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.