Understanding the Fluid Dynamics of Craniosacral Therapy

All organisms seek to find balance individually and within their whole ecosystem. We can see this clearly demonstrated in nature when we look at a tree that continues to live and grow by adapting its growth pattern around dismemberment or the way the tree may grow in a spiral around another neighboring tree that stands very close by. We also see how an ecosystem will strive to find balance when there has been damage or destruction by man, it adapts by producing imbalance in order to come back into balance. Our bodies work the same way. The manifestation of imbalance, disease, illness, and effects of mental health are all demonstrations of how our body seeks to find balance. We all carry this self corrective force within our bodies which are generated by deeper organized movements in the physiology and function as a continuum.
The Fluid Dynamic understanding behind Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a particular approach into the study of the natural and creative forces that organize the human body. The forces that are found throughout the natural world are the same forces that we carry within your physiology. They include a subtle ordering principle that drives the creation, development and maintenance of all systems. Within the expression of these forces is a polyrhythmic movement that is stable and palpable, moving in cycles known as Primary Respiration. This movement is omnipresent in all living organisms and it moves in a natural expansion-contraction pattern that is very different than the respiratory breath and the heart beat. Interactions with the movements present in craniosacral understanding can have remarkable health benefits.
There are 2 basic forces at work in the living body: the Biodynamic Potencies generated by what Osteopaths call the Breath of Life and Biokinetic or Conditional Forces introduced into the system via trauma and life experiences (inertial fulcrums).
Biodynamic Potency is the universal force behind the Breath of Life and is the inherent authority that maintains order, integrity and homeostatic balance within the tissues of the body. It manifests at the moment of conception, organizes cellular differentiation, embryological development and is with us throughout life. Potency manifests as a bioelectric biomagnetic field phenomenon and it is a unified field of health around which fluids, cells and tissues organize. This is an intelligent life force that maintains the order and coherency of the cellular-tissue field and generates both fluid and tissue motility through the transmutation process which is carried out through Primary Respiration.
Primary Respiration is the most intrinsic motion with in our physiology. Its motion is present in cellular oscillation and is the fundamental quality of Fluid Dynamics. This sacred movement, moves in a fluctuation pattern of coming in and going back out like the Tides of the sea, all the while organizing the tissues to create balance between its original intention, its experience and that which is, in the present moment. In essence, Primary Respiration is the physical manifestation of the Biodynamic Potency behind the Breath of Life. It does this by organizing all bodily functions via muscular, visceral (organs), nervous system, bones, cardiovascular, etc all according to both our original essence and life experiences.
Within Primary Respiration there are different layers of organized movement. These movements are subtle and are experienced as the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (CRI), Mid-tide, Long-tide, and Dynamic Stillness. The rhythms are the movements of our physiology and are present within us all, simultaneously. The state of the nervous system and how much Subtle Body awareness we have will indicate what layer we experience these rhythms.
Not only is Primary Respiration the organizer of tissues, operated by the Breath of Life, but it is also an aspect of a deep spiritual intelligence. Something emerges in Primary Respiration that is connected to source and is very much alive. It seeks to know itself and chooses to come into form, so the form can reflect its own original
intention. Behind the understanding of how this system works, is the body’s natural self correcting force which heals all injuries and traumas.
One of the most distinguishing features of the mechanics of Primary Respiration is its emphasis on the mid-line. Ventral mid-line pertains to the front or anterior of the spinal cord. It is the major axis of development within the embryo, as well as, the major organizing force behind the movement of Biodynamic Potencies within the adult. In utero, it expresses as an uprising force where the primitive streak and notochord form. It is the ordering axis for the generation of form in the embryo and its function continues in that same way into life as a natural orientation point for all the tissues of the body to be organized. This mid-line is where the Breath of Life can travel in a way that can organize. The mid-line is anatomically centered through the center of our bodies along the line of the front part of the spine, through the vertebral bodies. The action that the ventral mid-line is sometimes call “The Fountain Spray of Life” because the movement of the Breath of Life here can be palpated as moving upward from the coccyx, through the vertebral bodies, to the occiput, and “spraying out through the sphenoid”. In the same way it was formed, it continues to be a major organizing pathway for the Breath of Life to travel to bring balance and organization to our tissues.
It is possible to sense all these layers of Tidal Movement coming from the rise and fall of Primary Respiration by way it travels through fascia. Fascia is the tough connective tissue which covers everything and connects all the systems in the body. This makes the body like one big sweater that is interconnected throughout. When one part is affected the other parts will also be affected. The sates of fluidity in the body are directly mirrored in the fascia system which acts like a living matrix. It’s functional ability to shift and change, hold and support, and conduct, to fit the functional need of the body makes fascia a major contributor in the flow of information in the body.
The main objective of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is to find restrictions and/or compressions (inertial fulcrums) in the fascial system and cranial vault which are caused by injury or trauma AND could cause dysfunction/disease in the body (possibly effecting other systems then where the initial inertia manifested) if left untreated. The main objective of this work is to support and listen to the body in a way that honors the body’s natural ability to always be in a state of balance, even in the face of disease, illness and chronic pain. Our job as practitioners of this work is to support the health, listen to the body from a neutral non-judging way while supporting the stories and patterns that are there in the tissue to settle, soften and resolve just as its ready to do so on its own. We augment this by knowing the anatomy, Being in our Body with a wide open listening field, very present with the client in a safe Relational Field (one that is not diagnosing, giving advice or even stating what we hear in the system at all, but merely reflecting). The main objective of the therapist is to listen to this very intelligent system and to offer contact with floating, thinking feeling, knowing hands. In this way the tissues organized around restrictions and compressions have a chance to release, thus affecting the whole body/mind system.

Visceral Abdominal Massage in Charlottesville, Va

Did you know….. Dominique is one of the Only Therapist in our area that has extensive training and experience in Abdominal and Visceral Manipulation Therapy? She has taught many therapist her techniques over the years through her course: Exploring the Abdomen and Organ System: Balancing Visceral Dynamics a 20 hr NCBTMB approved CE course for massage therapist. Many therapist and clients choose to forgo abdominal massage as the abdomen is a very sensitive and vulnerable place. However, that is why this work can be so powerful to experience with a skilled therapist of which you can trust. The work is amazing in fact and has the ability to jump start the healing process unlike any other modality.

Health Benefits of Visceral Abdominal Massage:
Improves digestive, balances hormones. Stimulates the gall bladder, the liver, and the pancreas, improving absorption of oxygen and nutrients and helping release waste. Breaks down adhesions, enhances the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids, helps align the pelvic bones, corrects hiatal hernias, ease symptoms of diverticulitis, cures chronic back pain, strengthens abdominal muscles and releases deep muscle tissue spasms.

Attitudes About Midwifery

Many people have heard horror stories about the danger of birth. They have been told about the increased safety of birth with the increase of medical knowledge. Many people therefore believe that birth is horrible and dangerous without modern technology. However, the World Health Organization states that the safest place to have a normal birth is where the mother feels most comfortable. Usually that’s at home, and the safest person to attend her is a midwife.

Craniosacral Therapy and Prenatal Care

Therapy is a type of Manual Therapy that Calms/Balances the Nervous System of
both, mother and child, encouraging emotional bonding which can otherwise be
short-circuited due to pre-natal and birth trauma/stress. When Mom’s
system is soothed and balanced during pregnancy, baby gains huge benefits. The
mother also benefits.  Quality of prenatal
care has a vast affect on birth outcomes. The best prenatal care includes one
that addressed both the physical and emotional wellbeing of the mother. Craniosacral
throughout pregnancy can help a mother be in process with her baby (and her
life!) while creating an opportunity to let go of any physical condition she
may be holding on to in her body.


Bringing the Midwifery Model of Care into the Medical Prenatal Experience

The application of the Midwifery
Model of Care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth injury, trauma,
and cesarean section. May 1996 Midwifery
Task Force

 Pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

Quality of prenatal care has a vast affect on birth outcomes. The best
prenatal care includes one that addressed both the physical and emotional
wellbeing of the mother. The traditional Medical Model of Care has an attitude that
birth is an event that needs to be controlled, monitored and managed within a
certain amount of parameters. Often centered on pain medications, continuous
monitoring and interventions; there is an incredible level of fear around birth
in North America which has lead to the over medicalization of birth.


Midwifery Model of Care vs Medical Model of Care: Surrounding Childbirth

One of the biggest differences between the medical model of care and the midwifery model of care is the individualization of care that the midwife provides. To truly individualize care means to strive for an in-depth understanding of a particular woman: her unique physical, emotional and mental circumstances with regard to her physical well-being and living environment as well as her hopes and fears about birth.


Breastfeeding and the Doula

All babies have an innate instinct towards breastfeeding. Babies are naturally born knowing the way to the breast. What gets lost in the ability to successfully breastfeed is often the lack of support for mothers.

Babies know how to signal to the mother when they are hungry and when they are full. They know how to regulate the breast milk and make adjustments so that they get their individual nutritional needs met. Feeding in shorted periods can make more liquid / more water and longer feedings make for thicker nutrient milk.


PTSD From Childbirth and the Doula

Studies are showing 25%-35% of women within the United States are reporting that their births were traumatic. This indicates that approximately 1 in 4 women report their birth as traumatic. That is 1,400,000 women a year in the United States are suffering with trauma symptoms after childbirth. Between 1.5% and 9% of those women develop the full blown symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. That is somewhere between 60,000 -360,000 American women who develop PTSD after childbirth. Between 1.5% and 3% of women who experienced a ‘normal’ ‘non-traumatic looking’ birth develop Post Traumatic Stress Affects which a milder form of PTSD.  3.2% women who get PTSD symptoms after childbirth that do not have any history of mental health and do not fall into any high risk categories for developing PTSD.  To differentiate even further, there is a real difference between PTSD and Postpartum Depression. Treatments are different. PTSD is an extreme form of anxiety disorder and treatments for Postpartum Depression are not successful for PTSD. < ?


Reflections on Natural Childbirth at the Hospital

Dr Cynthia Gabriel PHD and doula from Michigan comes from a rich background in anthropology studying the cultures of birth in Canada, Russia and the United States as a doula. I once hear her speak about her experience of supporting 65 births in a Russian hospital where all the births were completely natural with absolutely no intervention except 1 which was a C-section due failure to progress. This kind of statistic is unheard of in the United States! Her assessment is that the outcomes of birth and the use of medical intervention are largely cultural. In the United States birth has become highly medical-ized fundamentally, due the mass commercialization from pharmaceutical companies, allopathic medicine and mass media that have molded an idea that only external applications can assist in healing. Were as in Russian, the culture has a general belief that the body was designed to have a more natural healing ability.


Keys to Natural Childbirth when Delivering at the Hospital

Childbirth is an experience that many women wish to undergo without medication and chemical interference. This desire is not without good reason. Much research proves that all the medications offered for labor and delivery interfere with both mom and babies brain chemistry thus creating unnecessary stress that can take away the feelings of joy and accomplishment that accompany natural childbirth. Some research coming out of pre and perinatal psychology is pointing to how chemicals used during birth can indicate drug addiction later on in adult life. Chemical births can make labor and delivery more painful (for both mom and babies) and longer recovery time.