The Pond That Is You
The pond that is you
You show up for your first CranioSacral Therapy appointment. The room is low lit, the therapy table is dressed in a plush warm blanket, you hear the low chime of a calm song.
It looks like naptime.
You shared your story with me a few days ago by phone; you were in a car accident, or you have chronic neck pain, you are feeling daily anxiety, or maybe your sister had profound results with CST and you thought you’d try too.
Though you are used to deep tissue massage and enjoy the pain of contact with your aching muscles; here you are.
You have read that this therapy is subtle, but what does that even mean, really?
You settle in on the table; fully clothed and comfortable. I lightly place my hands at your ankles, then to your thighs, your hip bones, your ribs, your shoulders, and finally your head.
My touch is broad and steady, yet gentle.
In my initial palpation you wonder “why is her touch so light?”
A practitioner palpates a client in order to learn what is happening beneath the skin.
Palpation is an assessment tool. Its weight of pressure matches the purpose of the work.
Your chiropractor is palpating to feel bone and so her depth of pressure will meet that structure’s density. Your deep tissue massage therapist is palpating to find where your muscle tissue is tight and ideally meets that tight muscle with some weight. They pass by the level where they sense your fluid system of lymph and they aren't palpating for your craniosacral system.
In CST, I’m palpating a fluid system; the flow of cerebrospinal fluid as it travels from your brain along your spine to sacrum and back to your brain - the fluid in your craniosacral system.
When I am checking for a healthy flow, it is as if I am placing my hands into a pond and relaxing to a point where I don't cause ripples.
If I apply pressure I would then be adding waves to your fluid. Creating noise; I wouldn’t be able to hear how your fluid moves.
My touch is light because the system I’m sensing requires a neutral, present and passive palpation style.
CranioSacral Therapy gently addresses the physical restrictions of your fascia, muscles, connective tissue and bones so that your CS system can optimally function. During initial palpation, I check for the fluid rhythm and sense where you have restrictions. Any restriction within your musculoskeletal system alters the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
Freeing strain from old injuries, or distorted patterns of motion, frees up the pathway for your CS fluid.
Imagine a stream flowing and place in your picture some rocks and logs obstructing the stream’s path. Perhaps it is slowed or it pools and winds around the rocks, but it still runs.
Your CSfluid will do the same.
It will flow despite restrictions and your body is so intelligent that it will find a way to compensate for the rocks and logs.
Over time and with repetitive injuries, or a decade of held tension, this compensation comes at a price.
Often that price is physical pain like migraines, or the anxiety experienced when we are stuck in the sympathetic state of stress.
In a CranioSacral session, I gently listen to your body let go.
The CSfluid can then flow freely and optimally and this triggers your own healing process.
Your body has the capability to let go of the physical holding pattern that brought you to your deep tissue massage therapist in the first place.
You let go of a twenty year old shoulder injury or an acute strain to your sacrum postnatal.
The CSfluid flows without barriers and your entire system is encouraged to find balance, not compensation, and not temporary relief, but to find your stasis of pain free living.
There is really nothing subtle about a life lived free.