Float like a butterfly
Craniosacral Therapy treats physical symptoms while also relieving any underlying stresses that are held in the body. We treat the body as an integrated whole rather than a collection of parts that needs to be worked on mechanistically. For clients who are just starting I am often asked about the Cranio touch, how it works and what they can expect. This blog has come to light because of my inspiring clients and their questions. Thank you and please keep them coming!
First and foremost we listen with our hands. Our hands are sensitively and extensively trained to listen to the body through local and general whole body listening into an area of pain, imbalance or restriction. Cranio works with physical symptoms and involves listening to the language of the body. We listen for rhythmic motions in the body as it is expressed through our tissues, bones, fluids, craniosacral system and nervous system. We listen for impressions of quality, symmetry, motion and amplitude in those systems. Craniosacral has a subtle touch, because the craniosacral system and its bodily motions are subtle and it allows for the healing forces within us to come to the surface.
With my hands I listen for:
All these above points provide relevant and important information for a treatment and can only be felt and accessed by a gentle touch. A firmer touch will cause the body to go into protection mode and all that rich data and information will not be available or easy to listen to. We assess how your issues may have permeated and ricochet through your body, where it is stuck and how it affects you, very much like untangling and unraveling a knotted up elastic band.
So what does that mean concretely:
When a client comes for instance with a jaw problem or hip problem (also applicable to other areas of physical symptoms in the body), I would feel for several issues: Is there a difference in the bones between left and right? Is the left more twisted or bulging? Is there a more persistent pull in one direction? Are there any fascial pulls or tensions within the membranes of the skull, or the bowl of the pelvis impacting other bones/muscles? Can the Jaw/Pelvis make its full range of motion? Are there feelings of vibrations, warmth, coolness, pulsations, hardness, softness or tightness? Where does the line of tension start and where does it stop?
For Jaw problems - I would work inside the mouth to release muscles related to the jaw, the roof of the mouth and the smaller bones at the back of the hard palate to release any restrictions. The roof of the mouth is very much connected with the bones that form the floor of the brain cavity and a disruption here can have a profound effect on our overall sense of well-being. I feel and follow the change as it happens and move my hands in response to the changes, always following the body’s inner wisdom as it self-corrects. As the body finds its own way back it will be able to let go, soften, release restrictions and will be able to settle into the more deeper states of the Cranio rhythm known as the mid-tide and long-tide, where our own deeper inherent healing potential lies.
When there is a high level of stress or trauma in the body, I slow the activity down. I may induce still points, balance the nervous system and allowing for any emotional and physical releases to happen in a very safe and contained way. All the time following the inherent wisdom of the body, allowing for self-healing to come to the surface. One of the strongest point of Cranio is that it has a deep and profound effect on relaxing the nervous system, which really is the conductor of the orchestra in our body. Through Cranio we aim to reset the nervous system to a lower level of activation which allows the body to turn of any fight and flight stress hormones that often keep circulating, long after the event.
That is where the Paradigm shift starts as in our western way of thinking we tend to overlook our own immense innate power and innate intelligence that exists within all of us. This innate intelligence knows how to heal itself, given half the chance and is way more intelligent than an outside intervention that is being applied. Some doors are only opened from the inside. Having practiced CST for a good few years now and undergone the Paradigm shift I cannot imagine ever going back to treating the body without listening to it, addressing the root cause by addressing the most internal core parts, so healing can happen from the inside to the outside.
On a Physical body level the body releases muscle pain and deep stored tensions. Emotionally, the body releases emotional memories that may have been stored as we dive deeper into the layers of the tissues. Spiritually the body can connect to their Inner Physician and Mentally an intense deep state of relaxation is facilitated (More than our Physical Body - blog).
In my next blog part 2 – I will explain reactions during and after a treatment and how you can enhance your cranio session.
Reference: Thomas Attlee - CranioSacral Integration