For quite a long time I have been interested in the connection between the body and the mind. Through my studies and practice as a cranio-sacral therapist I have taken my investigation of the body-mind connection a few strides deeper with many experiences that can only be witnessed and experienced but cannot be explained in words. I am particularly curious about the internal workings of the body, the strong connection between our mental patterns and their physical manifestations and how our physical movement and way of being influences our mental state. I see the body as vehicle into other states of consciousness that are so often hidden from us in our daily life.
In cranio-sacral practice, you always meet the whole person – never just the body. As a practitioner, I ‘tune in’ to the movement of the patient’s body, which indicates their general state of health, mental and physical state, illnesses and injuries. It can reveal who we really are and show sites that are beyond the reach of our consciousness. I can feel the ‘buzzing’ of someone’s nervous system when they arrive to an appointment being stressed or anxious. I can feel how the patient’s body is ‘pulling in’ my hand towards a site of an old injury as if my hand was magnetically drawn to it. Every time I treat a person it is a wonderous journey of discovery for me. It is like improvisation.
Cranio-sacral therapy practice has opened up access to a new world for me – inside ‘the living being’. It has made me curious to explore my experiences of ‘the inside’ outside, through dance, visuals and sound. I am particularly keen to investigate the rhythms that can be felt in the flow of our energy and fluids, particularly the cerebrospinal fluids that flush our central nervous system inside the spinal column. In cranio-sacral work, we refer to these rhythms as tides: 1) cranio-sacral tide, 2) mid-tide and 3) long-tide, representing the length of the rhythm and also the depth of the person’s state. The longer the tide – the more relaxed and centred the person is, usually at the end of a treatment session.
Another important focus point is ‘stillpoint’. This is a moment which feels as if the patient’s system (as many cranio-sacral practitioners describe the whole person) stops for a moment. It feels like the whole system is been drawn into one condensed moment – to a point where it cannot go any further in – pausing there for a short period of time before spinning, unravelling or lengthening out of it again. Although stillpoints are moments of stillness, there is a sense of suspension. They are dynamic rather than dead spaces. During these moments many resolutions happen and as a result of the release out of the stillpoint the patient’s breath usually audibly alters.