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What is CranioSacral Therapy?

"The body knows things about which the mind is ignorant." ~Jacques Lecoq~

The body is a wise part of us. It is our physical vessel for living, where we experience everything life has to offer.

It is said by many that the body has a mind of its own, and that if we tap into that body- mind, we can know things .... about ourselves, about what we are experiencing, and most of all, about how we really feel.

Most important to understand, is that the body is our record keeper: it stores every memory, thought and feeling we have ever had since being born, and even since before being born. Therefore, it is a part of us that has important information about why we might be experiencing pain or stress.

Now what does all this preamble have to do with describing what exactly CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is? Everything!

CranioSacral Therapy is a gentle, hands on treatment that has the ability to access the deeper tissues and structures of the body, namely the structures and tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. You might call this "core healing work".

I always say that every trauma we have had goes deep into the body, and stays there as an energetic blueprint, or memory. CST can access these deeper blueprints, and release them.

CST works primarily on the fascial system: this is our "living body armour" that surrounds everything (I mean everything) in the body. It is the connective tissue that stores memory and reacts to every trauma and experience.

CST at its best is a process of direct revelation for the recipient. When receiving a CST session, the recipient can become aware of what is happening in their system: what is being stored in the body as memory? What emotions haven't yet been acknowledged or dealt with? What is most needed for healing and comfort, and the release of pain and stress?

What is also important in healing the body (and mind) is the aspect of touch itself. Bessel van der Kolk, a Boston-based psychiatrist noted for his research in the area of post- traumatic stress, believes that touch is an essential component in recovery for things like PTSD. He recommends CST for helping those suffering from trauma to learn to feel safe in their bodies again.

The body is the lead in CST therapy. As therapist, I place my hands onto the recipient's body and wait. I never force, as after many years as a deep tissue RMT, I discovered that forcing the body to relax and unwind does the exact opposite: creates tension, and drives trauma further into the body. Remember, the goal is to help the body feel safe.

I wait and see where the body directs the focus, and where the body wants to release and unwind. This provides the body and the recipient the opportunity to resolve what is being held that is blocking up the entire system, in a safe and supportive environment.

I have seen CST help with many conditions, most notably with those experiencing anxiety and depression. Currently I work with Registered Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Counsellors, Chiropractors and Naturopaths, who want to help their clients release pain, stress, anxiety, depression and trauma from their body and nervous system.

Quite simply, CST works. And like anything, it is a process that needs time and attention. The body carries the ability to self-regulate and self-heal, and in the right setting, CST can help reset and bring wellbeing to the person once again.

© Jodie Cara Lindley

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