Slow to heal?

The body has an amazing ability to heal itself. But sometimes, this self-healing mechanism can get stuck or feel sluggish. Ailments that should realistically clear within a week or so can drag out for months. What is it that drives our healing? What gets in the way? And how does cranio help?

During a cranio session, I am able to tune into subtle rhythms of the body. We call this “primary respiration” because the body expands and contracts in a rhythmic quality, similar to our breath. Another term for this is the craniosacral rhythm. These rhythms are central to our healing and are sadly ignored by the medical model.   

Stress has a significant influence on the craniosacral rhythm and the ability of the body to heal itself. At the start of a session it is common to feel stress imprints on the system – a fast heart rate, tight chest, shallow breathing or an all over “buzzing” quality. After some time these imprints dissolve as the body finds safety in the present moment and shifts into a parasympathetic state – also called “rest and repair”. The stable nervous system of a craniosacral therapist acts as a model of health for the client’s system to resonate with and assists in this shift from stress. Our nervous systems are always communicating with the nervous systems of others around us.

Recently I treated client with a sore shoulder who had limited range of movement, he was heading down the path of scans and trips to the doctors for injections and physio treatment. After one session his shoulder was “better than ever and nearly back to normal”, this was with minimal contact at his shoulder! At the start of the treatment the effects of stress emerged as a disturbance in his system (that he could feel too). This state of being takes a considerable amount of energy to maintain and means this energy is not being used to heal the areas that need healing. Working with the whole and supporting the body to find stillness and the slower rhythms frees up this stuck energy to move to the places in the body that need support.

Similarly, a client with a persistent bruise (over months) found that one session of cranio shifted the bruise, with minimal “hands on” contact to the area. Initially her system was overlaid with stress imprints which acts as a barrier to her healing. During the session her body was able to switch from “fight or flight” mode to ”rest and repair”. and within days the bruise began to fade.

Our nervous system plays a huge role in our wellness. Cranio is one way to support the body to shift out of stress states so that the body has the best opportunity to heal. The attunement to the healing forces in a cranio session can shift the body towards health, sometimes within one session, though a series of treatments can help to change the body’s overall relationship to stressful events. It is quite the paradigm shift to consider that focusing on the health (healing forces) is what helps, rather than trying to fix what is broken. Refinding our wholeness is the key.

If you have a persistent health complaint that is dragging on or slow to heal, contact me to book a cranio treatment to orient your body back to health and wholeness.

Low-cost baby cranio clinic

Here are the new dates for the next three months.

I am offering a monthly clinic for babies to receive biodynamic craniosacral therapy – by donation. All babies should have the opportunity to receive cranio, regardless of their parents’ financial situation. This is a great opportunity for your baby to experience this gentle therapy. Read below for more details….

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Who:

Pre-crawling babies (babies who have not received cranio before will be prioritised)

What:

Cranio is a light touch form of bodywork that is non-manipulative. Jenny uses a listening touch to calm babies nervous system, sparking a biological process, unique to each individual, to release held tensions, stresses and trauma from the body. Babies often find it to be deeply relaxing. Parents often report that baby is calmer, easier to settle and more comfortable in their body.

Why:

Cranio may help:

  • breastfeeding difficulties
  • fussy, hard to soothe, irritable babies
  • babies who have had an assisted birth (vaccuum /forceps/ C-section)
  • babies who experienced a fast birth or excessively long birth
  • babies who vomit frequently
  • newborns who do not wake for feeds
  • babies with digestive or sleep issues
  • premature babies or babies who have been separated from their mother.

When:

  • Thursday 22nd October – 9.30 – 2.30
  • Thursday 26th November – 9.30 -2.30
  • Thursday 17th December – 9.30 – 2.30

Where:

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Clinic – 74 Nollamara Ave, Nollamara.

Cost:

Donation based – suggestion at least $10. (*usual cost $60). If you find the treatment to be helpful for your baby, I would appreciate a facebook review.


Places are limited and by appointment only. So book early through the website or phone 0435 309 397.

Cranio for babies with a head preference

I recently had the privilege of working of with two babies who had a head preference and cranio was very helpful in increasing range of motion and infant comfort.

One little boy had significant torticollis from inutero positioning. This prevented him from latching well to the breast. His mum was “amazed” by the improvements. She herself booked in for a few sessions of cranio, it was so interesting to see the same constrictions show up in her body too. Baby shows much more progress when you help to release the jaw/neck tightness in mum.

Another baby I worked with over three sessions had significant neck tension and discomfort, which we suspected was from an external cephalic version (ECV). He was in a breech position and was assisted to turn head down while inutero by health professionals. His mother noted how painful the procedure was for her as she felt his head when it hit her pelvis. For the baby this can be a disorienting experience and, by the sounds of it for this baby, painful too as his head came into contact with her pelvic bones. He was extremely unsettled since birth. After two treatments, he was noticeably more comfortable in his body, sleeping better & crying less.

It is important to note that mums also need to be involved in treatment. It still astounds me to feel the same constriction patterns arise in the mums body. Often full healing is not possible until the tight jaw/shoulders/neck resolve in mums body. Mums and babies are so connected and often mirror each other body patterns.

Cranio is such a gentle and sensitve way to approach these kinds of injuries. Often if touch is the cause of the injury (despite best intentions), then the spacious empathic listening touch of a craniosacral therapist is the perfect way to create a sense of safety around touch in order for the body to release tensions and trauma.

For best results book a birth trauma package – three treatments spaced one week apart (including at least one mum and bub treatment).

Now Offering Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy at Mundaring Wellness Centre

I am excited to start treating from Mundaring Wellness Centre behind Cafe Mojo next week. This is a beautiful space, especially this time of year with spring arriving, and they make healthy and delicious food too. Why not make a day of it – book a treatment and have lunch.

Cranio can help any member of the family to connect to their body. To feel more balanced and calm and to build resilience. The therapy is perfect for settling the nervous system so that the body feels safe and better able to make inspired life choices. Many people report noticing their body in a new way that brings the unconscious to the surface. If you haven’t heard of it I encourage you to give it a try to see if it is a good fit for you. Click here for more info.

I have an appt available this Monday at 11.30am for those who don’t mind booking their self care spontaneously. Or contact me to find a time that works for you.

Cranio for Twins

I recently had three sets of twins book in for the low-cost baby cranio clinic, which got me thinking about I can best support twin babies. Two babies often means twice the price!

Instead I decided to offer the second twin half price.

Plus, knowing how hard it is to get out of the house with two babies, I am waiving the travel fee for home visits.

Twin babies are often born early, and spend time away from mum in special care. In order to support their survival, they are often subject to lots of medical procedures (including tubes for breathing and feeding). The “non-doing” touch during a cranio treatment is a welcome relief to the nervous system. Cranio can support them to switch out of survival mode, to build energy for feeding and to thrive.

A home visit for twins is now $90. Please share with anyone you know who has twins or contact me to make an appt.

Getting my own sessions – thriving (not just surviving)

I’m super excited to receive cranio myself this weekend. These days I tend to schedule cranio every 3-4 weeks for maintainance. I had to cancel my last appt due to a spontaneous family holiday (so I am over due for a session – I can feel it). I know I need a cranio treatment when I start to feel moody or down, when the little voice in my head seems louder and more critical.

When I first started treatment three years ago I gifted myself weekly sessions for a while, as I peeled back layers of history from my body. Slowly releasing patterns of experience that no longer served me. I reconnected with my pelvis and womb space after a traumatic experience birthing my first child. For days after each session I would notice rushes of feel-good hormones coursing through my body. Cranio was resourcing me. As time went on I was able to space out sessions, noticing a lasting sense of balance and resilience – increased emotional regulation and a sense of physical and energetic alignment.

Regular cranio for me, contributes to a sense of flow in my life, I feel I can trust myself and my body to guide me in making the right decisions for me, my relationships have blossomed and I feel more motivated and confident to be exactly who I am – no apologies.

I am so grateful to have found this wonderful therapy, its the difference between surviving and thriving!

If you feel drawn to experience cranio, see this page for more details about what to expect and prices.

Sleepy Newborns

Did you know that cranio can help to wake up sleepy babies? I have worked with many babies whose mothers have plenty of milk but they are unable to stay awake long enough to drink it. This is a frustrating situation. Relying on a breast pump and topping up with a bottle is a full time job and also runs the risk of bottle preference (where baby gets used to a constant flow of milk).

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink

Sometimes there is a tongue tie that is causing the baby to tire when breastfeeding.

Sometimes they are born too early. This includes babies induced. Being born at 38 weeks may be considered 2-4 weeks early for that particular baby.

Sometimes there has been a medicated birth and the baby has not fully integrated the medication / anaesthesia into their system. Anaesthesia or opioid medication has a dissociative effect on the nervous system. It is helpful because there is a temporary separation from a painful experience but on a more subtle level, there is a separation from the body.

This is where cranio comes in. I have treated sleepy babies who are not yet fully present in their bodies due to a medicated birth – one session of cranio can bring them out of a dissociative state and into the present moment – it breaks the pattern in the nervous system. This is why cranio is also helpful for anyone who has recently undergone surgery.

*I say all this with no judgement. I, too, have had a highly medicated, induced birth. My son was too sleepy to breastfeed when he was born and his first feed was a bottle of formula. I didn’t know about cranio back then (or expressing colostrum) and wish I was able to arrange this gentle treatment for my son.

Releasing constrictions in mum helps baby too

Many mums feel nervous about getting bodywork for their baby. Most people have not heard of biodynamic craniosacral therapy. It’s a leap of faith to see a new therapist in a therapy that is not widely known in Australia. Cranio treatment for mum, helps her to experience the therapy and also benefits baby. Long-held constrictions and patterns are released from the mother’s body which has a flow-on effect for baby.

Mums and babies systems are inextricably linked – more so than you might think! For example, during a baby cranio treatment, I may feel a constriction that seems difficult to shift (eg. tight shoulder muscle). When I treat mum the same constriction presents and it becomes clear that it originated in mum not baby! Cranio releases the constriction in mum, but also in her baby too. Her baby is simply mirroring her constriction. Interestingly, it may be one of the ways that trauma is passed down from one generation to the next. Mirroring can be partly explained through the concept of mirror neurons (thought to play a key role in empathy and social behaviour).

“Children do not just mirror what they see and hear, but also what they feel in other people. As sensitive children … we contact the internal space of our parent’s body with the internal space of our body… we mirror constrictions and emotions that are held within the inner depths of our parents bodies”

Judith Blackstone – Trauma and the Unbound Body

What exactly are constrictions? Humans protectively constrict (or contract) the body when we experience something overwhelming. These constrictions are bound up with memories and emotions from the event. Cranio brings awareness to these constrictions through body sensations (and often emotions or memories) which are then released from the body. Let me give you an example of a constriction in a baby. Born via c-section, Sophie* experienced their first touch (around the back of the neck) as shocking or painful and held a constriction there. Any time she is touched in a similar way, she responds with the same emotions from the first event (anger or fear). This can often show up when placing babies in a car seat. Gentle touch in a cranio treatment can highlight this constriction and its emotional pattern, and allow it to resolve within that safe holding field. The next time a similar event happens, the response is different. In this case, Sophie* is less reactive, no longer triggered or better able to self-regulate strong emotions within this pattern.

The good news is babies have much fewer constrictions in their bodies than adults and tend to need fewer cranio sessions. Adults carry many patterns of experiences and may hold constrictions from as far back as their own birth. Its always fascinating what comes up in a cranio session!

*name changed

I have just finished reading Judith Blackstone’s book Trauma and The Unbound Body. She does a fantastic job of explaining a lot of somatic concepts that mirror my experience of giving and receiving cranio treatment. I feel I am going to be quoting her quite a bit in the near future.

All Good Things…

After 4.5 years at Baby Steps Health Centre, I have made the decision to leave so that I can focus fully on building Flow Cranio & Lactation. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working there and am grateful to the team for their support and expertise.

But all good things must come to an end.

If you first met me through Baby Steps please let your friends and family know to book me for lactation support through my business rather than the clinic.

If you, or your baby, have benefited from my lactation or cranio support – please tell your family or friends or other mothers at mothers group. Or consider writing a google or Facebook review.

Thanks for your support xx