Craniosacral Therapy; A listening tool

How I listen to your body; Finding health within the chaos.

city-1799656_1920When 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

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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Working with babies, mothers and pregnancy; therapeutic touch.

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.

freestocks-org-71789Due 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.

baby-20339_1280Working 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

 

 

Cranio tidal rhythms

The body is like the ocean, it has many tidal rhythms and hidden depths. It expresses itself in motions through our fluid bodies, tissue muscle, organs and bones etc. These elements within our bodies can become blocked or inhibited through various elements such as stress, trauma held in the body, toxins that we breath in or digest and so on. Just like the ocean we are vast and expressive beings, held in the ever changing current of life.  Craniosacral therapy offers the body space to move and express itself from within, seeking balance and harmony through stillness, this is when healing can take place. So when we are caught up in the turbulence of life and we are being thrown out of balance, crashing and twirling like a deep undercurrent, seek that inner stillness that lies at the core of our being just like at the bottom of the sea on the ocean bed. This is where health resides.

Namaste ❤

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