|What Is CranioSacral Therapy
|What is Craniosacral Therapy?
by Eileen Yocheved Hande, BS MA
Published in "Natural Awakenings", PBC June 2010
most of my life, I had been an active, avid athlete and physical
educator/sports instructor. I also loved getting massages. They
just felt great getting them and felt great afterwards. When
I moved down to Florida 18 years ago, I followed my dream of
becoming a massage therapist. I learned all the physiological
benefits of massage, which made total sense: increasing blood
circulation and oxygen to the cells, gently mobilizing the lymphatic
fluids to promote cleansing, helping to relax tight muscles
to avoid injury and maximize performance, and in recent years,
the profound benefits of just getting into a state of relaxation.
However, I had no idea of what was in store for me on my journey
When I moved to Florida, my dad had just died and I was experiencing
what I later learned were panic attacks. Through my intense
study of craniosacral therapy, which is a unique hands-on manual
therapy that utilizes a light energetic touch to release the
physical and emotional holding patterns of the body, I experienced
profound healing. Through my personal experience and those of
my clients, I began to learn that what we call the body, is
not just a physical presentation of bones, muscles, and nerves.
Our organs, tissues, and cells actually store emotional memories
whether they are sad, terrifying, traumatic, or embarrassing
etc. They are just hanging out in the body as energy cysts.
We don’t even know they exist. As a matter of fact, there
could be events stored in our body that we don’t even
know happened! These energy cysts actually generate energy up
to the mind in thought forms from past events that can adversely
effect our present moments. In other words, our stored tissue
memory from the past can be effecting how we respond in the
present. Several years ago, a waitress was referred to me who
cried every time her boss yelled at her. She was confused and
frustrated that this kept happening. In one session, we were
able to identify a fear energy that had been stuck in her body
many years ago when her father yelled at her as a little girl.
Every time her boss yelled at her, that old energy was effecting
how she was responding in the present. Once she processed that
scene and we released the energy, she called me the next day
to tell me that she didn’t cry anymore. You can only imagine
how grateful and happy she was.
Energy cysts cannot only effect our emotions, they can hold
tissue hostage, causing pain and dysfunction, as well as changes
on a cellular level. These changes can compromise our immune
system making us more susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and
even cancer, God forbid. I have actually helped patients, along
with divine inspiration, to get to the core of the emotional
issues that are driving their cancer. I have dialogued with
tumors; believe me – they have a lot to say. These blocked
energies, can also create hardened fascia, the connective tissue
that surrounds all other tissues and cells of the body, be they
muscle, nerve, bone, and even the brain, and hold them hostage.
These energy cysts make it more difficult for the tissues and
organs to function because it creates stiffness, inflammation,
and toxicity. This is exactly what craniosacral therapy is addressing.
Can you only imagine the problems that can occur if an energy
cyst is in one’s jaw, along the spine, in the brain, lungs,
foot, knee, etc? TMJ, sciatica, neck and shoulder pain, back
pain, migraine headaches all can be helped with craniosacral
therapy. I have had patients with many of these problems over
the years. Oftentimes, there is no emotional overlay, it is
purely a physical, energetic release that relieves the pain,
frees up the joints, eliminates the headaches and on and on.
I have helped infants experiencing colic or constipation issues
with their birth trauma. I had a 5 week old that had been diagnosed
with Torticollis, a severe stiff neck from the umbilical having
been wrapped around his neck. After one treatment, the condition
was gently resolved!
actually had a pain management doctor as a patient who was hit
by a car while riding his bicycle. He was suffering from headaches
on the left side of his head and pain and stiffness in his left
shoulder. Except for periodic relief from shots and pills, nothing
was really getting to the cause of his symptoms. In his desperate
yearning to have his body and life back, he began exploring
“complementary” alternative medical therapies, and
found me on the web. With CST, I was able to connect him gently
along with his body back to the moment of impact and help unwind
the trauma energy out of his body. He made great progress, is
working out and sees me now only on an “as needed basis”.
When treating him, I went back and forth between the deep myofascial
and muscular massage work, electrotherapy point stimulation,
and the gentle, profound craniosacral therapy. I find many times
that the integration of these therapies all work together toward
a successful outcome. I asked him if he had received any training
in the role that fascia plays in pain and rehab, and his answer
was no, not really.
We are made up of a complex web of fascia. A connective tissue
matrix surrounds the brain, spinal cord, and all the muscles,
nerves, and organs of the body. It looks like a Spider Man costume.
Because we are one facial system, tensions in a knee could pull
and affect someone’s shoulder or jaw. Our goal, as craniosacral
therapists, is to help release the energetic tensions that are
compromising the healthy functioning of the body.
How does this energy come in? We have found that usually, there
is a physical strain and exertion at the same time there is
an emotional thought or event. The anger or emotion locks the
energy in like crazy glue. A car accident is a perfect example.
I have had over a hundred patients who have had car accidents.
The energy from the force created by the collision can get stuck
in the body – the panic, fear and gripping of the wheel,
the resultant tossing around of the body, the pressure of the
foot to brake the car, etc. Need I go on? It also takes energy
from the body to hold these energy cysts. When the energy first
comes in, it is chaotic and the body, in an attempt to protect
it self from any further collateral damage, walls it off into
what Dr. Upledger, the father of CST, coined as an energy cyst.
Another case in point was a 41-year-old woman who came to me
for craniosacral therapy, who was suffering from panic attacks,
and always anxious and experiencing an inner tension, could
never just relax. She had heard from a friend that this work
was very relaxing, so she wanted to try it. While in the session,
I discovered a primary energy cyst in her body near her stomach.
Through the deep relaxation and SomatoEmotional Release protocols,
I encouraged her to journey down with me and experience the
energy that was stuck there. Sure enough, all of a sudden, images
of a lake slowly unfolded in her mind and she was back at 15
years of age at a summer camp, swimming in a lake. What happened
next was very shocking to her. Her swimming instructor, who
was a man of about 45 years of age, who she had totally forgotten
about, started fondling her. She had totally repressed and forgotten
this event. In this work, the goal is to assist the release
of these memories and energies from the tissue. Her entire adult
life she had been an alcoholic and she never could understand
why. She was suppressing the shame and self-hate that she felt
towards herself. In the session, with her permission, she had
an opportunity to say what ever she felt needed to be said to
this instructor. Of course, I am simplifying the session, but
I encouraged her also to get cognitive therapy to assist her
in processing her feelings, etc.
Once the energy leaves, body rebalancing, self-healing, and
transformation can happen. It is a beautiful process to help
facilitate. Therefore, although the intention of a craniosacral
therapist is not to necessarily release these emotional energy
cysts, sometimes they are just ready to be released and the
client will start spontaneously crying. However, this is exactly
what the goal of craniosacral therapy is. To assist the client
in freeing up the energy holding patterns in the body that needn’t
be there anymore, and to allow self healing to begin. Once these
tissue memories and energies are released from the body, your
body feels lighter and the energy used to hold these tensions
are now freed up for healing and life’s productive, creative
activities. There is no one that couldn’t benefit from
the deeply relaxing and releasing work of craniosacral therapy.
Eileen Yocheved Hande is a Certified CranioSacral Therapist
in practice for the last 18 years. She has an office in Boca
Raton, Fla., and she can be reached at 561-715-6185.