“The greatest discovery of our generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” – William James
What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST)?
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) respects the knowledge that we grew ourselves from a collection of cells. Through informed touch a practitioner assists the body’s natural state of repair. This work stems from Osteopathy and has a rich basis in anatomy, however is non-manipulative. It’s particularly useful for balancing the central nervous system and our ‘fight or flight’ response which is aggravated in many of us, due to the stresses of our 21st century lives.
BCST is a non-manipulative and non-invasive, touch-based approach to whole body treatment.
Rooted in the work of Osteopathic Physician, Dr William Sutherland, BCST works directly with our bodies mental, physiological and psycho-emotional systems.
The dynamic system in which every cell in the body expresses a rhythmic movement fundamental to life, is called craniosacral motion. Felt as specific patterns of motion within all of our tissues, bones and fluids, this primary or constitutional energy has powerful integrative and healing functions
When our health is compromised, there are changes within the body’s natural rhythmic movements, which are recognised by the experienced practitioner. With BCST, the practitioner listens through a light touch of their hands to these patterns of motion, from anywhere on the clients (fully-clothed) body, and the system is empowered to move toward health.
The treatment is led by the client and supports the body to spontaneously re-organise those areas which are out of balance, by integrating held patterns within the tissues. This in turn leads to the potential of a lasting return to health. Systemically, the clients’ health and well-being can be powerfully enhanced and fundamental positive changes are possible.
Dr Upledger developed Craniosacral Therapy (CST) in the 1970’s. There has been a natural evolution of the work since that time, with practitioners like Rollin Becker, Dr James Jealous and Franklin Sills redefining their approach as Biodynamic, in the 1990’s. They found that with even less input from the practitioner, and more onus on the body to clarify from it’s own place of health and knowledge, deeply profound transformations can occur.
In BCST we don’t induce particular states, we don’t manipulate and we don’t have protocols.
We listen from our own health, to allow the story of the body to be heard; modelling healthy neutrality as a reference point for the clients system to process and integrate at its own pace. No two sessions are the same. If it arises, we titrate overwhelming experience, with a focus on allowing the system to do what it needs to do. Like counselling for the body: it can be deeply therapeutic to be heard on a cellular level.
Counselling for the body
Dis-ease. When we come into relationship with why we aren’t feeling well, often it’s because we are holding imprints from our experiences in our tissues. Psychological abuse, car accidents, surgeries, birth, grief, attachment issues all wreak havoc with a multitude of systems in the body.
We are our own archives.
Issues that have been long forgotten and often processed with counselling, rise to the surface as still having a hold over the body. They take up valuable resources that the body uses for functionality. Being able to meet and wind the nervous system down around old ‘trauma’ is such a relief for clients.
Some people find it like a complete personality transformation – suddenly not needing to ‘sweat the small stuff’.
Liz Kirkman: My Experience
This work found me at a very stressful time in my life. In 2010 I was making a living as a touring performer as I was in my third year of taking Shakespeare through secondary schools. Being away from home, along with the multiple roles of being a roadie, a workshop facilitator, and a performer was taking it’s toll. I was coping, but had no idea how wound up I really was.
The first craniosacral session I received literally had me shaking on the table, and the practitioner was only holding my feet. I didn’t know my sympathetic nervous system was in a hyperaroused state. I got off that table unable to drive in Auckland traffic. I was transformed. For the better.
My second session with a therapist in Havelock North stopped me smoking.
Interestingly, this wasn’t the goal of the session but is what came to light, while working with this particular practitioner at this particular time.
I stopped rolling my left ankle, which I’d been rolling frequently since I was 18 years old.
The speed at which things were shifting really lead me to believe I may have an affinity with this work. I started the training soon after and have never looked back.
It is like opening Pandora’s Box – looking into what makes humans tick is a never-ending endeavour. As long as we do it with a sense of awe and humility, there will always be much to learn.
As part of my life as a performer I have often found myself in a teaching capacity. Working with Body Intelligence Training to help other practitioner’s find the work and the benefit of this therapy for themselves has been a hugely rewarding part of my journey, and one that keeps me learning and growing.