The History of Craniosacral Therapy
In the early 1900s, Osteopath William Garner Sutherland, DO (1873-1954) discovered that the body expresses itself in a series of subtle tide like rhythms, expressed in our fluids, bones, organs and tissues. Every cell within the body breathes, inhaling and exhaling within the tidal cycles. This breath-like movement, called Primary Respiration, precedes the secondary respiration of the lungs that starts at birth. Together it amounts to a tremendous potency known as ‘The Breath of Life’. In other traditions, this fundamental life force is called ‘Chi’, ‘Ki’ or ‘Prana’.
Through extensive experimentation, these early Osteopaths recognized that when this ‘Life Force’ has full expression, many conditions improve. ‘Craniosacral’ specifically indicates the importance of the central structures of the body including cranium, spine and sacrum. The essence of Craniosacral Biodynamics therefore is to listen to the deep forces of life that are present in all of us, rather than just the effects of these forces, such as the symptoms of a disease. I listen with my hands to the expansion and contraction of these rhythmic tides. It is a manifestation of a primary intelligence that is expressed in nature as well.
At times of stress, our body’s vitality is centred in a protective manner around the initial distress. Patterns of tension show themselves as restrictions and compressions in the tissues and in the easily stimulated nervous system. As stresses accumulate, they hinder well-being and become locked in the body as unresolved issues.
Histories are held in contracted tissues and overactive minds. With this work, we become more present to ourselves, bringing acceptance and compassion to our experience.
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