Before I get into what craniosacral therapy is, and why I’m trying it, I want to give you a brief update. I’ve found a family therapist, we’ll call her Elle. She isn’t available for a month, so I’m seeing her June 29. This is fine by me, as I really need to think about how I want to proceed, and also let my husband and Mom know I won’t be involved in this situation anymore unless there is a neutral third party. I just can’t be. So they have to be willing to show up and work with me on this, or I’m not going to hear about it from either of them. I’m not their counselor. This is why I went to find another one. She has years of experience working with families, and has evening and weekend appointments. And, most importantly, can remain way more neutral than I think A would be able to (because I think, first and foremost, A would behave like my therapist, and not our therapist). I’ve never been a fan of having multiple therapists at a time, but in this situation, where hopefully my Mom, husband, and I can have a session together, I think its beneficial as long as I keep my lines drawn. I simply do not need my attachment issues with A getting involved in this situation. That’s messy enough.
Alright, craniosacral therapy. I’m really excited to try it but also very aware that it may bring up shit I don’t want to deal with. So that’s a definite consideration about all this here.
What is it? It’s a form of bodywork, or an alternative therapy, that uses gentle touch to manipulate the joints of the sacrum (pelvis bone) and cranium – hence the name cranial-sacral. A practitioner may also apply light touches to a patient’s spine, and pelvis. It came about from an osteopath and largely comes from the practice of cranial osteopathy.
Essentially, its a bit woo-woo when you get into it (even Sal called it woo-woo, so I feel comfortable doing it myself). The idea is that palpating certain areas of the body and maintaining deep connection with the client can help detect the (asserted – no scientific proof as of yet) small, rhythmic movements of the cranial bones in response to cerebrospinal fluid pressure – and that selective pressures may be used to manipulate the cerebrospinal fluid to assist in the release of tension/stress. The goal is to release stress in those areas that alleviates stress and pain – tension that sometimes we have been holding our whole lives.
Biodynamic craniosacral involves less manipulation than the other version of craniosacral therapy – which is good – when it comes to my head/neck/spine/fluids/whatever I don’t want anyone willy nilly twisting things around anywhere.
What I really like about it is that it involves touch, which has recently been a thing in my therapy (and the more I think about it maybe a thing I don’t want in that relationship). It also involves the creation of a contained and held space for stress to be released. Establishing comfort is a crucial tenant of craniosacral therapy, and ensures that what unfolds in a session is about a client and not occurring in reaction to a feeling of lack of safety.
The therapist quietly and gently holds parts of the body, listening for subtle rhythms and tracking changes within the system – listening to the body’s expression of what it needs. People I’ve talked to about their experiences have relaxed so deeply they fall asleep, entered a quiet meditation state, felt as though they are dreaming while awake, experienced memories and insights, felt like they were floating, and I’ve had two or three people say they felt like this massive energy had been released from within them – letting go of old patterns, and it resulted in them feeling incredibly emotional. One broke down crying in every single session after not being able to cry for years. The whole idea is that it’s body-led – shutting down the mind (ha! As if that’s possible), and letting everything release that needs releasing, while (literally) being held.
And while there isn’t much scientific evidence that I can find to pursue this, there isn’t any that says I shouldn’t, either. I think as with anything else it comes down to connection – if working with Sal can allow that hiding, young, inner part of me to express something its holding on to and improve my quality of life – I’m down.
I’ll let you know how it goes!