CRANIO-SACRAL THERAPY UNRAVELLED:
by Silvie Hylton-Potts
What is Cranio-Sacral Therapy?
Cranio-Sacral Therapy is an extremely gentle yet powerful form of healing, in which the practitioner uses gentle touch to ‘tune in’ to the different structures of the client’s body in order to determine any areas of tension, restriction, misalignment or unresolved injury which may be showing up as symptoms or pain. Of particular focus are the bones, membranes and cerebro-spinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. These are collectively referred to as the ‘cranio-sacral system’ and together they express a subtle, rhythmic and continuous motion (the ‘cranio-sacral rhythm’), which aids the circulation of the cerebro-spinal fluid around the central nervous system.
Why is the cranio-sacral system such an important focus in this therapy?
Structurally, our cranio-sacral and central nervous systems are intimately connected: the cranial and spinal bones and membranes help to protect and support our nervous system, whilst the cerebro-spinal fluid plays an essential role in supplying nutrients to the nervous system and removing waste. Being the ‘central control system’ for the whole body, a healthily functioning nervous system is extremely important for our overall health.
Energetically, the ‘cranio sacral rhythm’ is also an expression of our vital ‘life force energy’ and reflects the amount of energy, strength and vitality we possess. All symptoms or illness in the body correspond with a deficiency or blockage in our personal energy flow, therefore, re-establishing the healthy, unimpeded circulation of cerebro-spinal fluid generally results in a corresponding improvement or resolution of physical symptoms, as well as an overall improvement in the person’s health and vitality.
How does the healing actually happen?
Whilst counsellors are trained to listen to their client’s words, Cranio-Sacral Therapists learn to ‘listen’ with their hands to the client’s body and its various structures, using gentle touch, in order to determine any areas that need healing, realigning or rebalancing. As well as being an effective way to determine any unresolved injuries, misalignments or tension, the physical body also reflects a person’s current mental, emotional and energetic state. For example, unresolved grief can literally be ‘held’ in the lungs, resulting in symptoms such as shallow breathing, anxiety or asthma; whilst suppressed anger can be stored in the liver or diaphragm, resulting in mid-section pain, poor digestion or blood sugar imbalance. An experienced therapist will often be able to sense whether a pain/blockage is caused by, for example, an old injury, birth trauma, unresolved emotional upset or an aspect of the person’s lifestyle. Cranio-Sacral Therapy takes into account all aspects of a person – physical, mental, emotional and energetic/spiritual – recognising that balance in all of these is important for optimal health and wellbeing.
The process of healing normally involves four main components: 1) gradual relaxation and letting go as the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system is induced; 2) the release of any physical / emotional ‘holding patterns’ from the body’s structures; 3) realignment and rebalancing of the physical body wherever it is needed and 4) the restoration or improvement in the person’s health and wellbeing. The therapist acts as a facilitator to the client’s healing process, providing a safe space, unconditional support and positive regard, gentle touch and facilitative techniques to help them to relax and ‘let go’ physically and mentally, and release whatever they need or are ready to release. Healing is a collaboration between the therapist, client and the therapeutic method, utilising the client’s and their body’s own natural self-healing and rebalancing ability.
What makes Cranio-Sacral Therapy such an amazing healing method?
Whilst I have studied several therapeutic modalities, I am especially passionate about Cranio-Sacral Therapy! It incorporates the therapeutic benefits of gentle touch, compassionate listening, the ability to precisely identify any areas that are in need of healing, the potential for the client to reach extremely deep levels of relaxation, to let of old holding patterns, unresolved emotions, physical injuries or traumas, and to reach greater self-awareness and understanding of themselves a whole, so that they can gain greater control over their own health and wellbeing.
A summary of the benefits of Cranio-Sacral Therapy:
- Induces deep relaxation and calming of the nervous system (excellent for stress relief);
- Helps the body to let go of old ‘holding patterns’ and find relief from tension and pain;
- Provides the opportunity for any unresolved emotions to gently surface and release;
- Allows for an experience deep rest and ‘just being’ (an antidote to our busy modern lives);
- Activates the body’s own self-healing and rebalancing ability;
- Boosts energy levels and vitality;
- Allows for greater self-awareness/understanding and control over one’s health and wellbeing;
- Increases feelings of peace, calm, serenity, inner balance, joy and freedom.
Silvie is based at The Wellbeing Clinic on Thursday afternoons/evenings (ad hoc bookings are also possible by request at a slightly higher cost). To make an appointment, please book via our website or give us a call on 01865 571111.
Please note, due to the new regulations brought in by the Advertising Standards Agency, we are not able to mention specific conditions which may be helped by Cranio-Sacral Therapy. However, if you have any questions or would like to discuss whether Cranio-Sacral Therapy may be of benefit to your particular condition, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic on 01865 751111.