the biodynamic craniosacral model
All life expresses itself as motion. In the human body, all cells subtly move together in rhythmic waves that travel throughout the body’s fluid systems. The study of these rhythms began over 100 years ago, with biologists and embryologists but especially an osteopathic physician named William Sutherland. After years of study, Dr. Sutherland theorized that these rhythms were generated by a life force carried in the fluids. As with the eye of a hurricane, motion in the body is oriented around a core of stillness. In studying the human embryo, scientists have observed that all growth and ordered fluid motion is related to a center of stillness. All around this stillness, Primary Respiration guides the formation of the embryo and continues to work throughout our life to maintain normal balance in the structure and function of our bodies.
– from Michael Shea’s Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, 2007, Appendix D
helping the body heal itself
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) sees health as a state of dynamic balancing between body, mind, and spirit. When we are stressed by the demands of the world around us, our nervous system tries to meet these challenges. In a biodynamic cranial session, practitioners help clients slow down and relax deeply. In resting, our breathing slows, muscles soften, circulation increases, digestion improves, and other internal self-care processes become active. By working with deep internal fluid rhythms, practitioners engage deeper resources to foster healthy and balanced flow throughout the body.
what to expect
In a typical BCST session, the client lies fully clothed on a massage table while the practitioner sits beside him or her. The practitioner places his/her hands very lightly on the client’s body, after receiving permission to do so. BCST sessions work with the entire body. Practitioners maintain a light sustained contact for several minutes in each hand placement. Clients are encouraged to check-in with the practitioner, to be sure that they are at ease at all times during the session.
The efficacy of this work has not been formally studied and no claims can be made regarding treatment results. Anecdotal reports from clients, however, suggest that it may be an effective form of work for a wide range of health concerns. It has effects similar to those of massage therapy, such as reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, increasing blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxing muscles, improving range of motion, and increasing endorphin production (affecting the perception of pain). BCST may also hasten recovery from injury and lead to a more complete resolution of it.