It’s a complex name for a simple therapy, and I prefer the short version “cranio”.
Cranio is a light touch form of bodywork that is non-manipulative. The therapist uses a “listening” touch to tune in to the body and nervous system. This contact down-regulates the nervous system and sparks a biological process, unique to each individual, to release held tensions, stresses and trauma from the body. During treatment the body is brought into the present moment with a sense of safety, spaciousness and mindfulness of sensations. The body begins to listen to itself. Clients find it to be deeply relaxing and leave the session with a sense of balance, wholeness and wellbeing.
The therapy has its origins in cranial osteopathy, invented by Dr William Sutherland. He first noticed subtle movement of the cranial bones and went on to discover that subtle motion is present in all cells of the body. He coined the term breath of life, also known as primary respiration, this is the life force that drives the development of the embryo. Throughout our life, our body continues to be sustained by the breath of life. It is influential in healing and regulating the body throughout our whole life. Adverse life experiences influence the flow and vitality of this motion. Craniosacral therapists are trained to palpate these motions with their hands, recognising where this expression of health is flowing and where it might be held. Patterns of experience are imprinted on the body and are acknowledged in treatment. A craniosacral therapy treatment is often experienced as being completely seen and heard at a deep level.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapists have a different approach to engaging with the breath of life. Unlike more traditional craniosacral therapists, we do not attempt to influence it. Instead, we honour the fact that this breath has its own innate intelligence and knows how to orient the body back to health, given the right conditions. The practitioner is trained to provide these conditions – a gentle “listening” touch, neutral presence and stillness are key elements to helping the breath of life flow more freely. Stresses and traumas are released in the process which lead to a change in symptoms towards health.