I was curious about the reasons people have sought me out for Craniosacral Biodynamics sessions, so I looked through my intakes for sessions given since December 1, 2021.
It’s now March 29, 2022, so this sample spans nearly four months.
The variety is broad. The range includes working with very specific conditions in the tissues, chronic issues, acute issues, energetic issues, mental and emotional issues, imbalances of all sorts, recovery from medical treatment, recovery from illness, stress, and issues caused by stress.
Dr. William Garner Sutherland, DO, 1873-1954, devoted his osteopathic medical career to exploring the craniosacral system, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
The whole field started in 1899 when Sutherland, then a medical student, noticed that the cranial bones seemed designed to breathe, which he explored after becoming a doctor.
His earlier focus was on the bones, fluids, and membranes of the system, a biomechanical way of working.
His research, which he labeled the cranial concept, resulted in the development of the medical specialty of cranial osteopathy.
Dr. Sutherland and other cranial osteopaths that he trained noticed that the fluid in this system moved rhythmically, like tides, influencing every cell from deep inside the body.
They recognized that dynamic processes in the tides could augment the health and vitality of the entire human system.
This way of working with the system’s capacity to seek health came to be called biodynamic. It includes and expands on 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, based on Dr. Sutherland’s earlier work. He coined the term craniosacral therapy.
Legend has it that Dr. Upledger was well aware of the biodynamic aspects of the work, and that he chose to teach just the biomechanical aspects to make it more acceptable to the general public and the mainstream medical establishment of the day.
Today the Upledger Institute is an internationally known and respected training and research facility. Its teachers have taught craniosacral therapy to multitudes of practitioners and benefitted millions of receivers around the planet.
I’ve taken courses with the Upledger Institute and plan to take more.
Franklyn Sills, while an osteopathic student in the 1980s, became fascinated with Dr. Sutherland’s later work and that of other cranial osteopaths whom he taught, which was more holistic at a time when holistic healing modalities were beginning to emerge in Western culture.
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 and trained to teach with Franklyn Sills.
I’ve previously studied both biomechanical and biodynamic CST with Ryan Hallford, creator of The Craniosacral Podcast who is now teaching internationally for Body Intelligence as well as independently.
I’d been having problems falling asleep and staying asleep. After yesterday’s session, I slept much better! ~ LL, November 2021
It’s such a gift 💝 thank you ~ JH, October 2021
“You did such a great job of helping me relieve the issue, I’m so grateful for the change you made in my life. You will always be at the top of my list for referrals for tmj relief and cranial sacral.” ~ BT, July 2021
When I started doing distance sessions at the beginning of the COVID lockdown in March, I would feel energy pouring out of my hands just as I would when doing bodywork with someone in my office, even though the receivers were now at a distance, sometimes in other states.
I didn’t know what to do with it at first with no body in front of me, but I definitely understood it was an indication of me being in a resourced state for healing.
In the 27-hour intensive course I just completed in Long Distance Healing, the instructors called this phenomenon “energy hands”.
It’s fairly common for bodyworkers to experience this energy flowing out their hands, especially when the type of bodywork they practice includes deep listening with their hands, as do craniosacral therapy and Reiki, or if they are also trained in some types of yoga or meditation that cultivate this kind of awareness.
(By the way, distance healing is not craniosacral therapy, which always includes physical touch, but some craniosacral skills transfer over to distance healing.)
With my distance receivers, I started placing my energized hands on the area of the body the receiver had identified as wanting attention. Usually these identified areas are experiencing some form of disconnect from the healthier parts of the body.
Receivers would begin to feel sensations of change in that area: for example, the area would change shape, color, or temperature, pain would lessen or disappear, tension would soften, and sensations would become more diffuse, possibly move to another area, or even bounce around (“Hey, you’re finally looking at me! Yippee!”).
Although our bodies are constantly healing themselves below our level of awareness, in these sessions, receivers sense the healing as it occurs.
To be clear, I don’t heal you. Your own cellular intelligence is the healing power. I show up for you in a resourced state (built on years of yoga, meditation, and studies in how healing works), which your system can entrain to. I show up with presence, curiosity, and some suggestions, as an ally and a witness, with an intent (shared with you) for healing to take place, but no agenda about how that will happen, because it’s your body, your history, your awareness, and your healing.
I have not yet worked with anyone who did not experience a change for the better. I’ve worked with people trying their first energy healing session after Western medicine was unable to help, and I’ve worked with people who are deeply experienced in their own somatic awareness.
We practiced with partners during the training, placing energy hands on our partner’s shoulders and having them say when they felt them and whether they wanted the touch to be more intense or diffuse, and then disconnecting and switching partners.
We also did this with the adrenals, which pump adrenaline and cortisol into our systems, since most of us are feeling some stress and anxiety because of COVID, the economy, our culture, the future, etc.
When my partner held my adrenals, after about a minute, I felt my autonomic nervous system down-regulate into a deeper parasympathetic (rest and digest) state.
That’s another benefit of working with energy hands. I can put my energy hands inside your body, not just on the skin.
I want to do more distance healing sessions. These sessions are collaborative, empowering, use a lot of dialogue, and are based on consent. I cannot do anything to you that you do not allow.
If you’re wondering what it’s about and would like to try it, I’m offering sessions on a donation basis for a limited time. Look at what it’s worth to you, what you can afford, and donate accordingly.
After half an hour, if you don’t think it’s doing anything for you, we’ll end the session without your donation.
When I do distance sessions or craniosacral therapy sessions, I start with my feet plugged into the ground. It’s like my legs and feet form a two-pronged electrical plug, and the ground is an electric outlet.
When I start a session, I am plugged in.
Unlike an electric cord receiving power through the outlet (originating from whatever generates the electricity in the first place at the dam or power plant), in my body, the current flows both ways, from the ground up into me, and from me down into the ground.
Energy from the ground flows up through my system to the crown of my head and out. I think of it as being connected to earth and heaven (as in Chinese medicine).
In the Q’ero belief system, energy flows from the ground up through the body and out the top of the head into the center of the cosmos. It also flows down, from the center of the cosmos through the body and goes to the center of the earth.
In the art of Alex Grey, the energy forms a torus around the body, flowing out of the crown and coming down in an oval or spherical shape and moving back up into the feet, up through the center of the body, out the crown, in a continual flow.
I don’t think about images like this when I work. I’m simply aware that I’m connected to Source, or whatever you want to call it, through my body from feet to crown, because I can feel it. It has a sensation.
It permeates every cell of my body and extends outside my physical body. There’s a strong central channel along the midline of the torso and head, where the chakras are located, seen as balls of colored light in the image above.
This channel is a powerful energetic resource.
Altogether, this energy system may be known as the subtle body (although once you gain some experience with it, it’s not that subtle), or the energy body.
Some yogis talk about the body having sheaths, the densest of which is the physical body, and then the energy body, the mental body, the wisdom body, and the bliss body. I do not experience them as separate.
The energy body is not a new concept — it’s been around for a long time in various cultures. If you had been doing yoga for 30+ years, you would easily sense it in yourself too.
It doesn’t take 30 years, though. You can learn to sense it.
It responds to intent.
More on that in another post, but for now, I will just say that when I am grounded and filled, and we are sharing an intent and holding space for your brilliant cellular intelligence to optimize the places where you feel less present, free, and functional, we create a shared field in which transformation can occur.