In Craniosacral Therapy (CST), the practitioner "listens through the hands" to the body's subtle rhythms and feels for any patterns of inertia or congestion. The practitioner uses gentle pressure to manipulate different areas of the body, especially around the skull and sacrum. This treatment is based on the theory that the central nervous system has subtle, rhythmic pulsations that are vital to health and can be detected and modified by a skilled practitioner. Throughout our lives, stress and trauma create blocks in the body, which disrupt the natural flow and rhythm of our systems and hinder our innate ability to self-heal.
To begin my first treatment, Heidi Gerber laid her hands on multiple points on my body, starting with my ankles and working her way up. At one point, your practitioner may place their arm between your legs and under your sacrum (right above your tailbone) - this is actually less awkward than you might imagine, and immediately relieved some of the tension that I feel pretty consistently in my lower back and pelvis.
As she worked, she asked if I had any issues with my right hip. For as long as I can remember, after I sit for too long, especially in the car, when I attempt to get up my hip goes wonky, for lack of a better term. There’s no popping or cracking, just all of a sudden it’s incredibly painful to put any weight on it - in fact, I really can’t, or I’ll collapse. Because it doesn’t happen that often, I’ve never done anything to address it. The fact that she was able to detect this so quickly was pretty mind-blowing, since I’d never mentioned it to her. As she worked on the area she slightly lifted and supported my right leg, and while I felt a bit of tension at first, it wasn’t uncomfortable.
I did mention that I often felt jaw tension and pain, which she worked on as well. I likely clench my jaw at night, but it tends to be worst when I’m stressed or even just focusing intently on something. Consciously trying to relax it and massaging it never seems to help much. At one point, Heidi gently touched a few different places on my jawline, face and skull - I didn’t realize that she was working on my jaw until it was suddenly relaxed (it had been tense when I arrived for my appointment). I’ve definitely found that since I had the treatment, it’s been easier to consciously release the tension in my jaw and keep it relaxed. Heidi is also able to address TMJ and other issues by working within the mouth, which she does while wearing dental gloves.
CST can be effective in treating a wide range of physical, mental and emotional ailments. While trauma can certainly cause these conditions, many of the restrictions that cause our discomfort occur naturally through our daily living. We tend to hold ourselves in the same positions throughout the day, whether sitting in the car going to work, sitting at our desks hunched over the computer, sleeping in the same positions, carrying our children on the same side of our body, etc...These holding patterns begin to form areas of stagnation in which Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF), blood, lymph, and nutrients such as oxygen, do not flow optimally. Once these restrictions are alleviated, improvements in overall well-being result.
In the days following my initial treatment I felt more relaxed both emotionally and physically, despite the fact that my sleep was interrupted by my dog’s stomach bug (she’s ok now, don’t worry). According to Heidi, significant progress can be made in the initial session, but she recommends 3-5 sessions so the body doesn’t revert back into a state of dysfunction.
Like many treatments that involve releasing toxins and blockages, it's common to experience a range of emotions during or following a treatment - this didn’t happen for me, but I’ve done quite a bit of releasing and processing over the past few weeks, so it’s likely I just didn’t have much left (and was able to simply enjoy the deeply relaxing, healing experience). I would absolutely recommend this treatment to anyone who feels blocked, stuck or in pain, whether physically or emotionally (or both). Click here to request an appointment with Heidi. And as always, if you have any further questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!