What is Biodynamics?

Biodynamics is a western approach to wellness. Osteopath William Sutherland (1873-1954) began exploring the dynamics of the skull and its membranes and fluids, establishing the field of cranial osteopathy, from which craniosacral therapy and biodynamics evolved.

After years of sitting quietly with patients, listening to their body-mind systems, Sutherland and other cranial osteopaths became aware that something other than tissue manipulation was helping their patients heal from all kinds of conditions. They learned over time that the more they just listened and the less they tried to do, the more their patients’ inherent healing processes took over, returning their systems to healthier functioning. Over time they learned how to support and augment the healing process with their presence, attention, discernment, and intent.

This way of healing came to be called craniosacral biodynamics, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, or just biodynamics. As a separate modality from cranial osteopathy, it’s been in existence for nearly 40 years. Although biodynamics shares some elements with biomechanical craniosacral therapy, it focuses more on perceptual awareness of the fields in and around us.

Biodynamics resonates with Buddhist and Taoist beliefs about emptiness, form, transformation, compassion, and oneness.

Biodynamics: healing from the inside out

I started studying craniosacral biodynamics in early 2013, after a friend asked me why I wasn’t a craniosacral therapist, which was the right question to get me into a Biodynamics workshop three days later! I found some of it over my head (I’d only had my massage license for seven months then), and a lot of it very intriguing. I wanted to know more.

Since then, I’ve taken every Biodynamics class Ryan Hallford teaches, twice. My understanding deepens with repetition. Biodynamics is a huge paradigm shift from technique-oriented massage and bodywork. It’s difficult to gain mastery of Biodynamics, taking years for most people.

Why does learning Biodynamics and offering it to my clients matter? Well, if I told you that some seasoned cranial osteopaths had stumbled onto the secrets of hands-on healing, and that others can learn this most basic form of healing, wouldn’t you want to know more? Even though it may take years to be able to get good results, I am interested! learning it keeps my life interesting and expanding, and receiving it improves my health. As a recipient, it amplifies one’s ability to heal from issues that may not respond to conventional treatment.

I love this work. It’s about presence and discovery. I have the privilege of being a teaching assistant for Ryan and Christian Current, my office mate and an experienced biodynamic therapist who is now co-teaching with Ryan. Things happen in the trainings when six or more of us are trading practice sessions at the same time! Ryan guides us through these sessions verbally and energetically, and because of his guidance and the group energy, we have breakthroughs that otherwise would not happen.

I’ve had breakthroughs at the two most recent trainings I’ve assisted with, and those breakthroughs have set me on fire to advance my skills! I’ve been using most of my spare time to work with a mentor, practice on people, read textbooks, listen to audio files and podcasts, watch DVDs, and orient toward various aspects of these healing forces in hours of meditation.

You may be wondering, what is Biodynamics?

  • An offshoot of cranial osteopathy, Biodynamics is based on finding the health in your system. You have an inherent healing ability, and we work with your body’s wisdom to heal from the inside out.
  • When you experience shocks in your life (accidents, injuries, traumas), your field intelligently compensates to protect you, yet sometimes these compensations linger much longer than they need to, affecting the flow of health.
  • Working with your inherent healing process with a little support from me (or any therapist working biodynamically), your body can release these compensations and align with optimal health.

“Seek health in your patients. Any fool can find the disease.” — A.T. Still, founder of osteopathy

How does a Biodynamics session work?

  • You’ll be fully clothed, lying comfortably on your back on a massage table, and I connect with light touch. We’ll talk before and after, but much of our session will be in silence and stillness. If you need to communicate anything, please do.
  • Meanwhile, I’m getting myself centered and grounded, deepening the relational field between us, sensing into larger supportive fields around us, listening deeply to your system, recognizing what I’m listening to, and conversing with your innate healing process silently. My work is mostly perceptive.
  • During the session, depending on your level of awareness and sensitivity, you may sense things happening in your body. These shifts are your innate healing ability working intelligently to return you to health. You may feel very relaxed and even dip into sleep.
  • After a session, your system may feel more coherent, balanced, and organized, less plagued by old injuries and conditions and wounds, renewed.
  • Clients report benefitting from their first session, and three or more sessions allow our relational field to strengthen and our sessions together to deepen. After three sessions we can evaluate whether and how continuing to work together can be helpful for your specific conditions.

What does it make possible? The world is full of suffering, and it is also full of overcoming. Biodynamics helps with the overcoming. It improves the quality of life of recipients and through the ripple effect, their families and associates benefit. It helps to make individuals and the world a better place.