What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and how does it work?
Here is how the Biodynamic Craniosacral Association of North America describes it:
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 for years 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.
Note, craniosacral therapy is not massage. It’s very subtle work so if you want your muscles worked on, you’ll want a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT).
Are you going to adjust my bones? That makes me nervous, especially around my head and spine.
You can rest easy. The work we do does not involve any physical manipulation or adjustment. We use soft contact, wherever it’s needed, to tune into your tissues both physically and energetically. In response, your body shows us where it needs to shift restriction or pain. Most often the practitioner’s attentive presence and awareness of your anatomy is enough support for your body’s physical structures to reorganize on their own. There is never a need to make this happen manually.
What can I expect in a session?
An in-person session takes place mainly on the treatment table with clothing on, though some work may be done sitting or through brief guided exercises.
We start off with a brief check-in to see where you’re at and set an intention for the session. Then for the duration of the session you’ll be lying on the treatment table while I place my hands lightly on various places and tune in to your body. Movement is minimal, and the work can be very quiet though I may dialogue with you about what I’m working with or what you’re sensing. I may guide you through some simple movments as part of a treatment protocol.
You may enter a very restful state where your body feels very still and at ease. You might also feel body sensations such as gurgling, heat or cold, buzzing, expansion and contraction. It’s okay if discomfort or emotions surface as your body processes and releases energy. Often people report feeling calmer and more relaxed at the end of a session.
(Virtual sessions may involve a combination of sitting and lying down.)
How can I support my own healing after a session?
Your system usually keeps integrating the work for a couple days afterward. Drink plenty of water (without ice is optimal), and be gentle with yourself. A hot bath with a cup of Epsom salts is helpful to draw out metabolites. I am available to clients by text or email if they have questions or feel the need for further support.
How many sessions will it take?
I’m sure you know already: healing can take time. It would be wrong of anyone to promise that the pain you’ve had for months or the injury that gave your system a big shock will suddenly resolve by magic in one or two treatments. (Though sometimes we’re lucky: a new client from out of town came for one session, and afterward reported that she made some big shifts in her life directly afterward — that’s the incredible potential of this work!) Book a free consult with me to chat about what you might need to feel better. An Introductory Session for treatment includes an assessment of the number of sessions you will likely require.
You mention releasing emotions. How is this different from psychotherapy?
Our session work is body-based. Old emotions express through body sensation, often in very subtle, gentle ways — and sometimes in more challenging ways. You won’t necessarily have words for the feelings, and I am trained to help you feel safe when they come up, and to help you discharge them through your body. This is where connecting into your body with support is one of your most powerful tools for healing.
I am not a psychotherapist, and don’t provide counselling support. If you need talk therapy, I will gladly refer you to a psychotherapist.
Do you treat babies or children?
I work with parents and their babies from preconception, through pregnancy, and after birth up until crawling begins. Any children who are able to rest on a massage table for a prolonged period are welcome for in-person sessions.