionally, you may be able to use your health savings account or flexible spending account to pay for craniosacral therapy.


Finding out whether your insurance covers craniosacral therapy may seem like a daunting task, but it is worth the effort to ensure that you are able to access the best possible treatment for your health needs. By contacting your insurance provider, asking specific questions, and checking your policy documents, you should be able to get a good sense of your coverage. If you find that your coverage is limited or non-existent, don’t give up hope. There are still options for lowering the cost of treatment and getting the care you need.

Step 1Contact your insurance provider
Step 2Ask specific questions about coverage
Step 3Check policy documents for coverage

Remember to take advantage of all available resources to get the care you need. By doing so, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Alternatives to insurance coverage for craniosacral therapy

While insurance coverage for craniosacral therapy may not always be possible, there are alternative options available to those seeking this treatment. Here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA): If your employer offers an HSA or FSA, you can use the funds to pay for craniosacral therapy sessions. This can be a tax-free way to cover the costs.
  • Sliding scale fees: Some craniosacral therapists offer sliding scale fees based on your income, making the treatment more affordable for those on a budget.
  • Payment plans: Ask your craniosacral therapist if they offer payment plans. This can help you break up the cost of treatment into more manageable payments over time.

It’s important to do your research and find a qualified craniosacral therapist who fits your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask about payment options or discounts they may offer.

In addition to these alternatives, some people have found success with craniosacral therapy using online sessions or home study courses. However, it’s important to remember that these options do not provide the hands-on experience that in-person sessions do.

If insurance coverage or alternative payment options are not available to you, it’s worth considering other forms of therapy that may be covered. For example, physical therapy or chiropractic care may provide similar benefits and may be covered by insurance.

Alternative OptionProsCons
Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA)– Tax-free way to pay for treatment
– Convenient and easy to use
– Funds roll over from year to year
– Must have access to an HSA or FSA through employer
– Contributions are limited
Sliding scale fees– Affordable option for those on a budget
– Allows for negotiation based on income
– May not be available from all therapists
– Limited availability for low-income individuals
Payment plans– Allows for breaking up cost of treatment into more manageable payments
– Customizable based on individual financial situation
– Must be arranged with therapist beforehand
– Payment plans may come with interest fees

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each alternative option and choose the one that best fits your individual needs and financial situation. Remember, investing in your health and wellbeing is always worth it in the long run.

The Effectiveness of Craniosacral Therapy for Various Conditions

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on approach that focuses on the craniosacral system, which includes the bones, fluids, and membranes that protect the brain and spinal cord. CST aims to improve the function of this system and promote overall body health. There is evidence to suggest that CST can be effective in treating various conditions.

Here are some of the conditions that CST has been found to be effective for:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Stress and tension-related disorders
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Dyslexia and other learning disabilities
  • Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries

While the effectiveness of CST for these conditions may vary from person to person, many individuals have reported improvements in their symptoms after receiving CST treatment.

One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that patients with chronic neck pain who received CST treatment had significant reductions in pain intensity and pain-related disability. Another study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that patients with fibromyalgia who received CST treatment had significant reductions in pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as improvements in quality of life.

In addition to these studies, many people have reported benefits from receiving CST treatment, including improved sleep, increased energy, and reduced stress. However, it is important to note that CST should not be used as a replacement for traditional medical treatments. It is always important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment.

ConditionStudy Findings
Migraines and headachesReductions in headache intensity and frequency
Chronic neck and back painReductions in pain intensity and pain-related disability
FibromyalgiaReductions in pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as improvements in quality of life
Stress and tension-related disordersReductions in stress and anxiety, as well as improvements in sleep and overall well-being
Autism spectrum disordersImprovements in social interaction, communication, and behavior
Dyslexia and other learning disabilitiesImprovements in reading and comprehension abilities
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuriesImprovements in pain, mobility, and overall quality of life

In conclusion, CST has been found to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including migraines, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, stress-related disorders, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, and traumatic injuries. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind CST and its effects on the body, many people have reported improvements in their symptoms after receiving CST treatment. If you are interested in trying CST, be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare provider to see if it is right for you.

FAQs: Does Insurance Cover Craniosacral Therapy?

Q: Is craniosacral therapy covered by insurance?
A: It depends on your insurance company and policy. Some insurance companies will cover craniosacral therapy if it is provided by a licensed healthcare professional and deemed medically necessary.

Q: How do I find out if my insurance covers craniosacral therapy?
A: Contact your insurance provider and ask about their coverage for alternative therapies. Be sure to ask if craniosacral therapy is covered specifically, and if there are any limitations or requirements.

Q: What if my insurance doesn’t cover craniosacral therapy?
A: You may have to pay for the therapy out of pocket, or consider alternative payment options such as Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Spending Accounts.

Q: Are there any insurance companies that typically cover craniosacral therapy?
A: Some insurance companies such as United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna have been known to cover craniosacral therapy, but it ultimately depends on your individual policy.

Q: What if I have a prescription for craniosacral therapy?
A: A prescription may increase your chances of insurance coverage, but it is not a guarantee. Be sure to check with your insurance company about their specific requirements for coverage.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope this guide to insurance coverage for craniosacral therapy has been helpful to you. Remember to always check with your insurance provider about their coverage and requirements for alternative therapies. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed craniosacral therapist or your insurance company. Thanks for reading and check back soon for more helpful information!