CST – Beyond The Basics Reading List

It is important to have a good anatomy book or two (or more) in your library. I can teach you where to put your hands and what to do when you get there. To truly understand what is between your hands  while you are working could fuel a lifetime of study beyond what I can teach you. Anatomy is controversial. Anatomists disagree about whether it is normal to have or not have a certain body part. They also disagree about the names of body parts. The locations, sizes and shapes of body parts differ from person to person. This variability is one source of disagreement among anatomy experts.  The books are different, too. This is the reason to have more than one book. We earn sales commissions from Amazon.


Atlas of Human Anatomy  by Frank Netter is a widely used classic text

Anatomy: a Regional Atlas of the Human Body  by Carmine Clemente has great illustrations and also a widely used classic text.
Gray’s Anatomy (the latest edition) now has color illustrations and, as usual, the best narrative descriptions.
Anatomy Trains  by Thomas W. Myers –  I’m not sure why it took me so long to recommend this book. Remember, the bones are just handles. Mostly we are working with fascia when we are working in the physical realm. The illustrations in this book are great.

When The Air Hits Your Brain: Tales From Neurosurgery by Frank T. Vertosick Jr. is a good read and packed with great stories. It’s not an anatomy book, but it’s about the brain and the realities of being a neurosurgeon. We work so much with the central nervous system.

An Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy  by Don Cohen  is the best book for absolute beginners who want to learn about the basics of the work. This book is geared toward a general audience. It is also a helpful guide for more experienced practitioners who have a hard time finding the words to describe the work to clients and potential clients.

Rhythm and Touch  by Anthony P. Arnold  is the best actual textbook I have found on Craniosacral Therapy. It has great illustrations plus clear definitions and instructions. I highly recommend this widely-used textbook.
Craniosacral Therapy  by John Upledger
Craniosacral Therapy II: Beyond the Dura  by John Upledger
SomatoEmotional Release  by John Upledger
Your Inner Physician and You  by John Upledger is Dr. John’s most readable book. I strongly recommend reading this if you have little or no CST exposure.
The Heart of Listening  by Hugh Milne is a two-volume set and a great read for people who have little or no exposure to the practice of therapeutic bodywork and CST. He presents both the historical/theoretical foundation and also some how-to.
Craniosacral Therapy and the Energetic Body  by Roger Gilchrist –  This is another great book for the uninitiated and the experienced alike. Gilchrist presents a clearly written explanation of the deeper concepts at the core of the work.
Atlas of Manipulative Techniques for the Cranium & Face  by Alain Gehin. If you already have some CST experience, this is the next book. The illustrations are good and demonstrate ways to release more than one area at a time.

Assessment and Treatment Methods for Manual Therapists: The Most Effective and Efficient Treatment Every Time by Jeffrey Burch – This book isn’t exactly a CST Book, but many of the techniques are useful to us. I waited years for Jeff to write this book. It was worth the wait. I have learned so much from Jeff about assessment and treatment tools over the years. Some of the things I teach in the Subtle Hands-On Skills class I learned from Jeff. This book is beyond comprehensive – an incredible resource.

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