So, what is Craniosacral Therapy and what sets it apart from other forms of bodywork?
Is Craniosacral Therapy a massage? No, CST is not massage therapy. People get confused about that because some massage therapists also practice Craniosacral Therapy. Craniosacral Therapy is performed with the patient fully clothed, laying on a treatment table. The therapist uses gentle, light pressure (about the weight of a nickel in many cases) on various areas of the body.
If CST is so gentle, how can it be effective? Craniosacral therapy is effective because it works with the natural and unique rhythms of the different body systems to pinpoint and address problem sources and promote healing.
Is it a focus on only certain areas of the body? Nope, CST treats the whole body (which we therapists view as an interconnected system), although we do work a fair amount with the craniosacral system, those tissues and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
So, is there something else that makes it special?
In CST, each treatment is dictated by that “part that knows the answers,” the part that Dr. John Upledger, an Osteopathic Doctor and the creator of Craniosacral Therapy, named the "Inner Physician" (also called "inner wisdom").
Craniosacral Therapists follow a set of principles in treating clients that puts the inner wisdom at the forefront of each decision about what to do during a session.
The principles Craniosacral practitioners follow are:
These principles take the pressure off, for both me and my clients. My main role, rather than taking in information, forming an agenda, and “fixing” a “problem” is to listen, gather information with my hands and all my senses, and be present in support of what that person’s inner wisdom already knows. I know if I’m on the right track, because I’m paying close attention to their body’s cues, so I don’t have to break my connection and presence with them to problem-solve. Clients get often surprising results with much less pressure and discomfort, and they gain a new and empowering sense of trust in their own bodies!
However, things aren’t always that simple... because the inner wisdom often has good reasons for holding on to pains and restrictions in the body. If something can be released quickly and easily, then it generally will be. Other problems, especially longstanding ones, can sometimes be bound up with memories and emotions and walled off in the body until there are enough resources present that it is safe to let go of them, at which point the inner wisdom will bring forth a process known as SomatoEmotional Release.
SomatoEmotional Release can happen at any time during a Craniosacral session. It is a release of adverse energy or memory of retained traumas. SomatoEmotional Release facilitates personal growth. It also supports us moving from illness and unresolved issues towards health, wellbeing and fulfillment. CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release combine all aspects of human nature (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) into one, that facilitates profound change and growth in our lives.