I first sought craniosacral therapy in 2007 to recover from lingering injuries to both my cranium and my sacrum from a car accident.
I’d also heard it might be helpful for recovering from the residues of past trauma.
Although I knew very little about it, I was blessed to be working with one of Austin’s most experienced craniosacral therapists, Nina Davis.
Since I had no idea how it worked, I started asking myself what differences I noticed after each session. I felt calmer and more centered, less reactive, with more resilience.
During one session in particular, I became more relaxed than I knew was even possible.
I got regular sessions for about three years, experiencing a steady increase in vitality and well-being.
During that time, my therapist, who had previously studied the biomechanical style, was also studying Biodynamics. I didn’t know the difference then or care.
I just knew these sessions were helping me get healthier. The monthly sessions worked subtly yet cumulatively and helped my body-mind system release those residues of trauma and align itself better from the accident.
It also reset my nervous system into a more deeply relaxed state at rest, which fed an interest in meditation.
I decided to go to massage school in 2011 with no intent of becoming a craniosacral therapist. Out of curiosity about how it worked, however, I took an overview course on (biomechanical) craniosacral therapy while still a student.
While trading with a fellow student, I felt a surge of sensations in my hands. I was intrigued.
Becoming a craniosacral therapist
Six months after becoming licensed, a chance encounter with a stranger staring at a mysterious bone led to a conversation in which I learned about biodynamic craniosacral therapy.
That was on a Monday, and I was in a Biodynamics class that Thursday. I studied both forms of craniosacral therapy with Ryan Hallford from 2013-2018. Ryan also taught me some of the intraoral work I use in TMJ Relief sessions.
I took several courses from the Upledger Institute (biomechanical), 2016-2019.
Now, in 2021, I’m studying Biodynamics with Roger Gilchrist’s Wellness Institute.
That stranger was David Harel, whose office I now occupy, sharing a suite with Nina for a time, and now Christian Current and Liz Baker, both craniosacral therapists.
That mysterious bone was a sphenoid, which lies behind your eyes and in front of your ears, reaching out to your temples and down to the back of your upper jaw.
It includes a little saddle for the pituitary gland.
If there was a beauty contest for bones, the sphenoid would win, hands down, in my opinion.
Did you even know this exists inside your head?
What’s the difference between biodynamic and biomechanical craniosacral therapy?
Dr. William Garner Sutherland, DO, 1873-1954, devoted his medical career to exploring the craniosacral system, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. His earlier work focused on the bones, fluids, and membranes of the system, a biomechanical way of working.
His research resulted in the creation of the medical specialty of cranial osteopathy.
Dr. Sutherland and other cranial osteopaths noticed that the fluids in this system, deep inside the body influencing every cell, moved rhythmically in tide-like motions.
They recognized that these dynamic processes augment the health and potency of the entire human energy system.
This way of working with the system’s capacity to seek health came to be known as biodynamics. It includes Dr. Sutherland’s earlier discoveries about the biomechanics of the system.
In the 1970s, Dr. John Upledger, DO, began to teach non-doctors how to work on people biomechanically. He coined the term craniosacral therapy.
Today the Upledger Institute is an internationally known and respected training and research facility that has brought craniosacral therapy to multitudes of recipients.
Franklyn Sills, while an osteopathic student, became fascinated with Dr. Sutherland’s later work and that of the cranial osteopaths he influenced.
Sills began teaching biodynamic craniosacral therapy to non-doctors in the 1990s. Read his history of craniosacral biodynamics here.
My current Biodynamics teacher, Roger Gilchrist, studied biodynamics with Franklyn Sills.