Having practiced Craniosacral Therapy for 27+ years, clients have told me of results as individual as they are, some surprising. What I have noticed is a predominant response to easing pain and emotional distress.
As a Massage Therapist I use to turn to Massage first when a client came to their session with pain, and only apply Craniosacral Therapy if, after a few sessions, the client was not responding. Clients were and are often amazed that a treatment that is so gentle, in the end actually brings them the ease they seek.
During a Craniosacral Therapy session there is a Stillpoint. A small measure of time where the Nervous System becomes still, the flow of Cerebral Spinal Fluid is slow and steady, the body is quiet, and I wait. How long do I hold the Stillpoint? Until the client's response tells me to move on.
There is a reason that many refer to the month of September as 'Stresstember'. We all go through changes galore and if there is one thing that we don't tend to enjoy it's change!
Shared with client's permission.
We had the most interesting experience yesterday, a client and I. During a Craniosacral Therapy session my client displayed, in real time, a response from the Vagus Nerve. It was pretty amazing to be a part of!
Stress in it's chronic or acute stages can be debilitating to mind, body and spirit. The changes it creates in the body can lead to emotional responses of depression and anxiety.
How Often Should I Book In?
How often should I book in and when should I book in again are two questions that I am often asked. Here's what I tell clients (more importantly is the why)
When dealing with a specific injury or issue I recommend a minimum of once a week until you begin to notice progress. Afterwards, spreading to every 2 weeks, every 3 and then onto a maintenance schedule. The exception to this is with Craniosacral Therapy and Spinal Touch Therapy (I'll explain those two a little more below)
Why? Injuries and specific issues often require treatments close together in order to ensure the body, mind and spirit progress along the path of healing. Booking once and then carrying on and again just living with the pain can not only set you back to pre-injury condition but can possibly set you further back. Which is much more expensive to deal with when your body finally does say "that's it! You have to deal with me!" Because now we may be addressing a chronic condition.
How is your Vagus Nerve Tone?
After the past two years and the impact of a pandemic on our daily lives, I'm going to guess that its not that good. If the stress of Covid was placed on top of existing stress or physical/emotional trauma, your Vagus Nerve tone is probably struggling.
The majority of us have had to modify and adapt our personal and work lives, as well as limit our social engagements. There have been many unknowns as we've tried to safely navigate our lives and keep others safe. The result has been chronic stress at varying levels. (The pandemic has made stress appear to be more prevalent however many people were already dealing with the burden of chronic stress and unresolved trauma prior to Covid.)
This past week I had the opportunity to participate in 2 workshops for enhancing Craniosacral Therapy outcomes for clients. While there was a lot of fascinating information shared one topic that stood out to me was the role of Craniosacral Therapy in gently releasing muscular restrictions in the body, versus Deep Tissue Massage where that release is forced, through pressure.
Unlike Massage and Myofascia Release, Craniosacral causes a more subtle "unwinding" effect on Fascia and in that provides muscles more room to move. The movements are light, almost unnoticeable. The effects are amazing.
The first time Craniosacral Therapy crossed my path I was a busy single parent of a 10 year old. While he was really bright and could articulate all kinds of information that he took in, dissect and discuss it, my son always had trouble with writing it down. Any kind of paragraphs, essays, stories...were a struggle. Over a coffee discussion with a therapist who specialized in Craniosacral Therapy for children, my son ended up with an appointment. He felt comfortable right away and fell soundly asleep on her table. She asked me at the end of his session if he had ever hit is forehead and she pointed to the centre.
Gentle, slow unwinding of Fascia while also opening up any restrictions in the movement of cerebral spinal fluid, are the goals of a Craniosacral Therapy session. I often find that if a muscle is not letting go with traditional Massage Therapy, that a gentle Craniosacral hold to the area will do the trick. Sometimes muscles require a lighter touch to respond.