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  • Writer's pictureHeather Koubek

Craniosacral Therapy- what is it?

Craniosacral therapy (CST). If you’re here and reading this, something about this bodywork has sparked your interest. Or you have tried other therapies and maybe have plateaued, or are looking for a complement to these treatments.

Here is the official definition: “CST addresses your craniosacral system, which encompasses the soft tissues and fluid that surround, nourish and protect your entire brain and spinal cord-your Central Nervous System (CNS). The fluid, called cerebrospinal fluid, has its own distinct rhythm that can be palpated by the CST practitioner. We endure stress and strain on a daily basis- our body, and the protective tissues (fascia) that make up the craniosacral system, absorb these traumas both large and small, emotional and physical, in order to protect the rest of the body in the process. But our bodies and minds can only handle so much tension before the tissues begin to tighten and eventually affect & compromise the functioning of the brain and spinal cord (your CNS). Dysfunction in the CNS then affects the performance of nearly every other system in our body. CST addresses, releases & integrates these tensions stored in our bodies through application of a gentle touch, starting with approximately the weight of a nickel. The CST practitioner starts the session with a hands on evaluation your internal environment, starting at your feet. Once restriction and dysfunction are assessed, as measured by restricted range of motion in tissues and quality of your craniosacral pulse & the clients feedback, the practitioner uses these light touch techniques to release located tensions and blockages. Release of these restrictions allows your own body to relax and do what it needs to self-correct. The CNS is then free to function at its optimal levels, affecting your body system as a whole. CST essentially encourages your body’s own natural ability to take better care of you. Because it’s so gentle, CST is appropriate for all ages ranging from newborns to the elderly. “

Now. What exactly does this mean for you? In short, the goal of this practice is to reconnect our minds and our bodies. We busy humans tend to disconnect from our bodies either because of traumas both big and small, time constraints, cultural messages, etc. This separates us from our own intuition; each one of us is born with this valuable survival tool built in. Over time and circumstance, our external lives begin to erode this most important internal connection.

This practice meets you where you are. The practitioner is not “doing anything” to you. The practitioner cannot go any deeper than your system is ready to go. This gentle hands on work is connecting to your individual system; all while being mindful of your own window of tolerance, which is the considerations of how much your particular system can endure without being overwhelmed by the work. It assesses and explores your own individual map of experience, and how that has played out in your physical tissue. Your system is chock full of physical and emotional “dings”, both large and small. Your nervous system has developed a pattern of survival, that which may have worked in the past, but may no longer serve you. This work, which can be both quiet or with exploratory dialog, connects with where you are in the present moment. This work with your physical tissue can address your physical and emotional map of experience, locating areas of restriction, releasing and integrating them to encourage your whole system to process and function more resourcefully.

This work helps your mind and body to open up lines of communication again. It will gently help you recognize the relationship between your inner self and your outside world. It will help you become familiar with your own patterns of coping, which involve your nervous system and patterns of emotional and physical pain you hold on to. This work will guide you back into yourself, re-connect you to your own intuition, all done in a mindful and supportive way. Our bodies reflect the incredible maps of the journey our lives have taken. This work will bring about recognition of your remarkable strength and resilience, while addressing the coping mechanisms that may no longer work for you.

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