Healing takes effort. Healing requires change. Healing takes time.
Are you living with a chronic disorder or symptom, are you living with pain, do you have 7 different symptoms, are you living with a nervous system and brain that is out of whack? There is unfortunately no magical chemical pill or magical thinking that will make it all disappear. Healing is non-linear. It is a twisting path, it can be 2 steps forward and one back, or 1 forward and 2 back. There can be a relapse, which is usually a good indicator of your triggers, but ultimately it is about the intervals between the symptoms getting longer, it is about change, connecting the dots, growth, resilience and making better choices.
The most FAQ I get is: how many sessions do I need? There are a hundred different answers to that question. Over the years I have learned to say: You will look back in 6 months’ time, and realise how far you have come, but it does require effort, change and time. If I can’t help, I refer on and sometimes a team of practitioners surround the one client. It takes a village to raise a child and sometimes it takes a village to heal a person. Some people come for a few sessions, some for 6 months and some for years.
Four fundamentals why chronic conditions built up over time:
So why does it take time to heal?
The above mentioned 4 fundamentals, change the brain and change our nervous system. You can have 7 different symptoms - digestive, hormonal, anxiety, lower back pain, teeth grinding, food intolerances, sleeping problems and go to the Dr for every symptom, taking a different pill for every ill but if you have a hypothalamus – the master controller of the body - that is out of whack, if you have a limbic system (the unconscious part of our brain) that registers fear all the time, if you have a brainstem that is continuously in fight or flight – it changes the physical landscape of your brain, it changes the way its functions and as our autonomic nervous system is tightly connected to the state of our brain, our nervous system is in a constant state of overload, highly sympathetically aroused, agitated and unable to come into homeostatic balance and be in a safe state. And this might all feel and be normal to you, as it your baseline. This takes time to address.
On the flip side - the shadow side of any kind of healing is that we may want to shift, change and heal but there can also be a strong part in us, that wants to maintain the status quo, that is afraid of change, that wants to keep things as they are, that part that wants to protect us and thinks it is keeping us safe by doing so. This applies in particular when it comes to big ticket items like work, relationships, family and identity. Something needs to change but the risk, payoff or uncertainty is too unknown, feels too unsafe, we know who we are, where we are, so we keep the status quo and work on everything else around it but the fulcrum….…..….That takes time.
How can CST help? What is healing?
Craniosacral addresses the soft tissue, fascia of the body for pain, releasing, melting and unwinding the fascia by changing the nerve receptors in the tissues. There are billions of sensory receptors in our tissues providing direct feedback to the brain. When the brain registers it can let go, tissues soften, melt, open and release the structures that is has been holding: joints, vertrebrae’s, bones, jaw. So good for chronic conditions like frozen shoulders, TMJ, neck and back problems, headaches and migraines but also concussion and whiplash.
The Central Nervous system – brain and spinal cord - drives every single symptom in the body. Craniosacral therapy addresses the central nervous system in an incremental way, allowing the nerve receptor in the fascia to go below their level of switching off, addressing the brainstem – the medulla, pons and midbrain and the different nerve nuclei that live here, it addresses the limbic system, the hypothalamus, the prefrontal cortex, the liquid system in our body, all hands on and in doing so changing the physiology in the body. It also allows the brain to go into deep delta or theta brainwaves, where the subconscious can become conscious and where magic can happen.
Tissues can also have what is known as - tissue memory, where experiences are held and stored in the body, known as a fulcrum or energy cyst in CST (physically felt as a localised area of increased entropy). When this fulcrum remains unresolved, the body has to compensate around it, body, mind and spirit. It can feed back into our nerves, our spinal cord, creating an interference that disrupts us physiologically, creating new pathways and compensatory patterns and it can disrupt us emotionally and mentally. The tissues, this fulcrum can contain an imprint of a memory, of sounds, smells, feelings and of the emotional response we had i.e. anger, fear, where fear may have become our default pattern.
CST can facilitate somatic-emotional release – releasing trapped, stored and imprinted emotions and memories from the body, from the tissues. Our tissues and cells can retain the memory of experienced trauma – known as tissue memory or implicit memory – that operates unconsciously, not something we can think of – that creates a charge in the body, a trigger, a symptom, sometimes this soma-emotional release can be accompanied by dialoguing with the body, where our awareness can become embodied. CST connects you back to your body, to your inner wisdom and out of your head.
My clients often hear me say – your thinking mind is only 5% of who you are, the brain receives up to ten billion pieces of information per second – all this information gets stored and put in order by our brainstem, and much like a relay station, only lets through what is deemed as important for survival - yet how much time do you spend in your thinking mind – best thing you can do is to get out of it and spend time in the 95% of who you truly are.
CST can create these deep ongoing experiences, where you can get to know yourself on a deeper level, creating an embodied awareness and transformative change of thought patterns, behaviours and feelings. Craniosacral is subtle, but its precise listening touch, locating where the body is struggling, where the body hugs the lesion, belies its power.
Putting it all together:
When we have an occasional headache, we take a pill and the headaches disappears, this is what we are accustomed to. Quick pill, quick fix. And we might think we can apply this when anxiety, stress or more chronic, symptoms/diseases start to pop. I was guilty of this myself, and thought surely this trauma that I have, will have blown over by the end of next month……
After 12 years of healing and self-development, I am a much more whole person and version of myself and I am still on the path. My healing has for the most part been in craniosacral therapy, as one of my teachers so adeptly said- CST is a little bit of science and a little bit of magic. As part of my village I also attend other complimentary modalities, from kinesiology to breathwork to retreats.
For me it is a life time purpose, dedication and service. Although the fast and furious is hopefully behind me and I can remain healthy and in calmer waters, we are fluid beings and encounter new things every day. These days my healing is more about going forward after my separation, it is about being vulnerable, boundaries, being sovereign and so much more.
All I know is, that all my healing is something that no nurofen, valium, or any chemical pill could ever do, give, sustain or heal. Sometimes we have to go deep.
The greatest teacher: Life
Diploma - Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy Switzerland – Teacher Friedrich Wolf - Sutherland Model
Upledger – SER 1 Australia – Teacher Erin Riley