Aug 19, 2015

What the Heck is Craniosacral Therapy, Anyway?

When pondering how to describe Craniosacral work, a few phrases keep bumping into me, but it's difficult to put an experience so indescribable into words.  Words just don't do it justice, and seem to take the experience of craniosacral therapy out of it's limitless possibility and put it oh-too-neatly into the box of our known, and very limited, language.

Still, I'll try.   The words that continually float to the surface and therefore the page are:  Stillness,  Witness, Intuition

Craniosacral work can look to the observer like the most subtle, innate, non-proactive bodywork therapy there is.  And in a way, that's true.  The client lies on their back on a massage table, dressed, relaxed, often quiet, while the practitioner may sit for extended periods of time with their hands on their head or feet, often with nothing but almost imperceptible movements and long moments where time seems to stand still.  

What the heck?  

But wait:  The coolest thing happens when you lie very still -  just you, your breath, your heartbeat, your thoughts, and the subtlest hint of all the myriad movements and rhythms happening automatically in your body.  It's quite the circus in there, and then some.  When was the last time you listened to ALL of it?  Your fluids, tissues, bones, nerves, organs moving and ticking and humming and processing?  How much could you hear or sense?  Then, double that. Lie there with someone else listening in too.  Not just another occupier of space, but an extremely present, attentive, focused, aware and open human being, who's entire purpose in the moment is to hold space for the wisdom of your body to get to speak up and be heard, to be witnessed in it's entirety, to do it's dance. 

Something magical happens when a skilled and experienced practitioner has the ability and wisdom to hold nothing but possibility for the body's own natural healing instincts - or what I call Resource -  growth, and integration to unfold, and with the express awareness that the body is completely running the show, and is doing EXACTLY what it needs.

Have you ever felt in a total quandary, then spoke your mind to a trusted friend or colleague, only to come to an a-ha moment of clarity simply from being witnessed and heard by a trusted friend encouraging you with openness and presence?  It's like that:  the body has an amazing capacity to seek and find the most efficient way of being with whatever circumstances it's given.  But given the chance to look deeper and discover even more possibility for accessing internal resources, and the body thrives!

The biggest challenge for the practitioner is not What To Do or How To Do It, but how to get out of the way.   How to get out of one's OWN way.  No agenda, no playing Doctor or God, no matter how much training or education funneled the fix-it method into those fingers.   The most challenging part:  it basically all comes down to trust.  How deeply and completely can one trust the body's healing capabilities?  Like most healers, I too am guilty.  Every time I've worked with someone and felt myself looking for some result, some way to help, to fix so I can feel I've done my work well - it stalls.  It's almost as if the body knows better.  And believe me, it does.  It's what I love about this work.  I'm constantly kept in check, humbled, awed.  My knowledge, experience, skill have nothing on the intricate workings of the human body.  Thank God.