What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST)?
BCST is an advanced body/mind therapy that combines a Western scientific understanding of the body with mindfulness skills, a unique type of touch and an appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself. Pacific Association of Craniosacral Therapists (PACT)
Treating Chantelle Brader and baby Zayd
“I went into my treatment with a lot of tension in my upper back, neck and head. I had been going through an emotional time and I knew my body needed some help to process. By the end of my session I felt like a different person. My back had freed up and the tension in my neck and head gone. I could feel more of my body and the emotional strain I had been under gave way to insights and positive inspiration in moving forward. The week following my treatment my body continued to unwind and let go of all it had been holding. I felt lighter and slept better. I have felt specific areas of discomfort and pain (my left side and sacral area) shifting and opening up. I was surprised at the lasting and continuing results of just one treatment. Looking forward to my next session :)” – Jade
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 the body’s mental, physiological and psycho-emotional systems.
Every cell in the body expresses a rhythmic movement fundamental to life, is called craniosacral motion. Felt as specific patterns of motion within all 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 to these patterns of motion through a light touch of their hands, from anywhere on the clients (fully-clothed) body, and the system is empowered to move toward health.
The treatment is led by the client’s system and supports the body to spontaneously re-organise those areas which are out of balance, by integrating held patterns within the tissues. Resolving these disruptions in certain parts of the system enhances the possibility for fundamental positive change clearing the way for the potential of a lasting return to greater health.
Dr John 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 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 have protocols, manipulate or induce particular states, and we don’t impose agendas.
We listen from our own place of health, and allow the story of the client’s body to be heard; modelling healthy neutrality as a reference point for their system for processing and integrating at its own pace. If overwhelming experience arises, we adjust and adapt appropriately and consultatively, with a focus on allowing the system to do what it needs to do.
Counselling for the body
No two sessions are the same. A session can be somewhat like counselling for the body: it can be deeply therapeutic to be heard on a cellular level.
We are our own archives.
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 which can wreak havoc on the body’s systems.
Psychological abuse, car accidents, attachment issues, surgeries, birth. Dis-ease.
Issues that have been long forgotten and considered processed with counselling, can rise to the surface as still residing/living in 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 and can lead to a substantial feeling ‘lightening’.
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, 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 hadn’t known my sympathetic nervous system was in a hyperaroused state. I got off that table 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. With space and attention the body will tell us what it wants.
As I continued with sessions, 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 highlighted my affinity with this work. I started the training soon after and have never looked back.
It is like opening a treasure chest of knowledge – 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 practitioners find the work and the benefit of this therapy for themselves and others has been a hugely rewarding part of my journey, and one that keeps me learning and growing.