Craniosacral Therapy

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.