A brief history of Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy (CST) has its roots in osteopathy. William Sutherland was an American Osteopath and was a student of Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy. Sutherland’s work spanned over 50 years and many osteopaths today practice as cranial osteopaths. In the late 1970’s John Upledger, another American osteopath began to teach cranial work to non osteopaths and this lead to Craniosacral therapy.
In the 1980’s Thomas Attlee and Franklin Sills began teaching Craniosacral therapy in the UK, mostly to non osteopaths.
What is Craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle non invasive treatment. Generally using nothing more than a butterfly touch, the therapist tunes in to the body and listens to its story much like a counsellor would listen to your words. When we rest our hands very lightly on the body and tune in we are able to feel rhythmic motion throughout the body. It’s as if the whole body is breathing, not just the lungs. This breathing is very gentle and subtle. This breathing, this movement, is a vital force and it is what makes us alive. As individuals we express it as vitality or aliveness. It determines our growth, development, health and healing. This force, in each individual is expressed as rhythmic motion.
Rhythmic motion can be felt throughout the body and is present in every single cell. It can be felt both in the individual and their surroundings. Everything that happens to us – every injury, illness, tension or trauma influences this rhythmic motion creating disturbances to our physical and emotional wellbeing.
When a craniosacral therapist tunes in to a person we engage with rhythmic motion and these movements. Because it is so gentle the body is able to relax and open up so that the therapist can penetrate to the deepest levels of being. The interaction between the therapist and patients system allows the body to address and release patterns of disturbance and resistance. The body has a unique ability to be able to heal itself but sometimes, whether due to illness or ill health, it requires additional support and that is where craniosacral therapy can help.
Today’s fast pace of life means that many of us never fully relax and recharge our batteries. The value of doing so is vital to our physical and emotional wellbeing. Craniosacral therapy treats the whole person – mind, body and soul. In a deeply relaxed state the body has the chance to heal and repair. The fact that so many of us don’t do it is one of the reasons that stress is so prevalent nowadays.
Who is it for?
People come for CST for a variety of reasons and is useful for babies/children (e.g. be useful as part of the recovery birth, help with feeding and sleeping difficulties) and adults (e.g physical or emotional trauma, taking time out or recover from long term illness or injury)
More information on who CST could be useful for is available http://craniosacral.co.uk
Craniosacral therapy is not designed as primary healthcare but to be used in conjunction with your medical healthcare team.
What can I expect during a treatment?
Most people lie down on a couch but you can sit in a chair. Babies can be fed or cuddled in their parents arms and younger children may play with toys. You will remain fully clothed. An adult session lasts approximately one hour. Babies and children approximately 30 minutes.
Treatment is based on where the therapist is drawn to and can be anywhere on the body from the head to the feet and other parts of the body. Because the body functions as a whole your treatment may involve working in an area other than where your symptoms occur. Craniosacral therapy does not involve manipulation, we work with the body and what it needs support with at that time . This means that treatment may initially resolve issues other than what the client originally came for.
We tune in to your body on a physical, emotional and energetic level and are able to sense areas of tightness and restriction. We then support the body to balance, heal and repair itself. As you relax into your treatment it allows the body to make the changes it needs.
During a treatment you may feel relaxed, warmth, tingling, pulsations, a sense of well being or more balanced. As you relax deeper into your treatment you may see colours or pattens, remember past events or have a sense of connecting with your spirit. Working at a deep level is where the most profound healing takes place.
There is often a short period of adjustment after a treatment as your body continued to rebalance and heal itself. During this time you may find you are more aware of your symptoms. For some people one or two treatments are adequate whilst those with more ingrained problems may benefit from more frequent treatments over an extended period of time. It can take a few sessions for you to understand what you are feeling so we advise booking group sessions wherever possible.