Many masseurs and bodyworkers have experienced curious changes in consciousness or fluctuations in time during sessions. Many have sensed rhythms, pulsations and energetic streamings that are not described in classical physiology books. The aim of these courses is to clarify these experiences and to teach the skills that make them therapeutically useful and reproducible. Although these skills are drawn from craniosacral work they are taught within a context framed by bodywork pioneers such as Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, Stanley Keleman, Arnold Mindell, Ron Kurtz and many others.
These craniosacral courses are suited to practicing therapists of all pursuasions, not only those using physical touch. They are for people who want to incorporate craniosacral concepts into their existing therapeutic practice without retraining as craniosacral therapists. They are not intended to constitute a craniosacral therapy training.
Although craniosacral work offers techniques aplenty, the key to the work lies in the constant deepening of the practitioner’s relationship and perceptual skills. Without this deepening process the techniques are just techniques. With a willingness to enter this process of deepening the work begins to sing. The courses are designed to offer the student ample practice and feedback in order to encourage the development of each student’s unique style of work.
Craniosacral Therapy module 1 – The healing power of stillness
The American osteopath, Rollin Becker, tells us that stillness is the key to healing the body-mind as stillness liberates the potency contained within the breath of life. This thirty-hour course is all about stillness, taught within the context of craniosacral biodynamics. This is a practical course taught with the intention that all participants will carry away skills that integrate into their current therapy or bodywork practice.
Module 1 introduces all the basic concepts of biodynamic craniosacral therapy but with special attention on working with the emotional body.
Generally, body-oriented approaches to psychotherapy use physical or psychological exercises to bring unconscious material (held as tensions in the body) to the surface where it can be consciously processed through some form of spoken dialogue.
Apart from some notable and important exceptions (addressed in module 3), craniosacral therapy offers a way of integrating unresolved experiences held in body without the need for verbal processing.
This course will look at the way in which we hold and organise unresolved experiences using the transverse structures of the body (thoracic inlet, respiratory diaphragm, pelvic bowl, etc.) The craniosacral techniques taught are those we can use to bring attention to and invite change to these structures.
Throughout the course we will search for a movement towards holism – not as an idea but as a shift in perception. This shift allows us to discover the stillness within our own and within our patient’s physical organisation. Out of this stillness the intentions of the healing process can manifest.
The syllabus will cover:
- A brief history of the development of craniosacral therapy, with special emphasis on current biodynamic thinking.
- An exploration of the concepts of inherent health, breath of life and primary respiration
- An exploration of the neutral, the relational field and levels of stillness
- An exploration of the mid-tide, long-tide, and still-points
- Palpating and perceiving tides and rhythms
- The transverse diaphragms and their role in organising experience
- Practitioner and patient resources
Craniosacral Therapy module 2 – Venous sinus drainage
Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy always reminded his students that the physician’s task “was to remove with gentleness all perceived mechanical obstructions to the free-flowing rivers of life (blood, lymph, and cerebro-spinal fluid). Nature would then do the rest.”
This thirty hour course focuses of the movement of fluids through the body and teaches craniosacral techniques to work with problems of fluid congestion and stagnation such as swelling, headaches, sinusitus, etc.
The seminar will be structured around a specific craniosacral protocol called ‘venous sinus drainage’ – designed to encourage lymphatic drainage, especially from the head. This routine also promotes blood supply and encourages relaxation of the sinus cavities.
The seminar will also look at the reflection between head and pelvis and also explore the connection between fluid stagnation and emotional and mental stagnation.
The syllabus will cover:
- The Primary Respiratory System.
- Primary Respiration as motion in fluids and tissues.
- The Reciprocal Tension Mechanism (RTM).
- Perceiving the membranes of the RTM.
- Mid-Tide and Cranial Rhythmic Impulse.
- Palpating motion at occiput, temporal, parietal and frontal.
- Relationship between the sphenoid and occiput.
- Cranial bones and the membranes of the RTM.
- Venous Sinus Drainage protocol.
- Trauma and resources.
- Practice of Venous Sinus Drainage and integration.
Craniosacral Therapy module 3 – Trauma and happiness
The first two modules I offer in craniosacral therapy tend toward a more silent way of working. They require of the practitioner the development of subtle relationship and communication skills. These skills allow the practitioner to become a conduit and mirror to the sensations, emotions and feelings of the client.
The aim of these modules is for the practitioner to create a relational field in which the patient’s own intelligence is called into the service of their healing with the minimum of input from the therapist.
Craniosacral Therapy module 3 steps more into the world of words.
Inevitably in our practice we will engage with our patient’s trauma. Very often this is processed easily and quietly within a session. Sometimes, however, we will come to work with stronger events. These might be known events such as accidents and injuries or less conscious events such as surgery. Our work may also uncover more deeply buried memories of trauma or abuse.
During this class we will explore our limits as therapists and gain some insight into what we can manage as bodyworkers and when we would do better to enlist the support of a psychologist or refer the patient entirely.
We will look at the appropriate use of language in order to gather more information to help in our bodywork and to help the patient make sense of memories released without jumping to false conclusions.
We will explore more directed and intentional techniques than those covered in modules one and two.
This will include:
- direction of energy/fluid
- working with energy cysts
- trauma release work
- emotional release work
- working with disassociation and embodiment
- working with ignition.
Ideally this module is aimed at people who have completed modules 1 and 2 but it is also open to experienced and competent bodyworkers who already find that their work seems to open their patients to more emotional states.