Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a healing technique that puts us in direct contact with the ‘breath of life’, the life force that pervades the body known as Prana or Chi in other cultures. Dr. William Garner Sutherland, an osteopath, became inspired when he observed the bones of the skull, and came up with the theory that they were designed to allow for the movement of breathing. (He referred to the primary breathing motion, and not pulmonary respiration). Over many years Dr. Sutherland worked to shape what is now known as the craniosacral concept. In the early years his research was only studied in osteopathy schools.
It took many more years, thanks to the contributions of Dr. Upledger and Franklyn Sills and others, that CranioSacral Therapy (CST) became a separate discipline. Originally, the main focus was biomechanical: the movement of skull bones and membranes, fluctuations in cerebrospinal fluid, involuntary movement of the sacrum and the rhythms, also known as ‘tides’ produced by the ‘Breath of Life’, the primary respiratory cycle. This led to the creation of a set of techniques that helped to establish the movement of structures and the flow of fluids, which are learned in basic training at CST. In CST there are three basic tides: the cranial rhythmic impulse, half tide, and long tide. The concept of tide alludes to the concept of ebbing and flowing, but also the contrast between waves on the shore having one rhythm, with the longer rate of lunar tides below. The tide incorporates not only fluctuation of the cerebral spinal fluid, but of a slow oscillation in all the tissues of the body, including the skull. In his later years, Dr. Sutherland said, “Trust in the tide”, and this opened up another dimension of CST that has become known as biodynamics. CST becomes the art of listening and providing compassionate support to the healing power within the patient. The therapist steps aside alowing the healing to unfold and the therapist and client move together to the subtle rhythms of the primary respiration. This is a young therapy that continues to provide revelations and inspiration to those that approach it with an open mind and heart, capturing the whisperings of the spirit through the cells of our body.
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