What is Cranio Sacral?
Cranio Sacral is based on the fluid system of Cerebral Spinal fluid and its continuous hydraulic system structures ; specifically the connection between the Cranium and the Sacrum in the pelvis.
How long is a session?
A session ranges from 60 minutes and up to several hours possibly 2 depending on what elements make up this session. Every session is unique to the moment in time you visit your practitioners office or space.
An average session with Graham is 75 – 90 minutes including all elements.
What elements might be present in a session?
In every session there seems to be a portion dedicated to speech, verbal communication, and the initial client intake form.
Each time after begins with a check in of the previous session. I refer to this as Tea Time. Following any breaks needed we begin Table work.
This is the place where you participate the most, either through your own relaxation process, a guided meditation, guided visualization and/or breathing exercise. You may often experience the “Ozone layer” a term I adopted from a client who when so relaxed would talk to me as if in their sleep during the session. They didn’t usually recall what was said. And sometimes they would awaken suddenly.
So this ‘waking part of the session will take up some length and over time if you do fall asleep during treatment you will gradualy begin to tract the session more consciously.
There is often an element of music or mantra used during a session to stimulate or sedate the nervous system as needed for optimal effect. Often silence is best.
After the working part you will be awakened and debrief each others experiences verbally.
Often there is an entire ‘mood’ created with insence, lighting, music, stones and such. My personal approach is more minimal and I utilize the bodies energies as best I can. More often elements which create certain moods and states with the use of tools are utilized in Ritual Work and if you are interested please inquire.
What benefits might one expect?
Clarity is often felt after and during a Cranio Sacral session. Where there was fog shrouding an experience in life there is now Light. Or at least the beginnings.
You may feel lighter, more expansion in both your physical body and your mental / emotional experience.
Often in sessions that are heavily based on opening sutures, sinuses, and following protocols you may experience actual release of tissues. Bones, joints and calcified fascia will often break a part or release undo tension during manipulation of the skeletal system.
Cranio Sacral focuses on the bones in the cranium and pelvis. A session may extend into any joint of the body as they affect and mirror these structures. You may anticipate decreases pain and inflammation for a period of time. Depending on any underlying cause of symptoms things do return. Cranio sacral does not seek to cure yet seeks to address the fluid sytems at the core of the body for optimal experience. This is a Holistic approach.
What reasons would someone seek Cranio Sacral?
Many people may find some form of benefit from Cranio sacral work and there are those who may really find relief.
These symptoms find the greatest impact:
Tinnitus. Auto accident.
Whiplash. Emotional trauma.
Scoliosis. TMJ Disorder.
Is Cranio Sacral energy work?
Cranio sacral is both energy work and it is physical work or I might say Anatomical. However our very make up is in fact.. Energy. We know this through several ways of scientific and non-scientific methods. Whether you believe in science or a religious path we can most likely agree that we are made up of atoms that are made out of protons, electrons and nuetrons. All of these particles are vibrating at incredibly high rates and frequencies. We are not consciously aware of these particles. We can postulate that we can feel these fields. If they can be measured, then they can be felt. If they can be split, then they can be manipulated.
Cranio sacral anatomically listens to the ‘fluid tide’ of the cerebral spinal fluid created in the ventricular system of the cranium. We refer to this as “the wave”. This fluid keeps the delicate balance and barrier for the brains stability and abundant output. It balances even the salinity and chemical make up of the environment. So quite literally we are always doing energy work, sometimes this work manifests as very subtle energy and often times the energy is extremely intense and we really feel it!
Do the bones in the skull really move?
The approximate measurement for cranial bone movement or oscillation is between 40 and 100 microns. To give you some perspective a piece of regular printer paper is 100 microns thick. The ability to sense this movement takes time, tuning and tenacity. Some cranial bones move less depending on thier connections to other bones and the type of suture or joint that bone has.
What is the wave that you talk about?
The wave is considered to be the fluid ripple felt by the undulation of the CFS or cerebral spinal fluid. The undulation refers to the creation and reabsorbtion of CFS in the brain cavity, stem and meningeal layers. The meningeal layers or dura mater are made up of 3 destinct layers seperating bone from brain, bone from bone, and creating the aqueduct like structures for CFS to ride upon. One set of structures are called the Ventricals. As the CFS is created it is deposited into the ventrical system and circulates down the brain stem, cord and into the sacral bone of the pelvis. This energy and fluid is drawn back into the cord, stem, then brain to be recycled. This process happens roughly 6-8 and up to very many times per minute. We refer to a pause in this process as a “still point”.
Feeling this wave takes patience.
What reasons are there for working in the mouth?
Cranio Sacral does work a fair amount in the mouth, sometimes the nose and ear canal. Work in the mouth is often determined by the symptoms one has. Headache for example would lead me to do mouth work as many of the sutures or joints attached to bones that often cause headache are located there.
TMJ disorder would be an example of another reason to do mouth work. The temperomandibular joint is well, inside the mouth.
Now you may get to almost anything from the outside. There is alwasy consent given for mouth work in verbal and written form.
What is the benefit to have multiple hands or people present during a session?
There are benefits for multiple parties when many people are present.
One reason I have introduced Multiple hands into the structure of my sessions is for myself to learn how to teach.
Second, to deepen my experience of the session and intensify the amount of energy I might be able to hold during the session. An intention of mine is to channel the energy available and this is how I read the Air for the session. Otherwise I’m going off of the feedback from the client only. This allows me to see more, feel clearer about the intention of the treatment and enhance the clients regeneration.
As the client there is a deep sense of stability, safety, and security. This allows them to deepen their experience of the session and get clear answers to inuiry. You are the healer of your ownself after all. The sage of your own wisdom.
Lastly, the participation of student is enhanced for those learning or interested in this work. In the process of becoming certified in any hands-on technique it is typically required to shadow a senior practitioner.
Often in an unwinding session multiple hands are needed and this is another aspect of multiple hands that you don’t get in a one on one session. The feeling to be totally free in an unwinding and feel utterly supported is often key to many blockages in our psyche.
What is UnWinding?
Unwinding is not simply put. It is simply experienced.
And we’ll try to draw up a nice picture.
When a client begins to unwind we first see a ‘primary’ movement. For example as I hold the back of the clients neck their head turns to the right or left. This may take minutes to happen or it can be right away. Whenever this movement occurs it is felt more or less not at the clients will. There is something “behind” the movement. Something spontaneous. The entire experience is dependant on each element. The client must first and foremost feel safe in order to enter a state of unwinding. The practitioner must be clear in their intention to serve and hold the container that is created.
True unwinding is involuntary. Some unwinding may be more “performance” by the client. Over time you will feel a difference if you are performing and when unwinding truly takes over there is no denying it.
As the unwinding unfolds there is ‘secondary motion’. The body part takes a very different direction and settles into somewhat of a pendulum swing between primary and secondary motions. Often secondary motion is an arc or curve. Primary following more linear aspects.
Other parts of the body may take on as the energy is being dispersed by the CNS or central nervous system. Here is where someone else might step in and support the arm or leg that has joined into the movements or sometime tremors being expressed.
Mouth work may be included here by the teacher or a student is directed. Words may need to be spoken, yelled, cried as this process can be very emotional and then we begin to term this : SER (somato-emotional release).
An SER is blocked or stored emotion in the body. The book, The body keeps the score by Bessel van der Kolk is the best reference for understanding this if it sounds new to you.
Often during an SER the body will go into the traumatic incidents exact body posture. I speak from my own experience of an auto accident that was processed in my body during a meditation. I was in the passenger seat as a tire flew onto our hood and threw the air bags off, striking my chest and front part of my neck. This is where I felt a flush of intense sensation as I released that energy 17 years later during that meditation. For many many years I literally couldn’t sit down for more than a few minutes without be very aggitated.
There will most likely be small signs a person is holding onto ‘a something’. These are the somethings we are hoping to express.