How Biodynamic CST works for serious health challenges

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is in the same family of manual therapies as original osteopathy, cranial osteopathy, and craniosacral therapy. 

Although its roots go back to 1899, the current form began in the 1980s.

Reducing the stress load

Imbalances and strains on our bodies come from stressors of all kinds. Until they dissipate, they maintain a stress load in the system.

The human stress response helps us stay alive in the face of threats. Ideally the system returns to a relaxed state when threats are not present. Overwhelming stress can make this difficult. 

Our systems’ self-healing capabilities activate in states of relaxation, not in states of stress. Chronic and acute stress may remain in place long after onset — until given an alternative. 

Inviting the system to reorganize

A biodynamic craniosacral therapist palpates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in a patient’s body. This fluid flows rhythmically and is located deep inside the body. A therapist can pick up the motion and read this rhythm anywhere in the body. 

After establishing rapport with a patient and their system, the therapist invites the rhythm to go into a still point — a pause in the rhythm.

A still point may last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes or even hours while the intelligence within considers how to reorganize toward greater health.

Then the rhythm returns with more balance, ease, and vitality.

Reading the rhythm can also show a therapist where the system is constrained locally, for example in a joint or bone or soft tissue.

The therapist invites these imbalances in the rhythm to pause. As with still points, the patient’s system reorganizes locally toward more balance and ease. 

Sometimes these shifts occur spontaneously during sessions without still points. It’s as if the deep relaxation and gentle touch of the therapist’s hands encourage strains that are ready to release to do so.

Freeing healing resources

Releasing strains reduces the stress load, freeing up even more healing resources in the system to get to work.

Patients who have been living with stress often report feeling more resilient after each session and that regular sessions work cumulatively, accelerating stress reduction and recovery.

In this manner, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy may be considered healing from the inside out. It works well alongside other health-building practices such as good nutrition, staying hydrated, movement, sleep, meditation, yoga, and other treatments.

What you can expect in a session

After you have checked in with your present physical, emotional, mental, energetic state, you’ll get on the massage table. You’ll remain clothed, minus shoes, belt, and big jewelry.

The therapist will help you feel comfortable, with a bolster, pillows, a blanket, or a table warmer, as preferred. She will invite you to tune into your breath and to let your body weight surrender to gravity, letting the table provide all the support you need.

The therapist will take a little time to prepare herself and then she will place her hands gently on your body and tune in to your subtle rhythms.

She may change positions several times during a session.

You may simply rest and be softly aware of sensations in your body, changes in breathing, and other indicators of transformation.

Sometimes patients are aware of strains releasing. Sometimes the work is so relaxing, patients fall asleep. It’s interesting to hear the patient’s experience.

The therapist will let you know when the session is nearing its end.

Afterwards, it’s always a good to idea to check in again and notice what’s different. After leaving, you may want to take some time to relax and integrate the work.


I invite you to work with me!

MaryAnn Reynolds, MS, LMT, BCTMB
Austin, Texas
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy • TMJ Relief
online scheduler: maryannreynolds.as.me
text or voicemail: 512-507-4184

What people are saying about Biodynamics…

~ LD, January 2022

I’d been having problems falling asleep and staying asleep. After yesterday’s session, I slept much better! ~ LL, November 2021


Facebook post and text from long-time client LM, October 2021

After trading biodynamic sessions with AA, October 2021

From long-time client LD, October 2021

Two texts from MG, October 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




I invite you to work with me!

MaryAnn Reynolds
Austin, Texas
maryannreynolds.as.me
512-507-4184 (text or voicemail)

Living in your hands

This post quotes Mark Nepo’s lovely book, The Book of Awakening, which has a reading for each day of the year.

The reading for May 2 starts with this:

Live in your hands
and your mind will learn
to bow like a root.

Nepo’s friend had studied in depth the heart and the mind and the give/take and push/pull between them. A very old sage’s last instructions to her were to “Live in your hands.”

His friend, who didn’t know anything about stonework, found herself building a stone chapel, the chapel that had been waiting in her heart.

Another friend must touch flowers she sees. He watches and notices that doing this opens her a little further.

“To live in our hands humbles our mind into accepting something other than itself. It is how we heal each other and ourselves. We call come alive through a Braille of heart.”

This speaks to me so deeply. I work with my hands. I didn’t used to. When I work, I live in them. I am so much more alive and connected to life than I was before.

The hands are extensions of the heart.

Go touch some flowers. Give someone a foot or neck massage. Touch a tree. Pick up a stone. Bring your hands together in prayer position.

Or just close your eyes and pay attention to your hands’ sensations.

Using energy hands for distance healing

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”.

Courtesy of namastest.net.

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.

Courtesy of psychiclibrary.com.

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.

Click here to schedule a session.

If you’d like to talk first, you can schedule a 15-minute phone consultation. Click here to schedule a phone consultation.

What happens to me when I work with you: grounding and filling

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.

Spiritual Energy

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.