Cranial-Sacral Therapy

 Cranial sacral therapy (CST) shares many features with polarity therapy. Practitioners seek to balance and restore the natural flow of energy which flows from the universe and into the body through the meridians, chakras and endocrine glands. A primary focus is on re-establishing balance in the central nervous system, and the majority of time is spent focusing on creating a parasympathetic balance.

    Like a number of other bodywork techniques, CST finds its roots in osteopathy, and entails the manipulation of the cranial and sacral bones to relieve pain and other syndromes, including cancer. It was discovered by osteopath Dr. William Sutherland over 100 years ago, after he had a remarkable insight while examining the specialized articulations of cranial bones. Interestingly, many CST therapists feel that CST is "a waste of time and money" for people who do not have faith in the therapy. In any case, the practitioner feels for the "rhythm" of the cerebrospinal fluid between the skull and pelvis, and seeks points of occlusion or restriction. Not surprisingly, the specific pathological states claimed to be aided by CST involve those along the line of the cranium-sacrum continuum; these include relief from migraine headaches, neck and back pain, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (the inflammation of the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull), sinus problems, insomnia, menstrual pain and PMS, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic nausea, tinnitus, vertigo, and more.

    This rhythm, also known as the "Breath of Life", can be palpated throughout the body. At least three subtle rhythms have been identified in this "primary respiratory system", each having a different rate and producing rhythms within rhythms. These three "tides" are referred to as:

  • the cranial rhythmic impulse; a more superficial rhythm expressed at an average rate of 8-12 cycles per minute,
  • the mid-tide; a tidal rhythm that carries ordering forces into the body expressed at a slower rate of approximately 2.5 cycles per minute and
  • the long tide; a deep and slow rhythmic impulse expressed about once every 100 seconds. The long tide is considered to be the first stirring of life and motion as the Breath of Life emerges from a deeper ground of stillness at the center of our being.

    The rhythms of these three tides form a complex interaction of pulses that comprise a sensitive measure of the state of health in someone's body. In fact, together, they form an Essential Ordering Principle for both the body and mind. In fact, the ability of cells and tissues to express their primary respiratory motion is a critical factor in determining our state of health - when these rhythms are expressed in fullness and balance, health and well-being naturally follow. However, as has already been seen here in other contexts, this ordering principle is easily affected by the stresses of life, and if this happens often enough - which, of course, it usually does in today's world - the pattern can become "stuck" in unhealthy rhythms and patterns. Even though they don't serve us well, after awhile - and I mean a fairly short while - they start feeling normal, and the longer we stay with these pathological patterns, the more natural and normal they feel. Before long we arrive at a point of inertia, from which change can be very difficult without the assistance of someone knowledgable in the techniques of changing unhealthy patterns.

    Common causes of inertia are physical injuries, emotional and psychological stresses, birth trauma and toxicity. Due to an accumulation of these stresses, tissues can become imprinted with the memory of unresolved experiences and so act like video tape which may keep replaying whenever stimulated. The emphasis in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is to help resolve the trapped forces that underlie and govern patterns of disease and fragmentation in both body and mind. This involves the practitioner "listening through the hands" to the body's subtle rhythms and any patterns of inertia or congestion. Through the development of subtle palpatory skills the practitioner can read the story of the body, identify places where issues are held and then follow the natural priorities for healing as directed by the patient¹s own physiology.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy takes a whole-person approach to healing and the interconnections of mind, body and spirit are deeply acknowledged. It is an effective form of treatment for a wide range of illnesses helping to create the optimal conditions for health, encouraging vitality and facilitating a sense of well-being. It is suitable for people of all ages including babies, children and the elderly, and can be effective in acute or chronic cases.

"Worms will not eat living wood where the vital
sap is flowing; rust will not hinder the opening
of a gate when the hinges are used each day.
Movement gives health and life.
Stagnation brings disease and death."
- proverb in traditional Chinese Medicine