Like the cardiovascular system, the digestive system, and other systems in the human body, everyone has a craniosacral system. This system consists of the bones, membranes, and fluids that surround your central nervous system — your brain and spinal cord.
Cerebrospinal fluid is produced in the brain in a tide-like, rhythmic manner. Craniosacral therapists can feel this subtle rhythm. It is palpable bodywide. It’s subtle but not magic — most of us learn to sense it in an hour or two of training.
With experience, we learn to read its qualities (weak, strong, fast, slow, whether it’s symmetrical in both sides of the body, etc.). These qualities vary from person to person, day to day, even moment to moment.
Still points occur when this rhythm pauses. They occur naturally and spontaneously. It feels as if the system is gathering resources during these pauses.
Still points can also be induced biomechanically or invited biodynamically, depending on the craniosacral therapist’s training or preference. I prefer the biodynamic way.
Someone experiencing a still point may enter a state of internal stillness that feels deeply peaceful.
When the rhythm resumes, it feels as if the body has reorganized itself in the direction of greater health and well-being.
Still points can last for a few seconds or much longer. I’ve had clients stay in a still point for an hour.
The poet T.S. Eliot wrote about this pause in 1936. I am not aware of whether he was familiar with craniosacral still points, although they were known to cranial osteopaths at the time.
He captures the in-between state, the pause, the gathering, well in these words: