What is Craniosacral Therapy?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a profound modality that uses a very gentle touch, low- velocity manipulations (using essentially a nickels worth of pressure), and focused intention. The result is an improvement in central-nervous-system function, improvement in alignment/ balance, relief from the various effects of stress, decrease pain (physical and/or emotional), and a deep experience of inner peace and stillness.
CST addresses the myofacial tissue in the body. As mentioned above it involves a very gentle intentional touch. The myofacial tissue encompasses both sides of the brain, the spinal cord, all the organs and connects us from head to toe. It's like a white glistening cotton candy tissue that connects us from head to toe and has it's own rhythm. As with the respiratory system and the circulatory. The way I explain the way the tissue feels as a practitioner is this..."IF" I were to place my hand on top of a calm ocean as the rolling waves fill and empty - this is what I feel in the tissue. In a healthy system the flow is even and unobstructed.
The CranioSacral system is made up of several different parts, all contained within our skull, vertebrae and sacrum. CranioSacral Therapy allows the brain and nervous system to operate at its optimal level. These systems function to protect and nutritionally support the brain and spinal cord or central nervous system.
How does it feel?
Everyones experience varies with CST. Because the touch is so light this allows for ultimate relaxation. When the body is in this state many clients feel the tension and stress MELT away. During the facial unwinding you may feel a sense of unwinding or rocking but it is very subtle. Some clients experience low or intense emotions as the body memories are unwinding from the tissue. Sometimes clients experience a somatic release
- Headaches triggered by stress/tension
- Migraines with aura/ visual disturbances
- Nausea/dizziness associated w/migraine
- Nerve issues/pain)/ neuropathy
- Pressure behind eyes or in
- Brain fog / difficulty concentrating
- Neck/back pain
- Dizziness/ vertigo
- Sinus Pressure / Tension
- Chronic Stress & Tension
- TMJ/Jaw Tension/Pain
- Soreness from grinding
- Muscle soreness / over-exertion
- Joint pain/ subluxations
- Sacroiliac pain
- Physical trauma
- Eye strain/ tired eyes/ sudden changes in vision
- Carpal tunnel
- Repetitive motion issues
- Post surgical dysfunction/Pain
- NOTE: All issues are managed over time.
What is Somatic Emotional Release?
Somatoemotional Release SER- is exactly what it sounds like. It is the release of emotional energy that was held in the physical or emotional body. Often times this release is residual that has become trapped in the tissue. It is common that during a session your eyes may leak without an intense emotion - this is also SER on a milder level.
The beginnings of SER were discovered when Dr. Upledger was attempting to decompress the temporal bones of autistic children.
Resources & Lectures on CST:
Resources/Research on CST (Craniosacral Therapy): https://www.iahe.com/docs/articles/Craniosacral_TherapyWhat_is_it_Really.pdf
Facia Research Society lecture; https://fasciaresearchsociety.org/online-lectures
The Archectiture in the connective tissue (research): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3091473/
Water level in the body; https://www.thoughtco.com/how-much-of-your-body-is-water-609406
The archectiture of Facia (in Italian) - http://www.craniosacrale.it/blog/architettura-vivente-della-fascia/
Archecture of Facia (English) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3091473/
More of What is CST? - http://www.rosetrust.org/whatis.htm
Infinite Order of Intelligence
In each of us is an Infinite Intelligence, a vital force, energy or Chi. This is the energy that sees out of your eyes, beats your heart, heats and cools you body and runs every bio function in your body. This energy is dispersed by your nervous system reaching every cell and providing the necessary information required for all functions every moment of every day.
Gary Craig wrote a wonderful book called the Unseen Therapist. In his book he outlines the wonderful modality of EFT & Tapping in conjunction with partnering up with your inner therapist. Its truly life changing to acknowledge your power within. https://www.emofree.com/unseen-therapist/prelim/read-this-first.html
Ideally our bodies would be in perfect alignment and perfect order and balance at all times. The reality is that we are dealing with a great deal of stress on a daily basis and need tools to get ourself back into alignment and resourcing for optimal health. CST is a great way to do that because it coaxes you into a state of deep relaxation whereby your Innate Intelligence can resource and assist your myofacial tissue to unwind, release old blocks and baggage and ideally function at 100%. With trauma and misalignment comes interference in the transmission of this innate intelligence and this causes imbalance, health problems, stress, blocks and ultimately could cause dis-ease.
Assisting clients to a full state of relaxation in order that their Innate Intelligence can resource and restore flow, balance and alignment is the main focus and intention of a craniosacral therapist.
CranioSacral Therapists call this innate Intelligence. This is the intelligence that heals the body and is always with you! If every cell in your body is functioning at 100% then you will have optimal health. Unfortunately structural imbalances and spinal misalignments can interfere with the transmission of this innate intelligence, causing imbalance and altered cell formation that in time can create many health problems and disease. The main job of a CranioSacral Therapist is to help correct structural imbalances in the human body allowing the innate intelligence to go where it needs to go and to restore impeded circulation, alleviate any nerve impingement and thus allowing dysfunctional cells to heal themselves. The power that made your body can heal your body. CranioSacral Therapy helps to turn on your healing power and creates optimal health.
Q & A's
QUES: Is CST only for lower back pain?
ANS: CranioSacral Therapy is a great modality for treating lower back pain in addition to treating headaches, neck pain, sinus congestion, migraines, head or birth trauma and a variety of other health disorders including emotional problems relating to social anxiety, depression and concentration.
QUES: Is CST like deep tissue or Rolphing?
ANS: CranioSacral Therapy uses a very Light-touch to align the structural integrity of the body that is the root cause of many structural and spinal imbalances. The CST Therapist therefore may employ a number of techniques from different healing modalities to assist in rebalancing the integrity of the body.
QUES: What are some other techniques that could be used in my session?
ANS: Some techniques may include, but are not limited to: Myofascial Release Therapy, Positional Release Therapy, Muscle Energy technique Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Biosonics & Sound Therapy.
QUES: Can I fall asleep during treatment?
ANS: Honestly the best work happens when you are asleep. The main reason for this is your body is not resisting it's natural healing process and allowing it's Infinite order of Intelligence. Please read below where I explain exactly what that is.
QUES: Is Craniosacral Work only for grownups?
ANS: CST is for people (and animals) of all ages. It is considered an "adjunctive" or complementary therapy, CST can be combined with other forms of therapy for an improved and expedited therapeutic experience. I am a big advocate of using this work for infants directly after they are born and before they leave the hospital. Studies have proven babies that receive CST within the first couple of weeks of birth have fewer problems in their development.
Who knew the path to a better life could be so delicious!
When I first heard about craniosacral work, it was because I had been suffering from chronic neck pain, and had been unsuccessful in finding a solution that didn’t involve prescription pain killers, or surgery as a next step. Physical therapy, and prescription medication had helped for a bit, but not enough. Finding the right chiropractor helped with my spinal stenosis, but not with the other pain I was having. It felt like the tendons or muscles on one side of my neck were strained/pulled, and it went into my shoulder. It did not go away, it even interrupted my sleep, and I was becoming mentally and physically exhausted from being in pain all the time.
A friend highly recommended Patti so I decided to try it!
Each session is tailored to the individual, and their needs that day, but overall, for me it’s a perfect combination of massage, pressure point therapy, aromatherapy, meditation, and affirmation. The last two I had never really tried before, and they do not come naturally for me, but it gets easier and easier the more I do it, and I’m benefitting so much from all of it, not just in reduction/disappearance of pain I’ve been suffering from for years, but also in my mental outlook and my feelings about what kind of control I have over my life.
I have reduced stress in all areas of my life, and have been able to do and cope with more, with far less anxiety than I have had in years, maybe EVER. I’m now doing things I would never have considered before, and I’m feeling great about all of it. When mom is happy, everyone in my family is happier, and I’m grateful for finding something even better than I was hoping for, and that I can do without drugs or surgery.
I still have days where the pain bothers me, but now it’s only a small ache compared to what I had before, and I’m more aware of why it’s there, and what I can do myself to help relieve it in between seeing Patti. My chiropractor is also enthusiastic about craniosacral work, and very happy about how much I’ve improved now that I’m working with Patti.
I can’t say it enough how much I love it! As does my family, and friends who have also gone to Patti Thank you, Patti!
Amy (Designer/Artist) Los Angeles, CA