“There is no drop of water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond to the mysterious forces that create the tide.” ~ Rachel Carlson, The Sea Around Us
What is Cranial Sacral therapy?
“..At core cranial sacral therapy carries a revolutionary premise – that underlying the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is an even more fundamental life giving system in the body, that of the cranio-sacral system. This consists of the bones of cranium and sacrum, the membranes surrounding the brain and central nervous system, the fascia which radiate out from these membranes to all parts of the body, and the cerebro-spinal fluid. All structures within the cranial sacral system express a rhythmic, symmetrical motion (a sort of internal breathing system), expanding and contracting at around four to fourteen cycles per minute. The system is believed to convey a biodynamic “potency” or vital force (known as the “Breath of Life”) which arises initially in the cerebro-spinal fluid and is then distributed throughout the entire body via the fascial network…” ~ Jane Turney
In cranial sacral therapy, the practitioner listens/senses the movement of bones (known to be 20% water), as well as the rhythm of the cerebro-spinal fluid which surrounds the spine, brain and nervous system (this fluid is known to be similar to ocean water, with its own tides). Our bones and fluid are some of the deepest spaces in ourselves. During the session, I am actually following you, your body’s wisdom, your breath of life, your vital force… the intelligence of how you move, how you hold. In allowing yourself the time to be there, on the table, in connection with another, we are shown where there may be old survival patterns: these patterns emerge and have the opportunity to unwind.
Within that cerebrospinal fluid there is an invisible element that I refer to as the “Breath of Life.” I want you to visualize this Breath of Life as a fluid within this fluid, something that does not mix, something that has potency as the thing that makes it move. Is it necessary to know what makes the fluid move? Visualize a potency, an intelligent potency, that is more intelligent than your own human mentality.” ~ W. G. Sutherland DO
‘Unwinding’ can come in the form of twitches, releases, or wide movements. It can also come as old memories, thoughts, visions, emotions…. or you may fall asleep/ fall into deep state of rest and let the mind get out of the way. As the body relaxes at this level, you and your tissues, remember freedom or renewed homeostasis, as you release from your whole, not just in focused parts of the body. This results in connecting with a sense of true self, a place to change, feel more connected. Often after a treatment, you can feel quite ‘altered’ – and may process/unwind for days to come.
Cranial sacral therapy has become a strong tool in supporting the unwinding of trauma in my practice. In working in this subtle and gentle way (the weight applied to your body is never heavier than that of a nickel), your body mind and spirit are met at your emotional ‘armor’/protection, with a trust in your own knowing of how to unwind and heal – as well as be met with new experience, to areas that have previously been shut down through trauma.
As I have evolved with this work- I have become more and more fascinated by the cranial bones, and their relationship to each other as well and to overall health.
For example, the ‘ethmoid’ bone: this precious little bone lives behind your nose (at the roof), beneath the third eye, and makes up a part of your eye socket and nasal cavity. It also articulates with bones that hold your tear ducts, and the top of your mouth.
In sitting with the energetics of this bone~ it feels more and more like a little altar space. In a way – it is holding central space for all human expression/sense in this area… it connects with tears, with lungs (breath, voice, song), with smell, and with sight.
Some birds/migratory animals have magnetite deposits (iron ore) in their ethmoid bones… which helps them in determining a sense of direction in the earth’s magnetic field. Humans are thought to have a similar deposit but it is considered to be ‘vestigial’.
‘Vestigial’ is the word for organs/body attributes that are considered to be now obsolete or to have lost their ancestral function. The appendix is an example of this~ although researchers have now shown that the appendix is actually a storage resource for healthy bacteria…. our ancestral magnetic abilities… ‘magnetoception’ may still be available to us… its time to start sensing in!
Sessions are usually 1- 1.5 hours. In general CST has been known to support individuals living with the following: Headaches, Migraines, Jaw Pain, and Brain or Spinal Injuries, Chronic Pain, Recent Surgery or Injury, Chronic Ear or Sinus Infections, Pain due to Nervous Tension, Digestive Disorders, Reproductive and Hormone Imbalance, Birth Trauma (the effects of which can be at the root of problems in adults) Insomnia, Anxiety, Pregnancy, Fertility, Pre/Post-Natal Care.