The brain and spinal cord, and all the bones that protect those soft structures, are what make up the field of interaction for CranioSacral Therapy. It gets its name for the bones at the top, the cranium or head, and the base, the sacrum, that bone at the back of the pelvis.
The Electromagnetic Field
This time-honored therapy is based on the ability of the practitioner to feel the electromagnetic field that is produced by the brain and nervous system. This field can be felt all over the body, but is the most pronounced at the spine and head, so those areas are the focus of a CST session. This field is highly changeable and responds to traumatic events, such as whiplash or emotional shock. CST is often used to relieve the symptoms of shock and trauma, allowing the central nervous system to find balance again.
So what happens during a CranioSacral session?
Picture this: You lie down on a cushy treatment table fully clothed. The practitioner makes you comfortable with pillows and blankets, and then describes to you how to notice and relax your body. She gently cradles your head or sacrum while you lie very still, usually with your eyes closed. Your time on the table is usually 30-45 minutes, allowing time at the end to process what you experienced.
Trained to sense the electromagnetic field of the body, the practitioner attunes to it and interacts to influence the field towards a healthier, more balanced state. She “listens” with her hands to something called the cranial tides, electromagnetic rhythms that pulse through the entire body, concentrated around the spinal cord and the brain. By listening to those tides, the practitioner can detect disturbances within the entire system. These disturbances can be felt as low energy fields (feelings of depression, disease processes, immune system imbalances), and high energy fields (feelings of anxiety, hyper brain function, poor grounding).
About Cranial Tides
Actually, I think listening to craniosacral tides is like listening to music. I listen to all your notes, the themes and the solos resonating in the whole system. I pay special attention to the notes that seem out of concert with the whole. As your “music” returns to a more harmonious state over several sessions, you may feel less taxed by competing, discordant energies. Your brain relaxes and restores itself. In fact, CST clients frequently report feeling as if they’ve had an entire night’s sleep in one session, waking refreshed and rested! Even if discordant patterns are decades old, relief can be realized.
Meditation, Mindfulness and Breath, OH MY!
How do we cultivate or maintain what we receive during a CST session? Meditation, mindfulness practices and breath work help; allowing peaceful time for creative endeavors; being in nature; cultivating a peaceful inner state by returning again and again to loving compassion for self and others. Your CST practitioner can talk to you about developing these skills.
Practicing how to return to and maintain a balanced, healthy state of being can begin with your first CranioSacral session. Like playing music, it only gets sweeter with experience and the practice itself creates its own joy. So if you get a chance to receive a CranioSacral session, don’t delay! Your own beautiful music awaits you!