Craniosacral Therapy is a treatment I have often turned to in times when all else fails. Either when I have been in physical pain that I can't quite get to the bottom of, or recovering from illness (one time it was the only thing that helped my chronically inflamed glands after a bout of bronchitis). It worked for me when I've needed something deeper and intuitive to help, because all the conventional stuff just wasn't working.
To this day I continue to draw on Craniosacral Therapy as and when I need it, especially lately during my pregnancy. I weave the philosophy into my client sessions and often refer out to Craniosacral Therapists I trust. I thought an article explaining what this type of therapy is would be perfect for my Healers Journal.
Luita Elysia Lin is an intuitive and highly qualified healer that I met on my Psychotherapy training and I asked her to write a piece explaining how cranio-sacral therapy works. Also she is offering my subscribers a generous 20% their first treatment. Have a read, it's super juicy stuff!
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is often described as a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on treatment that is suitable for everyone, from babies to the elderly; carried out with the patient lying down, fully clothed in a quiet and peaceful environment. Patients typically feel deeply relaxed, entering a liminal state of potent rest. It is in this state, the therapist subtly supports and encourages the body into releasing deeply held physical and emotional tensions.
While every session is different and unfolds as uniquely as each individual’s system, an integrative CST treatment is governed by six principles: engaging, allowing, following, stillness, release and reintegration. The initial light contact by a skilled CST therapist is a passive palpation, tuning in to the client’s physiology which exists in a fluidic state in a symphony of rhythms. Bodies are in constant flux as they digest, process and move. Your heart beats about 60 - 80 times a minute, your lungs inhale and exhale with a respiratory rhythm of around 15 - 20 times per minute, every organ has its own pulse, and every single cell is constantly expanding and contracting. Housing your central nervous system is the Craniosacral rhythm. In this rhythm your head gently expands and contracts and your spine gently lengthens and shortens in an effort to exchange and circulate cerebrospinal fluid 6 - 12 cycles per minute. Cerebrospinal fluid is encased in a membranous lining which attaches to the bones of the skull and sacrum and encases the entire spinal cord. This three layered membrane surrounding your head and spine acts as a hydraulic pump that draws this clear fluid out of your blood, bathes the brain and spinal cord with it and then returns it to the blood supply, filtering and renewing itself to supply nutrients, carry away waste products and suspend and protect the brain and spinal cord, facilitating all their innervations and processes. Because this cycle encompasses the brain, spinal cord and pituitary and pineal glands, it has far-reaching effects on the body’s function and state of being. Dysfunctions and pathologies in any local region are reflected in the Craniosacral system.
A light touch of about five grams of pressure is used to bypass muscle layers and to avoid interference with the existing fluidic structures and rhythms. Once engaged, the therapist is guided purely by what the patient’s body is telling. Listening to the body is the essence of the treatment. Your body responds to this sensitive touch by beginning to listen to itself. A feeling that you have been profoundly heard and seen is common during and after a session.
CST respects the body’s own intelligence by sensitively following the system to bring attention to the deep roots of disease and tensions that may be displaying as symptoms elsewhere. Working with your body’s own rhythms, a CST therapist finds the fulcrum point to bring about a dynamic stillness followed by a release in patterns of tension; calming and resetting the nervous system, allowing the body to reorganise, building underlying energy and restoring the body’s inherent capacity to heal and balance itself.
Luita Elysia Lin is a registered Craniosacral Therapist and Trustee Board Member of CSTA, UK’s leading accrediting body for Craniosacral Therapy (craniosacral.co.uk).
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