Craniosacral therapy is a powerful and effective discipline. Just ask the thousands who have experienced its benefits! But, unlike many of the other disciplines like Rolfing, myo-fascial release, trigger point therapy, and a myriad of others where your hands are placed where you and your patient can see and feel the results of your tactile expression, craniosacral therapy demands a subtlety and focus like no other discipline I have experienced. Oh there a few naysayers on the internet and one MD, whose name I won’t mention, that croaks from his pulpit like a frog in a pond, totally unaware of the whale who swims in the sea. But, those of us who have had the great fortune of being called to the work, know its wide range of benefits in dealing with a vast array of painful and annoying complaints that are brought to our tables.
Even though it has been practice since around 1901 in this country, the mystery and misunderstanding around the work still prevails. Many of the bones that we palpate, can’t actually be palpated! And how can one “prove” that following fluid movements and reflecting our understanding of those tidal waves and undulations could possible effect someone who has migraine headaches, lower back pain, hip pain, TMJ, neck pain etc? Well, that is the Divine Mystery of the journey of craniosacral therapy and why many of the practitioners of the work both past and present felt such reverence for it. Those that were considered the founders, named the power that was expressed through the field into their hands, as the “Divine Ordering Principle” and the “Breathe of Life”! It becomes obvious to anyone who practices cranial work after a certain length of time, that Stillness becomes the portal to the Divine. Just listen to any of the ancient teachings from the many paths from around the globe, and they all will allude to Stillness as the gateway to the Divine. Now here is the catch, movement springs from stillness and the deeper patterns that hold the traumatic experiences of our past are maintained in the greater field from a point of stillness much like the eye of the hurricane. These vortexes or still points are the keys to unlocking the history that is woven into our matrix. When these historical patterns are “discovered” by the craniosacral practitioner, a cascade of change throughout the field transpires and miraculously the client leaves the office in a different mental state, oftentimes pain free. Sometimes that healing may take many sessions. When I turned 60 I told my patients that I had been on the planet 500,000 hours, please don’t expect me to change that history in one hour!
If this sounds a bit esoteric for those who haven’t experienced the magic of this healing technique, I can understand your dilemma. Its much like the koan, “what is the sound of a tree that falls in the forest if there is no one to hear it?” Let me give you a hint, cranioacral therapy begins when you achieve stillness in the session, you will know it as a perceptible shift in the field and your awareness transpires! Dr. Rollin Becker called it the Wholistic Shift, and its palpable!
So, how does one begin that journey? As a daily practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan and standing meditation (stake standing) in the Chinese tradition, we can experience insight, and the mindfulness necessary to gain insights into the cranial system we are palpating, by becoming mindful of our own biological center or centers! In England where I studied the Biodynamic approach of cranial sacral therapy, one of my teachers who had practiced Zen for decades, used the classic focus point of the dantien as his place of resting his mind and ultimately his point of departure into the system or the field he was listening to. The director of the course used his heart center. Some use the third eye. One size doesn’t fit all so play and find your “vehicle”. At that point you have the ability to tap into the very source of the energy that fuels the biological field that maintains our health, prevents illness, and ultimately( the reason I practice cranial sacral therapy) our spiritual growth as practitioners of the healing arts. When we develop a steady focus on one of our centers to use as a portal into the system, we acquire over a period of time in our practices, the ability to perceive spatial expansion and time dilation! In my DVD series on the Biodynamic Craniosacral approach Volume 1, I stress the importance of developing the practitioner fulcrum. Its beautiful illustrated graphically in 3D by Michael Thurston! So, instead of just focusing on one point you can focus on the entire centerline, but, one point begins the departure. In many ways movement and our wonderful sense of vision are impediments to developing an awareness of kinesthetic understanding, that felt sense. So, in the beginning, I think it is easier to close the eyes to create that kinesthetic gestalt so to speak, by focusing on one point, and when you have a firm grounding, you can open your eyes and perceive the field, which then imbues your life with a quality that effects your walk on this water planet.