Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

The incredible health benefits of Craniosacral Therapy

Check out this great video explanation of Craniosacral Therapy.


Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

 Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST)  is a healing modality that takes your body out of the sympathetic state  and into the parasympathetic state. The transition from fight-flight to  rest-digest is imperative to healing. Without that transition, the body  is unable to go from maintenance mode to repair mode and therefore is  unable to heal. When you are ill you are resting and sleeping all the  time because that is the only state that will allow for healing to  happen. 

*From the website*

With this in mind, I have tried to develop an explanation of BCST  that would also make sense from a western medical paradigm. The  explanation, therefore, begins with explaining a part of the nervous  system, specifically the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and its two  branches: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. The ANS functions at the subconscious level to maintain homeostatic  vital functions. It’s in charge of most organ functions that keep us  alive moment to moment that we never have to think or worry about.

Some examples are blood pressure, blood flow, body temperature, breathing, and digesting and eliminating food.

The ANS has two divisions: the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.  The sympathetic emerges from the middle part of the spine spanning from  the level of the shoulders to the level of the belly button and is  responsible for what is called the “fight-or-flight” state.

If there is a bear chasing you, you’re running fast, furiously,  efficiently, and effectively thanks to your sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic is its counterpart.

It’s often called the “rest-and-digest” state. It emerges from parts of the brainstem and parts of the sacrum (your “tailbone”). It is responsible for replenishing resources and repairing any part  of the body that has suffered during the day, which includes any stress  that has burdened the body in some way.  Ideally, these two divisions of the ANS balance each other out. For  every stressful experience that activates the sympathetic nervous  system, there should be an equal amount of downtime for the  parasympathetic nervous system to kick in and repair the damage.  Unfortunately often our modern world does not afford us that time. So  the nervous system (NS) has to prioritize what is important to deal  with immediately and what can wait to be dealt with in another moment.


The priority list is as follows:

1. Your vital functions. It’s fundamental that your  heart keeps beating, that you take in oxygen and get rid of carbon  dioxide efficiently, and that your kidneys filters your blood, etc.  Nothing takes priority over maintaining vital functions.

2. What you subject your nervous system to. If you  are running to work, your nervous system has to adapt by making sure  your body can keep up with the demands you are putting on it in the  moment. If it didn’t, you’d likely pass out in the middle of the street  because your cells would not be getting enough oxygen (one of the many  things that would go wrong if your nervous system didn’t pay attention  to the increase in metabolic demands placed on it as you raced to work).

3. Your emotions. If you’re angry, your nervous  system has to accommodate for the increase in heat and metabolic needs  that are required to be angry. If you’re depressed, your nervous system  has to accommodate to the decrease in oxygen because you are breathing  not as deeply as you usually do. Less oxygen = less energy.

4. Your past injuries, both physical and emotional.  Sadly, last on the list are all the things that happened in the past. So  anything that is not happening right now is included in “the past.”  Your nervous system gives priority always to what is happening right  now. If it’s not happening now and you are in a state of stress, it will  be stored and addressed later.

The only problem with this beautifully designed system is that the  system is organized around the idea that there will be downtime every  day to address the stressors that have been stored. If there is no downtime, past injuries  continue to be stored long term in the tissues of the body. And, as you  can imagine, there is a limit to how much can be stored in the tissues  before damage starts to manifest as a consequence of storing.  Bear in mind that the body is always oriented toward health and does  its best to keep you functioning at your most optimal state with the  conditions it is presented with. So if you are stressed or ill, it is still oriented toward optimal  functioning and health within the parameters and resources available to  it, even though from your perspective your body is not working as well  as it “should” or “used to.”

Before I address what biodynamic craniosacral therapy is, I have to  address one more component of the ANS and the sympathetic and  parasympathetic states.

The function of the central nervous system (CNS) in general is to  keep you alive. Included in this is a built-in ability to sense and  judge danger vs. safety. When you are in danger your sympathetic nervous system turns on and  you prepare to either fight or run away. When you are safe, you can rest  and so your sympathetic nervous system turn off and the parasympathetic  nervous system turns on.

How do you know if you are safe or in danger?

If you think about it for a second, it’s not entirely obvious all the  time. There often isn’t a clear sign that says you are in danger or you  are safe. You could be taking the same route to work that you’ve taken a  hundred times before and you suddenly feel like something’s not quite  right. Within a couple of seconds from out of nowhere a car slams into  your car.

Where did that feeling come from and what part of you was aware of the incoming danger?

The feeling came from your nervous system, and it was your nervous system that was aware of the incoming danger.

The nervous system evaluates itself and its external environment every 1/100 of a second.

It does this for two reasons: first, to make sure all systems are  functioning and performing as they should on the inside of the body and  second, to be sure that it (you) is safe.

Back, a long time ago, when we had to worry about being attacked by  other creatures in nature, our nervous system was the “sixth sense” that  kept us well informed of when it was time to start running.


How does a biodynamic craniosacral therapist take the body from the sympathetic state to the parasympathetic?

Since the nervous system of every living thing is built to detect  what is going on in its external environment, it is also able to detect  other nervous systems nearby.  Biodynamic Craniosacral therapists are trained to put their own  nervous system into the parasympathetic state and maintain that state at  will.  The client’s nervous system, inherently evaluating the state of the  practitioner’s nervous system due to proximity, will eventually begin to  copy the practitioner’s nervous system.

An easy way of explaining how this is possible is by comparing it to  how our mood changes when we are around happy, sad, or angry people. If  we are in the presence of a sad person, we find ourselves feeling a  little sad after a while. If we are around a happy person their  happiness is often “contagious” and we will leave them feeling good. If  you are near another person who is calm (in the parasympathetic state),  you too will feel calm despite having had a stressful day.

I often get asked how it is possible to have such deep healing happen when I sit next to my clients and seemingly “do nothing.” The answer is in the subtle mechanisms of the nervous system. No  manipulation or deep pressure is necessary when you tap into the  parasympathetic state and afford the body the time and space it needs to  start repairing the damage that has built up over weeks, months or  decades.

Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is not esoteric. It is based on the principals of physiology. The misunderstanding, I believe, comes from the language barrier  between healing modalities, not from disagreement on the principals and  requirements necessary for healing to happen in the body.

Schedule an appointment.

I am currently offering BCST sessions either in your own home or at my location at Lake Monticello. There is not an additional fee at this time for an in-home appointment.

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