How craniosacral therapy can support your sleep
Have you have ever suffered from sleep issues? If so then you would know how difficult it is to just function throughout the day. The smallest task or decision can create havoc for the brain to process. It can leave you unable to think clearly or struggle to carry out basic daily tasks. Add children, your partner, high pressured work etc into the mix and this can cause the most laid back of us into meltdown!
I myself have experienced sleep disturbances for many years (thankfully this is no longer the case), during that time I know my home life and work life suffered, not to mention my health and well being. If stress is one of the reasons for poor sleep then lack of sleep only adds to the issue and it can seem like a never ending cycle.
Many people turn to prescription medication to try and combat this, however from the stories I’ve heard prescription drugs can seem to create more of a ‘groggy’ type of sleep where the person falls asleep but the body is unable to carryout all the necessary repair and healing work it requires, therefore much of the rejuvenation process is eliminated due to the sedative elements of the medication. Sleep is essentially the time when the body heals itself.
According to the National Sleep Foundation; when we sleep Brain waves are slow (with some rapid bursts) and your heart rate and blood pressure slow down and regulate. During this restorative stage of sleep, blood pressure drops, breathing slows down, blood flow moves to the muscles and tissue is repaired. Interestingly enough this is also indicative of receiving a craniosacral session. Many people inform me that during a treatment session they felt like they were sleeping (often reporting visions, colours and memories) but that they also felt awake. People who meditate have also said that they felt they had gone into a deeper state of relaxation than when they practice meditation.
Craniosacral therapy can also support the hormonal system in offering space within the cranial bones supporting pineal gland function. The pineal gland is a tiny endocrine gland found in the brain. It produces and secretes the hormone melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate biological rhythms such as sleep and wake cycles. Craniosacral therapy supports the autonomic nervous system (again all necessary for a good nights sleep), it helps to down regulate from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system, this in turn will have a supportive impact on the digestive system, aid in the supply of cerebral-spinal fluid which supplies nutrients to the nervous system tissue/cells as well as providing more oxygen to the brain supporting clear thinking, relaxation and helps regulate our moods. The regulation of our autonomic nervous system is mandatory to our health and immune system and aids us in getting a good nights sleep.
Homeopathy and reflexology are also very good ways to support a good nights sleep, its about finding the right treatment and practitioner for you.
A Craniosacral approach to working with young people
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.
How I listen to your body; Finding health within the chaos.
When people ask me “what is Craniosacral therapy? It can be quite difficult to explain, I mean are they really going to understand all about the rhythmic tides, the inherent treatment plan, primary respiration and so on?
In more simplistic terms I listen to the story the persons body is expressing. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a listening tool for the body, much like counselling is for the person. Its important that I explain how each of us is unique in how we hold certain emotions, traumas, pain and so on as each of our bodies have varying coping mechanism of held expression. I often say to people that their body will only be able to express what it can in each session and that often there are many layers to work through. For example a deeply held and suppressed emotional trauma will generally not show itself in the first few sessions, it would be too overwhelming for the individual. Our innate body wisdom is very clever.
Many people come for CST for physical ailments and whilst we are able to work with the physiology and anatomy of the body these are often intertwined with deeper held emotional aspects of an individual. The emotional body is very much connected to the physical body and our consciousness; our thought processes, belief systems, how we perceive ourselves and the outside world, how we love ourselves and so on. So when we experience unsettling or uncomfortable experiences that can feel too much to deal with at the time we often suppress them, these emotions then get buried into the cellular memory and the physical body has to develop coping mechanisms; this is often followed by a manifestation of physical symptoms such as; headaches, neck pain, back pain, knee pain, upset stomach, acid re flux and so on.
In session I am tuning into and listening to what the physical body is expressing in conjunction with what the emotional body is also saying, its a story that words can not express!
Each practitioner works in their own way, we are all able to palpate and listen to our clients systems as CST is a listening tool, however we each have our own unique strengths and abilities and its about finding the right therapist for you.
Below is a short video on an introduction to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Your body knows!!
I have a special interest in this topic, the topic of our innate body wisdom. Our bodies are designed to form. Its really a case of each cell, each DNA molecule and so on all knowing what they are meant to be doing, they are working together to create homeostasis within the collective structure of the human anatomy and physiology.
How is it that the cell of an elbow knows to form into that as opposed to the cell of a knee for example? Do they have consciousness? Are they somehow talking to each other? To be honest it really doesn’t matter (unless something goes wrong of course!) they just know!!! Trillions of cells, atoms, DNA nucleus or whatever you want to refer to are in constant communication all of the time, they are all working together in conjunction with one anothers systems of the human body. So the endocrine and lymphatic and so on are working individually in their own system however they are also working collectively to support all the other systems.
I just love this, we are walking miracles, complete universes within universes. Often when illness/disease manifests into form within the physical body its a way for the whole system to inform us that something isn’t working/functioning at its optimum. For example this can be through the elimination process, often this can be skin related conditions as toxin/emotions are being released through a detoxification process. Sometimes this can also be through conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and so on and can even manifest as stress!! Look at what you are taking into your body as this is what feeds you, its not just the food and drink we consume its our emotions, words, thoughts and so on. Be mindful what you are feeding yourself. We work as a unified field of function where everything impacts on everything else. This is why I LOVE Craniosacral Therapy, it works with the whole. Not just one or two but all of the elements of the human system, mind body and soul.
The human body viewed from a holistic point of view has its remarkable own innate healing ability. When symptoms occur its often the bodies way of letting us know that something isn’t right, often when we go and take prescribed medication it can suppress the very thing that is trying to eliminate itself, thus suppression the process. I am not saying that taking western medication is wrong, there is clearly a need for some people and I would always suggest consulting a medical professional if symptoms are causing concern. However its good to also recognise the body talks to us and sometimes its only way is by presenting certain symptoms to get our attention. In the end the choice is always down to the individual.
There is something to be said for ‘finding health in stillness‘. It is in this quiet place,this space of tranquillity, the motion in the sea where the waves stop crashing and the directions starts to sync; a calm stillness creates a gentle motion.
It is in this motion of fluidity that everything in the human physiological body can slow down and start to re-organise itself towards its own innate health.
This aspect of stillness is often referred to by clients of Craniosacral therapy, many of my clients state that they feel such a state of peace, tranquillity and stillness during and after sessions. Those that meditate say that they feel like they are able to sink deeper into stillness than when they meditate. Clients often describe being in that in-between state of sleep and awake. From a practitioners viewpoint, this is when the body is able to start to work towards health, it has the space to prioritises what areas it wants to work with and goes about re-organising, re-directing and re-aligning. Homeostasis is the body’s natural balance of bodily functions.
Many of us live such busy often stressful lives, often rushing from the minute we get up until the minute we go back to bed, even whilst trying to get to sleep the mind is often found to be going over the days events, regurgitating conversations, actions of yourself or others, how things could of or should of gone differently. It is so important to find time to be still, to be able to drop yourself out of the ‘monkey mind‘ and just breath-allow yourself to connect with the inner aspects of you, without all the noise.
People often come for Craniosacral therapy because they have some form of physical issues such as headaches or back pain, or longstanding problems both physical and emotional. Others come for ongoing support in their busy lives and for help to meet life’s challenges. Due to Craniosacral therapy being so gentle and non-invasive, it is suitable for everyone from newborns to the elderly. Mothers and babies often come for problems associated with difficult or traumatic births. Letting go of tension and fear held in the body enables both to settle into a calm state of being.
As stated in the tittle; In stillness health can be found.
Just a little short video emphasising the importance of stillness
Walking out of stress-make a commitment to managing your stress.
Stress seems to be one of the main issues in peoples lives today, it is unavoidable in our busy world and our bodies are designed to manage a certain amount of this stimulation. However sometimes we can become overwhelmed and unable to cope with life’s demands.
Extended periods of stress can start to produce symptoms which have an impact on our day to day life and if left untreated may lead to further complications. I have experienced this myself, although interestingly enough I was not aware at the time that I was stressed, I kept going as I “believed” I had no choice (responsibilities, bills, rent, dependants etc).The impact of stress on my body which I endured during that time only showed itself years later! I’m not talking about minor stress symptoms such as tension headaches (although these can seem less than minor for the individual experiencing them) or neck and shoulder pain and difficulty sleeping I am talking about the real impact on a cellular memory.
It wasn’t until I listened to myself and the constant thoughts that I had to leave my job that my body was able to settle into a calmer state. This decision enabled me to start my inner nurturing and healing. Along my path Craniosacral therapy (CST) found me!! That’s another story! CST is a natural way of helping our bodies to rest and recover. CST is unique in its ability to treat the source of symptoms on every level, whether mental, physical or emotional. For the best results a series of treatments is recommended. My regular clients inform me that their bodies are able to open up to expression and begin working through various patterns for release, reorganising and correction.
Many of my clients have said they find CST supports their symptoms of stress such as making them feel more relaxed and able to manage things better, sleeping better, less irritable, less overwhelmed and anxious to name but a few. CST works with the autonomic nervous system which controls the organs, glands and smooth muscles of the body. It has a sensory feedback to the central nervous system, CST can help to regulate the nervous system and transform your stress response by listening and sensing what your body is expressing,this also helps you to build up your own inner resources that support your coping mechanisms towards health and vitality.
Craniosacral Therapy is not intended as primary healthcare but to work alongside the relationship you have with your doctor.
Here is a lovely little video describing how Craniosacral therapy can support the body during times of stress.
What is Craniosacral therapy (CST) and how can it support working with babies, mothers and pregnancy. CST is a nurturing and calming approach to healthcare, the treatment process is gentle and supportive to the physical and emotional needs of the individual. CST can be beneficial for babies in a number of ways such as babies who do not open their mouths widely enough to latch on effectively or “arching or hypertonic.” These types of babies can be difficult to nurse which can impact the mother and in turn family dynamics.
Due to this topic being such a vast subject I will be looking at some of the basic points on how CST can support babies mothers and pregnancy. During pregnancy the woman’s body undergoes huge changes, internally as well as externally. The nervous system coordinates hormonal activity and stress/anxiety can inhibit endocrine functions. Cortisol levels can rise which can impact the baby therefore working with the autonomic nervous system (which is a control system that acts to regulate the bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate and so on) can support the expectant mother to move more towards the Parasympathetic nervous system which serves to slow the heart rate, increase intestinal and glandular activity, and relax the sphincter muscles, all good for the baby. CST work can be effective and supportive in a number of ways such as in minor pregnancy ailments like back pain balancing effects on nervous and hormonal systems thus offering support for both mother and baby and preparing for birth.
The birthing experience (which is a highly empowering experience) can also be quite traumatic for mother and baby if things don’t go to plan. These traumas can be held in the body causing various stresses and strains. The baby is very much linked to the mother and if the mother is stressed through lack of sleep or still processing the birth the baby can FEEL this and respond. Once the baby is born CST can support establishing and supporting breastfeeding, developing good sleep patterns, early infant feeding problems including colic, reflux and allergies.
Working with babies and mothers (and dads as well as extended family members if applicable) is a wonderful way to support the unique bonding experience of family dynamics. If you are a parent then you will understand the complexities involved through out the pregnancy not just for the mother but also the relationship of the expectant parents and any other children in the household. Overall Craniosacral therapy offers a safe therapeutic light touch supporting the overall health of expectant mothers and babies, raising vitality and enabling the body’s own self-healing process to be utilised.
Here is a link I came across with more useful information about Craniosacral Therapy for babies and mothers click here