What to expect during a session

The body knows what it needs to do. There is an essential wisdom we listen to and are guided by – this is called the ‘inherent treatment plan’. The body is the expert. If we listen, it reveals itself, layer by layer in surprising and powerful ways.

During the first session, you will have space to share why you are coming for a treatment and perhaps “what ails you”. This is a time for you and your story to be deeply and respectfully heard. There will be space to speak about what you hope to gain from having treatment. Together we can set some benchmarks in terms of current levels of stress, pain, ability to sleep and magnitude of symptoms. By doing this, we will be able to ascertain the effectiveness of the treatment for you.

I will also explain what I will be doing during the ‘hands-on’ part of the session and how it is that I work.

You will then lie down, fully clothed, on the treatment table, and be made comfortable. If it is difficult for you to lie down, we will accommodate this by using a chair and/or cushions and pillows. Comfort and safety are essential prerequisites to the effectiveness of the treatment.

During the session, there will be times when we are in silence, and other times when we will track what is going on together verbally. There will also be an invitation for you to gently track and share what you are feeling and noticing, if desired.

The therapist orients to what are called the ‘midline’ and ‘primary respiration’ in their own body. The client automatically begins to resonate with the slower pace of the therapist’s system. The client’s body is supported to gradually drop into a state of stillness. During this process, the body begins to reveal its story and patterns so that the intelligence of the body can follow the inherent treatment plan and begin orienting to health.

Somewhere out beyond our senses

Of right doing and wrong doing

There is a field… I’ll meet you there. 

Rumi

“I have been deeply fortunate to be treated by Fern over many years. She is empathic, insightful, kind, and her craniosacral treatments have immeasurably helped me towards a better relationship with my own wellbeing.” P.R

If you have any questions or want to find out more, please contact me.

What you might feel during a treatment

During a Craniosacral Therapy session, you might experience a gentle pulsing, warmth, a sense of pressure, tingling, patterns or compressive forces ‘unwinding’, a surge of energy, a sense of peace and stillness, or powerful emotions flowing through you.

Sometimes people experience unusual images or sensations. Often memories from the past surface and connections are made or insights revealed. Most of the time, a session will be experienced as deeply restful. Sometimes familiar patterns and pain surface in order to be witnessed, met and heard.

As the session progresses, you might find yourself accessing the deeper rhythms or ‘tides’ that are within you. Craniosacral Therapists call the most rapid and superficial of these tidal rhythms, the C.R.I (Cranial Rhythmic Impulse). A slower expression of the tide is known as the ‘Mid Tide’. Sometimes the ‘Long Tide’ can be accessed via states of even deeper stillness.

We follow and support the process as it reveals itself in present time.

Much of the power of this work is about being deeply listened to, sometimes for the first time in our lives.

The human body, at peace with itself,

Is more precious than the rarest gem.

Cherish your body, it is yours this one time only.

The human form is won with great difficulty,

It is easy to lose.

Tsong Kharpa

“I always find craniosacral sessions with Fern both grounding and uplifting, empowering and liberating. They really promote a sense of physical and emotional balance and ease, and help restore calm.” J.L

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

Length of session & aftercare

Each session lasts for one hour, though there is often a felt-sense of ‘timelessness’ as the client gradually drops into a state of spaciousness, relaxation and stillness.

The first time we meet, I like to give enough time for us to speak about what brought you here. This means that the time on the treatment table might be shorter for this initial session. Subsequent sessions will usually begin with a briefer ‘check-in’ before moving to the table for the ‘hands-on’ part of the session.

Clients are recommended if possible to have a restful period after receiving a treatment, as emotions often arise which require time and space for processing. The body sometimes feels a great surge of energy but might also feel very relaxed and sleepy and the recommendation is to slow down as much as possible. The body will continue to process the session in the days and weeks after the initial treatment. Significant insights and improvements can also occur as if ‘out of the blue’ during this time.

“My craniosacral sessions, with Fern focus and connect me with the energy flow of all that is inside and beyond me, relaxing me gently into the comforting magnitude of our universe.” C.J 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

What can Craniosacral Therapy help with?

Among the conditions that have responded positively to Craniosacral Therapy are:

Menstrual problems, lumbo-sacral conditions, asthma, IBS, neck & shoulder problems, TMJ dysfunction, headaches and tension, migraines, sacral concussion and many more.

With our fast-paced lives in the 2lst century, people are finding that Craniosacral Therapy is particularly beneficial for many physical symptoms, emotional trauma, stress, depleted energy and lack of clarity. It has also proved very supportive following surgical interventions. Because it is so gentle and non-invasive, Craniosacral Therapy is suitable for everyone from newborns to the elderly.

Restrictions, compression and reduced vitality can compromise the quality of flow and motion of fluids and cells, affecting the whole body such as the nervous system, lymphatic, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems.

Every cell and tissue in the body is connected by membranes called fascia.  As this connects the whole body, a restriction in one area eg an injury at the ankle can have an effect on other parts of the body.  By releasing these restrictions using a gentle touch. the therapeutic effects can therefore be extended throughout the whole body.

I have been privileged to work with and help people who have suffered from whiplash, chronic back-pain, fibromyalgia and concussion and have also supported people through major life-changes, such as pregnancy, birth, motherhood, relationship transitions and bereavement.

“From a future that seemed blank and without purpose, I feel pruned, deadheaded and invigorated. I am extremely grateful to Fern for supporting me through this process.” E.H

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Osteopathic research tells us that every cell, every organ, and indeed the entire body expands and contracts at rhythmic and regular intervals. The faster pace of life today – the acceleration of technology, plus work and life pressures – interferes with our ability to access these slower tidal rhythmic motions. If we can be encouraged to connect to sensation and resonate with stillness and spaciousness, ‘something happens’ which enables us to begin to re-orient to ‘the breath of life’. We find that the body is literally being ‘breathed’ as well as breathing.

Craniosacral Therapy was born out of the osteopathic tradition. All the various modern approaches to Craniosacral Therapy have their roots in the work of William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954), an American osteopath and a student of Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of Osteopathy. Sutherland’s work spanned over 50 years and is practised by many osteopaths who refer to it as Cranial Osteopathy.

Early on in his career, Sutherland made the radical discovery that the cranial bones – the eight bones that together make up the ‘cranium’ or round part of the human skull – were designed to move independently to one another. They were, he said: “bevelled like the gills of a fish and indicating articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism.” This was a significant discovery as the cranial bones in the adult until this point, were considered to be fused and fixed.  By experimenting on himself, he noticed that restrictions in the cranium and body tended to inhibit the expression of this mobility, rhythm (or tide). This lack of movement over time, leads to a lack of vitality, discomfort and disease.

Sutherland’s early work consisted of a more ‘mechanical’ approach with manipulation of the bones and tissues, analysis, motion testing and the direct application of various techniques. However, later in his career, after a very powerful experience with a patient, where he believed he had a direct experience of the presence of the ‘Breath of Life’ – which he described as a sacred and numinous presence – his methods and orientation changed dramatically. Sutherland’s work became more subtle and gentle though the improvements reported by his clients came to be increasingly significant.

In his work and teaching his emphasis changed to one of embodied presence and stillness. Orienting to the ‘Breath of Life’ or ‘Primary Respiration’, he believed helped maintain equilibrium within the human system and initiate healing processes.

In the late 1970s another American osteopath, John Upledger, began to teach cranial work to non-osteopaths, and coined the name ‘Craniosacral Therapy’. In the 1980s Thomas Attlee and Franklyn Sills began teaching Craniosacral Therapy in the UK, mainly to non-osteopaths. Franklyn Sills and colleagues further developed and refined the work which is now known as ‘Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy’.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a ‘hands-on’ therapy, working with an extremely light but powerful touch. It involves the therapist over time, developing their perceptual skills in order to ‘listen’ to the whole body whilst supporting its inherent ability to self-regulate and self-heal.

In biodynamic work the healthy functioning of the body is considered to be determined by the ability of the potency of the Breath of Life to flow freely throughout the body. This understanding has a direct connection to the pioneering insights of Dr Sutherland. The therapist uses their hands to ‘listen’ deeply whilst tuning into the potency and fluidity of the client’s body. We orient to the health that is present, encourage and amplify this, and follow what we refer to as the ‘inherent treatment plan’ and the body’s own ‘Intelligence’. We work directly with the power of stillness and the breath of life as a therapeutic medium.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy fulfils a deep human need to be heard and to be held in a safe, supportive and non-invasive way.

“From a future that seemed blank and without purpose, I feel pruned, deadheaded and invigorated. I am extremely grateful to Fern for supporting me through this process.” E.H

Why is it called Craniosacral Therapy?

One of the core principles that we work with is the relationship between the sacrum (the base of the spine) and the head (the cranium) – hence the term craniosacral therapy. In part, this relationship is created by the membranes that surround the spinal cord and the brain. We will often make contact and listen to the body at these places, though we can also make contact and listen from other areas of the body, such as the feet, legs and shoulders.

By holding the cranium and sacrum we also have access to the entire nervous system and can support it in recalibrating or down-regulating.

Healing

I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
and it is not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self,
and the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help
and patience, and a certain difficult repentance
long difficult repentance,
realization of life’s mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify.

DH Lawrence

 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

Working with Babies and Children

The story of our coming into embodiment, the growth of the embryo and the emergence of a new sentient being is one of life’s mysteries. What did we have to go through to get here? How were we met when we first arrived? How were we encountered and witnessed in this new world, so different in every way from being in the womb? Working with babies and children is a beautiful and powerful part of the craniosacral therapist’s work.

Whatever has been experienced by mum during pregnancy and birth, has impacted the little one. Especially with very young babies, mother and baby ‘share’ or have shared not only one body, but both will have their own individual as well as shared ‘viewpoint’ and ‘story’. It is important that this story is heard, that any difficult or scary moments are respectfully acknowledged, and compressive forces invited to be processed and released. Craniosacral sessions with babies are effective, often moving, and very powerful. We work slowly, with respect and spaciousness, honouring the birth story, the celebration of new life, and helping resolve any possible trauma from unexpected birth interventions. The work does not use compressive forces or tissue manipulation and so is a very safe and effective form of treatment for young babies.

“I always find craniosacral sessions with Fern both grounding and uplifting, empowering and liberating. They really promote a sense of physical and emotional balance and ease, and help restore calm.” J.L

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

The Power of Craniosacral Therapy

The work is powerful in so many ways. Connecting to our heart, our wholeness. This is about a return to an original blueprint of health. Orienting to health and wellness in the body which is accessible at all times.

Craniosacral Therapy is a profound holistic therapy which uses a combination of hands-on and verbal skills to help process and release energy or trauma which has impacted the body and which might interfere with everyday functioning and living life to the full. A series of treatments can connect us to a sense of deep life purpose, soul and spirit – of finding out who we truly are and why we are here.

Craniosacral Therapy encourages and facilitates embodied presence, connecting us to our physical, emotional and energetic body. Often clients report a sense of feeling ‘plugged into the mains’, ‘being recharged’ or connecting to ‘Source’ or the ‘deep mystery of life’. Cranial work can effectively soften and unlock patterns or habits of disconnection and dissociation which might be responsible for bringing about debilitating symptoms and chronic health issues.

When our body feels over-whelmed and fragmented or in ‘shut down’, Craniosacral Therapy can help regulate our nervous system which might be in a state of ‘flight, fright or freeze’. We can become aware of habitual patterns or protective responses, that we have developed and lived with for much of our lives. These might even be as a result of being in the womb, from birth or from when we were very young. There is a timeless quality to the treatment that allows us to connect to things that happened some time ago as if they were happening in the here and now. Therefore, the possibility of healing and health is always present.

Craniosacral Therapy is a unique, gentle, hands-on healing art and science which through deep listening helps your body, mind and spirit to reconnect to its inherent health.

“To find health should be the object of the physician.

Anyone can find disease.”

Dr. A.T. Still

“My craniosacral sessions, with Fern focus and connect me with the energy flow of all that is inside and beyond me, relaxing me gently into the comforting magnitude of our universe.” C.J 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss booking a treatment, please contact me.

Safety, Regulation and Cancellation Policy

The technique is gentle and non-invasive but very effective. It is always a partnership and negotiation between the therapist and the client.

I am registered with the international regulatory body of craniosacral therapy practitioners – the CSTA (Craniosacral Therapy Association).

An important aspect of my ability to do this work is to receive regular support and supervision. I have supervision with Mathew Appleton, Craniosacral Therapist, Psychotherapist and trainer with Conscious Embodiment.  I also have regular supervision with Psychotherapist Ian Rees. I am also part of a peer supervision network and undergo regular, annual and certificated CPD (Continual Professional Development).

Through supporting myself, I can support others in this beautiful work.

Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel an appointment, please give at least 24 hours notice. If a cancellation is made on the day of the appointment, the full session fee will be requested. Thank you for your consideration and understanding.

Resources

Articles & Research

If you are interested in reading some of the research currently being conducted into the efficacy of Craniosacral Therapy, there is a collection of papers and studies compiled by Samantha Lotti, a craniosacral therapist in the U.S.A.

https://biodynamichealth.com/craniosacral-research/

5 Minute Meditations

Enjoy listening to these short guided meditations when you are short of time and feeling ‘out of your body’.

5 Minute Embodiment Meditation with Samantha Lotti

Body Slow, Low Loop with John Chitty

Interviews & Craniosacral Podcast

Here is a beautiful collection of interviews, meditations and reflections on Craniosacral Therapy by some of the leaders in the field. It is a regularly updated podcast by Ryan Hallford, a craniosacral therapist and teacher in the U.S.A. I’m a regular listener.

http://www.craniosacralpodcast.com/

Books about Craniosacral Therapy

For more information on the theory and practice of Craniosacral Therapy, you might enjoy looking at some of the following books.