Craniosacral Therapy Explanation In Detail!
I occasionally get inquisitive clients asking me how Cranio works, and what I am actually doing in the session. Usually we don’t have the time to discuss this in detail as it isn’t just a simple explanation. So I have posted this info to help folks understand a bit further. Taken from the college website I trained at - College Of Craniosacral Therapy London. It goes quite deep and i’ve added a link at the bottom to take it even deeper if you are interested in reading about quantum physics, the fascia, therapeutic presence, biodynamic forces and further. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try and help!
All the best
What is it?
Cranio-Sacral Therapy is an exceptionally gentle yet extremely powerful form of treatment, which engages with the deepest inherent healing forces within the body in order to enable integration of the whole body-mind.
The human body has a powerful inherent healing potential, but this potential can be compromised or depleted by injury, disease, trauma and stress. The forces of nature, both within and outside the body, have a natural tendency to reintegrate and restore healthy function. Quantum science demonstrates that this potential arises from the electromagnetic and other forces which pervade the whole universe, which are the basis of physics, chemistry and biology, which permeate all living beings, our environment and the whole matrix within which we exist, and which are responsible for generating life, growth, health and healing. These forces are expressed in the body as rhythmic motion.
CST engages with these forces in order to enhance the body’s natural healing ability and to restore health and integration of body, mind and spirit. It can enhance health in any circumstances - from new born babies to the elderly, from birth patterns, injury, illness, severe trauma, and all the many stresses and strains of life, both physical and emotional, often resolving issues that are not helped by other means. It is a profoundly transformative process.
What does it involve?
Cranio-Sacral treatment is most often carried out with the patient lying down, fully clothed, in a quiet and peaceful environment. Treatment involves a very gentle touch of the practitioner’s hands. This light contact may be taken up on the Cranium (head) the Sacrum (tail-bone) the feet, the trunk, or any other part of the body as appropriate. Treatment is generally experienced as a profound relaxation and reintegration which may pervade the whole person, physically, mentally and emotionally, often accompanied by a feeling of lightness and ease.
How does it work?
The cranial concept originates with the work of William Sutherland, who first identified the rhythmic motion of the cranio-sacral system and who devoted his life to developing a deeper understanding of the forces that govern our lives and our health.
When we rest our hands very lightly on the body and engage on a subtle level, we can feel rhythmic motion being expressed throughout the body, as if the whole body were gently breathing – not just the usual breathing of the lungs, but a more gentle, subtle, rhythmic motion.
The body is a coherent living matrix (Oschman – Energy Medicine - the scientific explanation 2000) guided by biodynamic forces. The natural world is guided by forces and rhythms which surround us and permeate us. The rhythmic motion which we feel in the body is a reflection of a natural force (described by Sutherland as the Breath of Life) which is present throughout nature and which perfuses all living things. It is an indication of our aliveness and a reflection of our vitality. The presence of this rhythmic motion has been clearly demonstrated on film (Seifriz 1954).
It is this natural force which determines the orderly progression of life, growth, development, health and healing and which restores and maintains balance and integration – whether in an acorn, enabling it to grow into a magnificent oak tree, or in a human being, enabling our progress from embryological development and throughout life.
Everything that happens to us – every injury, every illness, every tension, every trauma – influences this underlying vitality and its rhythmic motion, creating disturbances to its fluent expression.
When a Cranio-Sacral Therapist tunes in on a very subtle level, he or she can engage with these inherent forces, facilitating an interaction between the disturbed forces within the body and the integrative forces in the surrounding matrix. This interaction enables the patient’s system to respond to the therapist’s gentle contact through the Inherent Treatment Process (the body’s natural potential for healing) addressing and resolving any disturbances and resistances to the natural flow of health, thereby re-establishing a more settled, balanced, integrated state where the underlying vitality which maintains our health can be expressed freely, and where the body-mind can consequently function more smoothly and fluently on all levels.
Penetrating to the deepest levels:
The Cranio-Sacral system and its motion are subtle. In order to engage with them, the Cranio-Sacral therapist needs to use an extremely light touch – barely a touch at all, simply being there with their calm quiet presence. Cranio-Sacral Integration is therefore a very gentle therapy. It is through this unimposing gentleness that the body is able to open up (secure in the knowledge that it is not being threatened) enabling the Cranio-Sacral process to penetrate to the deepest levels of our being. Cranio-Sacral Therapy is therefore a very profound therapy, reaching levels which are not generally accessed by other more physical or more invasive means (which might induce the body’s protective mechanisms) and is therefore able to connect with and enhance the underlying health deep within, accessing the root causes of severe and profoundly debilitating disease - as well as relieving less severe conditions.
There are various approaches to Cranio-Sacral Therapy. The terms Biodynamic and Biomechanical are sometimes used to describe them.
Cranio-Sacral Integration appreciates and integrates the whole spectrum of approaches. It is firmly founded in Biodynamic principles - engaging with the most profound inherent healing forces within the body and with the deeper tides and rhythms of life - and also incorporates other resources in order to maintain a thorough grounding in anatomical and physiological principles.
A Biodynamic approach can be very effective in appropriate circumstances. A Biomechanical approach can be very effective in appropriate circumstances. An Integrated approach, incorporating both Biodynamic and Biomechanical principles as well as a wide range of other processes, provides a more comprehensive range of resources, enables a highly effective response to each individual according to their needs, and enables each practitioner to develop a broader perspective.
Overview of Cranio-Sacral Integration:
In order to understand cranio-sacral integration, we need to think on a quantum level. The body is not just skin and bones, muscles and fluids. All of these structures are composed of cells, of molecules, of atoms, of subatomic particles, in constant motion and interaction.
The body is a coherent living matrix, an integrated cohesive mass of particles and waves bound together by electro-magnetic and nuclear forces, existing within the wider matrix of the universal field around us and the biodynamic forces within that fluidic field.
These forces of nature determine the natural process of growth, development, health, healing, balance and integration, from embryonic development and throughout life, providing the body with an inherent ability to heal itself.
These forces are expressed within the body as rhythmic motion.
By engaging with these forces we can enhance their potential for healing and integration.
In order to engage with these subtle forces and rhythms, we need to establish our own profoundly therapeutic practitioner presence - a calm quiet meditative presence, simply being there in stillness.
In order to enable the patient’s optimum responsiveness, it is helpful to establish a settled, grounded and receptive state in the patient.
Through establishing appropriate levels of light contact, spacious attention, and profound tissue awareness, we can engage with the subtle quantum levels of being which constitute the matrix.
This can be experienced as a fluidic field surrounding and incorporating the body.
Within this field, subtle impressions of quality, symmetry, and motion will become apparent.
Disturbance to health will manifest as variations in quality, symmetry and motion, thereby revealing the source of any dysfunction.
The therapeutic process is guided by the inherent forces within the matrix – the inherent treatment process – the body’s natural tendency to heal itself.
This process can be enhanced by the practitioner’s therapeutic presence and informed awareness.
By settling into profound stillness, we can connect with deeper levels of consciousness.
Through this profound stillness we can engage with the most profound levels of being.
This can lead us to the deepest levels of healing.