Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle yet profound non-invasive, hands-on treatment for the whole body. Performed on a massage table, the client is fully clothed and the touch is generally light and still. The treatment is focused on supporting the health of the whole being, especially the nervous system. This is the system that dictates all of the body’s functioning, constantly sending and receiving information.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists understand how an optimally functioning healthy nervous system performs. We are trained on how to use acute perception skills to perceive subtle physiological changes. We also are aware of the energetic map that underlies one‘s basic health and symptomology. We believe that health is never lost no matter what the ailment. We use our ability to identify the parts of the nervous system that are not functioning optimally and our awareness of the “always available health” in the body to assist the system in bringing itself back into balance. This supports greater ease and helps the body decrease symptoms.
What is a session like?
Sessions will vary from practitioner but generally your session will begin by sitting and talking with your therapist about any of your health concerns. Together you will discuss a brief health history and what you would like to get out of the session.
During the session, you will be fully clothed, sitting in a chair to start and then lying on a massage table in a supported and comfortable way. It is important that you feel comfortable and safe at all times so you will want to ask for any adjustments you need to the lighting, temperature, etc. Your therapist may ask you from time to time what you are experiencing, and will help you to stay present with whatever your experience is.
When the session begins your therapist will check with you to make sure that you are comfortable. Then there will be a period of dialogue before your therapist makes physical contact with you. Sometimes it takes some time and dialogue to get your comfort just right so you can relax. You will be guided through this process. Establishing comfort is an important first step that ensures that what unfolds in the session is about you and not occurring in reaction to a feeling of lack of safety with the therapist or comfort on the table.
When contact is made the therapist will check in again to make sure the touch is right for you. Session work involves a very light, gentle touch. Your therapist may begin at your feet, at your head (cranium) or on your sacrum (the triangular bone at the bottom of the spine). During your session, depending on your areas of concern, your therapist can go to any area of the body that needs to be worked with, using the contact that feels best for you.
Sessions can last anywhere from a half hour to an hour or an hour and a half depending on the therapist you are working with and your needs. During that time, the therapist will quietly, gently hold parts of your body, listening to the subtle rhythms and tracking changes in your system. In this process the therapist will listen for your body’s expression of the order of priorities for this particular session which will lead to your desired outcome. It is important to note that while a single session can have noticeable effects, it often takes multiple sessions to achieve the results you are seeking.
During the session, you may:
Relax so deeply that you fall asleep
Enter a quiet meditation-like state
Feel as if you are dreaming while awake
Experience memories or insights while on the table
Enjoy a pleasant sense of warmth, softening, widening or floating
At times, you may experience other kinds of sensationsas energy that has been held in the body is released. If this occurs, just stay present with your breath and bodily sensations and allow this energy to discharge. The session quite often involves a process of letting go of patterns that inhibit your health and vitality. Once these patterns begin to shift, the therapist may notice changes in your fluids, tissues, bones and potency. You may experience a sense of integration in your body, mind and spirit.
At the end of the session, you may:
Feel relaxed, but also energized
Find yourself breathing more fully and deeply
Stand straighter and taller
Feel more comfortable in your body
You may be surprised to feel a new sense of peace and ease as you leave the office to return, renewed, to your life.
Notice an improvement in your sleep patterns
No matter what your experience, your therapist will take some time with you after you are off the table to check in about how you are doing. This is a great opportunity to find words for your experience and reflect on how differently you feel after your session. The effects can also be felt even after you leave your session.
Take time in the next 2-3 days just to notice how you are in the world.
What is the quality of your sleep that night?
How is your digestion?
How is your overall experience of life?
By paying attention to the lasting effects of this work you will be able to gauge what the on going use of this work might offer you.
Who can benefit from Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?
Because of the gentle non-invasive nature of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST), there are few contraindications for treatment. Everyone can benefit, enjoyed by newborns. elders, the frail or ill. The improvement after a session may be subtle or dramatic. BCST encourages health in the brain and nervous system, has been known to be effective in assisting the prevention of chronic conditions.
In Addition, BCST can be useful in addressing injuries, including those to the bones and tissues. BCST is also an effective modality for exploring and resolving issues of the past including prenatal and birth trauma. Early trauma can create an unconscious belief system that is not relevant in the adult. BCST allows the acknowledgement of out moded beliefs and shifting to real or appropriate beliefs.
How many of us have experience a head or tailbone injury, accidents, minor or major surgeries, and dental work? Life experiences can create emotional trauma, physical strains and anesthesia residues. The biodynamic approach strengthens the whole system, creating a safe environment for the body can gain new perspectives, a healthy resolution of issues. The Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner is a facilitator for resolution. Our innate inner health is capable of repatterning toward health in an order of priorities initiated by the body, a titrated shift to prevent overwhelm. It is not necessary to remember, reexperience or relive trauma in order for resolution.
Is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy safe for children?
Children respond well to BCST because it is gentle, non-invasive, and effective in ways they can intuitively recognize. Even small children quickly get used to the work as they develop trust in their practitioner. Pre-verbal children may actually direct the practitioner’s hands to areas of discomfort.
Children easily show the dynamics of their experience through movement and sounds. Much subtle work can be done by the practitioner during “playtime” in which the child is observed and assisted in completing unresolved challenges. Parents are often astounded at the way a crabby, hyperactive, or miserable child will fall into deep relaxation or sleep during treatment.
The challenge, of course, is the busy toddler who won’t lie still. Here the parent can help out by holding the child as the practitioner makes even brief contacts on the spine, head, and sacrum. A little goes a long way with a child. Whatever can be resolved during infancy or childhood, often in only a few sessions, can potentially prevent decades of medical and psychological treatment later on. In addition, resolution of misaligned forces makes us less accident-prone, because we are not “off-balance”.
Is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy safe during pregnancy?
BCST is not only safe but recommended during pregnancy, as it calms the nervous system of both mother and child. It strengthens emotional bonding which has the potential of being short-circuited due to pre-natal and birth stresses and trauma.
The Biodynamic approach can contact the Primal Midline of the infant’s delicate nervous system — the midline that holds our Originality, the state of perfection that enables us to be less affected by negative influences from our genetics.
Also, although the growing prenate is highly conscious, s/he does not know the difference between mother’s thoughts and feelings and its own, so when Mom’s system is soothed and balanced during pregnancy, the baby benefits as well. This therapy has been found to help with fertility issues as well.
Are there manipulations involved?
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is distinguished by its minimal reliance on manipulations of any kind. If the various Craniosacral methods could be characterized and compared based on this criterion, the Biodynamic style would be placed at the non-manipulative or yin end of the spectrum.
In the Biodynamic approach, the healing process comes from within the client, not from the outside by the practitioner, and the hand contacts are based on listening and following/reflecting the client’s process rather than pushing or manipulating the client towards a theoretical ideal state.
How can I benefit from Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?
The therapy may surprise you with benefits you hadn’t known were possible, including resolution of symptoms that you had no idea were related to the cranial system or to each other. You may feel lighter, with a sense of more spaciousness within yourself. You may notice more ease in relationships or ability to focus.
You may stand straighter or breathe more easily and deeply. Pains may decrease and emotional boundaries may be easier to maintain. It is likely that you will feel deeply relaxed and centered. Because each person is unique, it is impossible for us to say exactly what benefit you will feel, or how long it will take you to feel it, but the above comments are quite common.
How does Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy work?
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy begins after a level of safety is created for the client. This is achieved in the communication between client and practitioner who together negotiate the space and contact between therm. Once contact is established, the practitioner listens deeply to the fluctuations of the cerebrospinal fluid within the craniosacral system.
The fluctuation of the cerebrospinal fluid creates a variety of tides within the system. As the practitioner — from a place of stillness — listens to these internal tides, the client’s system begins to access its own inner resources, little like finding keys to previously locked doors. The cerebrospinal fluid — as it bathes and protects the brain and spinal cord — carries an intelligence and potency (life force), which becomes mixed with other bodily fluids via the dural membranes. A Biodynamic Craniosacral therapist learns to listen deeply to the system, tapping into its inherent intelligence, while focusing on the system remembering its original blueprint of health.
The therapist encourages the client’s system to access its resources, offering new choices and possibilities for the system at every level. Training, then, includes deep perceptual and centering skills as well as extensive study of the anatomy, physiology, and inherent motion of the craniosacral system.
What kind of symptoms respond best to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?
Anecdotal evidence shows BCST may be helpful in addressing such situations as impingement of cranial nerves or spinal nerves, left-right imbalances, head injuries, confusion, feelings of compression or pressure, anxiety, depression, circulatory disorders, organ dysfunctions, learning difficulties, neuro-endocrine problems, TMJ and dental problems, and trauma of all kinds — birth, falls, accidents and other injuries, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, loss/grief, surgery, anesthesia, P.T.S.D., among others.
BCST is also excellent as a preventive therapy because it can facilitate the resolution of imbalances within a patient/client’s system that can later lead to illness or injury.
How many sessions will I need?
This depends on what your goals are, what symptoms you suffer from, and how readily your system responds to this therapy. As a general rule, three to ten sessions will have a significant impact on most people’s health, and in some cases only one session can make a dramatic difference. Often, clients receive regular sessions for longer periods of time, followed by an occasional tune-up to maintain health
Why do I seem to “fall asleep” during my sessions?
It is common for people to doze off or appear to sleep during portions of a biodynamic craniosacral session. There are times when the client slips into a deep, meditative type state of consciousness. In this deep place, the mind relaxes and allows the possibility of illness or injury to reorganize and remember its innate health. If the system is tired or exhausted, biodynamic craniosacral allows the system to relax and rest usually in a deep healing still-point or stillness.
(excerpt from https://www.craniosacraltherapy.org)