“The natural healing force in each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”
What is it?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle yet profound form of treatment, which enhances the functioning of the Central Nervous System and supports the body’s natural capacity for self-repair, regulation and healing. Working with the source of pain or discomfort and the whole body-mind-soul system simultaneously, CST can help restore and maintain physical, mental and emotional health.
The therapy has its roots in osteopathic medicine and was first developed in the early 20th century by the American osteopath, Dr William Sutherland. His work was later continued and expanded by another osteopath, Dr John Upledger who began to teach cranial work to non-osteopaths and over the last 35 years, the therapy has evolved as a modality in its own right.
With its unique approach of gentle, non-intrusive, supportive touch, the therapy has earned its reputation as a safe and effective treatment for babies and children, pregnant women, as well as people of all ages and states of health.
How does treatment work?
Our bodies express the contents of our subconscious minds.
Enfolded and stored within the body are our past experiences. When ‘undigested’, these create layers of tension, which inhibit our body’s ability to self-heal.
We can become disconnected from a sense of wellbeing and discomfort and illness may settle in as a result. This is our body’s way of getting our attention.
Treatment works to firstly induce our parasympathetic nervous system; our brain wave pattern changes as a result - from the common, high-activity beta to a slower, meditative theta. This is characterised by a state, in which the body moves into stillness, senses go within, the mind enters the gateway to memories and feelings, inspiration and imagination are awakened. At this depth of perception, any repressed material can float up to the surface, where it is acknowledged and safely released.
During a session I ‘listen’ to your body through my hands, palpating the subtle Craniosacral rhythmⁱ across fluids and tissues, sensing where healthy motion is restricted. I can then help these areas access states of balance and stillness, to facilitate resolution and return to optimal energy flow and vitality.
Craniosacral work traditionally specialises in the head, spine and sacrum but is not limited to those areas, nor is it limited to the physical. It can give us an experience of “sacred emptiness” – a state, in which we gain access to the subtle forces that govern our entire state of being.
(i) Craniosacral rhythm – the subtle pulsation of the craniosacral system as the cerebrospinal fluid circulates through it in a dynamic loop. It expresses the underlying vitality of the system.
Who can benefit?
Treatment is gentle, non-invasive and suitable for everyone – from new-born babies to the elderly.
Adults come for many and varied reasons. Some come with specific health issues, such as headaches, bad backs, digestive problems, chronic conditions, exhaustion, insomnia etc. Others come to explore how they have embodied birth and childhood traumas or unresolved emotional issues. Many find CST beneficial in dealing with stress and stress-related or chronic problems.
What is often received through this therapy, are the added gifts of increased body and mind awareness, a stronger connection to self, a shift in deep-seated patterns, a more regulated nervous system and a sense of peace and mastery in our daily living.
The therapy can be highly effective in working with developmental trauma (it is rated amongst the top 10 therapies in this field). This is the range of our adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s), which, if left unresolved, can become the cause for most ‘difficult to treat’, chronic and auto-immune conditions.
It is worth noting here that in the words of Dr Gabor Maté, “trauma is not what happened TO you but what happened INSIDE you”. We all have different capacity for responding to our environment and even a simple lack of emotional attunement by our primary caregivers in early life can lead to significant nervous system dysregulation, which later can manifest as chronic illness or major lack of balance and wellness.
Babies are generally very responsive to CST and enjoy its gentle, nurturing approach. Those who have experienced traumatic or caesarean birth and the resulting shock, overwhelm, poor sleep, colic or frequent infections can benefit enormously from this therapy.
Children of all ages and many common behavioural, social and learning difficulties respond very well also.
What to expect?
Each session is unique and individual as I tailor it to you and your needs on any given day.
Treatment takes place fully clothed, lying comfortably on a treatment couch. I make light contact with different areas of your body, mainly along the spine and head but it could also be on your legs, arms and torso.
Most people enter a deep state of relaxation, at times falling asleep or entering a dream-like state. Some become aware of subtle sensations of movement, tingling, heat or ease in the body.
Occasionally, you may become more aware of symptoms right after treatment and this is part of the healing process. The work is often very moving and can feel profound. The sense of settling and deep relaxation can extend into daily life.
If you are interested or have questions about the suitability of the therapy for yourself or your child, please feel free to contact me. I often recommend an initial session so that you can get a sense of the work. No amount of information can really convey what this therapy is about. It is only when you have an experience of it that you can connect to its transformative nature.
I look forward to supporting you on your journey to wellness!