Working with children and young people

A Craniosacral approach to working with young people

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Working with children and young teenagers offers their system a holding space to work through a number of different expressions that have been held in their bodies. In my observation I often find we can tap into the birthing experience where space is offered and the cranial bones as well as other parts of the body are able to expand and release. The reason I refer to the birthing experience is because this is a common theme with young people that often comes up during a session. There are many other expressions, releases and realignments that take place, however as stated; from my personal experience this is something that often shows itself as a priority during sessions with younger people (although this is also something that can come up for individuals at any age).

Most people do not remember their birthing experience and there is an obvious reason for this. Traumatic and painful would no doubt be top of the list as well as fear of the transition and so on. However just because we do not remember our birth does not mean that the experience has not stayed with us in some way shape or form. The effect and impact can often be unknown, however the cellular memory is held in the physical body and the emotional impacts are held in the field (our emotional body).

Working with young people is a great way to offer release of these forming patterns often developed during the birthing experience. Working on the bones in the skull, spine, pelvis and other areas can support the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system which can then be normalised. This removes “blockages” from the normal flow, enhancing and enabling the body’s ability to heal. Compression can also be alleviated and symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, recurrent ear infections or colic in infants as well as difficulty sleeping can be relieved.

Our teenage years are often filled with an enormous amount of change such as; hormonal changes, change of schools, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends and general social pressures. These can manifest often in symptoms such as anxiety, loneliness, depression and so on. Craniosacral therapy offers a safe space for the individual to move into a deeper state of relaxations and inner tranquillity allowing the bodies’ system to recognise these deeper inner states of peace and thus offering an inner resource that can be accessed at other times. Craniosacral therapy offers the body a form of listening by the practitioner in a way that does not require verbal expression which a lot of young people do not particularly want to do nor often know how to.

Craniosacral therapy is one method that could greatly support your child to release inner tension or trauma in a safe and supported way. 

A little video explaining in brief what Craniosacral Therapy is and how it can support the physical and emotional body of the person being treated.

 

 

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis better known as ME and sometimes referred to as Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

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Last week was Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) awareness week. This illness has been referred to as the forgotten plague. There are thousands of people who suffer from this debilitating condition and often when it gets so severe to the point of chronic or severe ME is when people are unable to carry out basic daily living skills such as; going to the toilet, washing, walking, talking and even swallowing food. Sensitivity to noise, light, touch, sound all becomes magnified and unbearable to tolerate.

This is in its extreme cases and its important to mention that not all diagnosis reach such debilitating conditions. Many of the physical symptoms included in this illness are; marked muscle fatigability, acute onset of Central Nervous System resulting in numbness, tingling, weakness, or an inability to move, as well as anxiety and rapid heart beat. Changes in mood, sleep disorders, irritability, and reactive depression can be experienced as well as urinary frequency, bowel changes, sweats, severe headaches, visual problems, weakness, cramps, and sensory changes, muscular and neck pain, acute fleeting spasmodic pain and tenderness.

The reason I know about this is because a family member has been suffering with this condition for many years. ME is difficult to diagnose and is very difficult to treat due to the complexity of the illness.

From my perspective as a Cranioscaral therapist working with someone who has CFS or ME is that it is vital to start exactly where that person is. For example the first few sessions may not result in physical contact. It is important to build up a safe space and a good working relational environment before any hands on work may be able to take place. Craniosacral therapy also works in the field (energy body), a persons system is able to receive without being touched. CST is a supportive, holistic and gentle healing modality making it safe for the individuals system to work at their own pace.

Below is a link to the trailer film of Unrest a film about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome
Please noteCraniosacral therapy is not considered a substitute for conventional western medicine, however people often come for treatments having exhausted all other options through the NHS.
 
The above information reflects my professional experiences as a craniosacral practitioner working with clients in this area. It is intended to complement, rather than replace, conventional medical advice and care.
 

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What is Mental Health?

Its world mental health day.

We each have our own minds …

mental-health-2019924_1920 (2)Having worked in mental health back in the early 90’s and then again recently, I am amazed at all the different diagnosis that have emerged!!! Previously schizophrenia and Bi Polar were typically the main diagnosis. Now we have more sub categories and a variety of mental health conditions affecting a large proportion of the population such as; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Anxiety, Depression, Personality Disorders and Body Dysmorphic Disorder to name just a few. According to Mind; 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience some form of mental health issue each year, now that’s a lot of people!

One thing that has always fascinated me is “what is mental health“? Who’s to say this persons mind is healthier than that persons mind. After all we each have our own minds and are responsible for how we use them! Some people are aware of their mental health issues and others are not! It is for us alone to work through our own thought patterns, our belief systems, our repetitive thought process’, our paranoia, fears, anxieties and so on. Therefore I find the whole diagnosis a complex and fascinating subject. Take for example people who have been diagnosed with Personality Disorders/Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD), from my experience working with people who have BPD often come from a back ground of Trauma which usually relates to experiences/circumstances from their childhood .

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) works very well with trauma, as amongst other things it works directly with the nervous system, the fight or flight response which is activated by the sympathetic nervous system. It also works with the vagus nerve which is part of the parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system which influences our breathing, digestive function and heart rate, all of which can have a huge impact on a persons mental health, especially if receiving regular CST.

So when is intervention required? Now that is probably too big a question to answer here, however unless someone is a danger to themselves or others or in acute pain then a lot of the time there is a process to go through to unravel certain aspects relating to their emotional and mental well-being. There are times for medication and times where gentle alternative remedies can support someone such as Bach Remedies, Homeopathy, massage, Reiki, Yoga, healthy eating and of course my all time favourite Craniosacral Therapy.

On this note I would like to mention a couple of books which I feel may help people on their road to recovery. One is called ‘Waking the Tiger‘ by Peter A. Levine which is all about Healing Trauma and another book on a lighter note is ‘May the thoughts be with you‘ by Charlotte Reed. This book has lots of positive affirmations with wonderful illustrations, Charlotte also has weekly illustrations in the Evening Standard every Monday as well as her Facebook page and Instagram daily messages of positive thoughts which helped her overcome her own depression.

If in doubt always consult a medical professional for advice and referral if appropriate.

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