WHAT IS IT?
Cranio Sacral Therapy (Biodynamic) (CST(B)) is an exceptionally gentle yet extremely powerful hands-on therapy which is holistic in its approach. Working at the deepest levels, CST(B) engages with every aspect of an individual’s being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It works with the fundamental life forces that are present within all of us to establish a healthy balanced underlying state, enabling the body to utilise its own potential to self-heal.
As CST(B) is a safe and non-invasive therapy, it can be used for everyone from new-borns to the elderly for a wide range of issues – simple aches and pains to the most chronic or persistent conditions. This being said, Cranio Sacral Therapy is not intended as a primary healthcare but to work alongside the relationship you have with your Doctor.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Imagine the sea and how the water moves via currents and tides. As we largely consist of water, we too, have similar flows and tides moving in subtle rhythmic ways within our bodies, just like the sea.
Now picture the sea moving around a rock or outcrop. As we live our lives, our bodies hold our experiences of shock, stress and trauma within our cells and tissues like a historical library of information. These areas can then become the ‘stuck’ rock or outcrop within our ‘sea’ or system, which our fundamental life forces have to work around, to negotiate and contain.
By using perceptual awareness and gentle contact with different parts of the body such as the head, the base of the spine, the torso and the feet, the practitioner listens to these subtle rhythms and help the body facilitate its own natural healing processes. Due to the body functioning as a whole, the practitioner may focus on areas other than where your symptoms occur.
The aim is to bring the whole system into a better state of balance and wellbeing. Hence encouraging the fundamental life forces to breakdown or shift the ‘stuck’ rock/boulder, so the tides and currents in the system can flow more freely again.
As with all therapies, the relationship with the client is central to success. The practitioner’s aim is to create a calm, quiet holding space in which your body can be supported to relax and open up, enabling the craniosacral process to penetrate to the deepest levels of your being.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A SESSION?
The practitioner will begin by taking a brief case history, understanding some of the historical library of information that is held in your body, and will then work with you to settle your system helping you to understand the value of ‘resourcing’ yourself.
Cranio Sacral Therapy (Biodynamic) is carried out fully clothed with the client most often lying down in a quiet peaceful environment. Whilst the first session is longer, subsequent sessions usually last approximately an hour.
During the session, you may have a sense of deep relaxation; you may also experience pleasant sensations such as tingling, stretching or heat. As we are all individuals, every person will react differently and heal at different rates. It is a special journey which allows your own body to self-heal at the pace at which it can cope.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER A SESSION?
Most clients feel deeply relaxed and spacious after a session. Sometimes there may be some physical symptoms as the body readjusts and realigns. It is advisable to drink lots of water after a session and not to engage in any other body therapies for at least the next 48 hours in order for the system to process what it needs to process.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
Due to the nature of the therapy, each client’s journey is a very personal and individual one in which the practitioner works in deep relationship with their system. Hence it is recommended to initially commit to six sessions, with progress being reviewed after session four. Having attained a more balanced sense of wellbeing, some clients find it beneficial to have monthly or seasonal treatments going forward.
CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY VS CRANIO SACRAL THERAPY
Both therapies have their origins in the work of Dr William Garner Sutherland, an American Osteopath who lived in the first half of the last century. Discovering that the bones of the skull were not fused together post birth as previously thought, he developed a system of examination and treatment that became known as Cranial Osteopathy. This method tends to be practitioner led, and more prescriptive, where manipulative techniques may introduce force into the body to bring about a resolution.
During the 1970’s, another osteopath called John Upledger developed his own approach to Sutherland’s work, focusing on rhythmic movement of the craniosacral system – the membranous sac encased within the skull and canal of the spinal column. He termed this Cranio Sacral Therapy. Practitioners working with this model, tend to follow an inherent treatment plan as organised by the body, which allows for the processing of deep-seated emotional, psychological and traumatic material as well as physical realignment.