The Emotional Body

The Emotional Body

Modern disciplines of medicine have changed the way we think about and measure emotions. Branches such as psychoneuroendocrinology are helping us to understand, not only the way our emotions affect our own bodies, but also how our emotions can affect or be affected by others.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy and the Viscera


This past weekend I started the FINAL module of my cranio-sacral training on viscera, which further emphasised for me how incredible the human body is, how we hold trauma in our body and the many ways healing can take place.

It is very difficult to describe the sensations experienced during a Cranio-Sacral treatment (both giving and receiving a session) and after two years of training and many years of experiencing this treatment, I struggle even more to describe it.

During my herbal training, we were taught how to locate and palpate certain organs but being able to tune it to the motion, quality, sound and smell of these organs is beyond words. Life is now split into before cranio and after cranio and I am so excited about where this journey is going to take me.

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Minute Meditation - SBS Flow

The sphenobasilar junction  or sphenobasilar synchondrosis (SBS) is a cartilaginous joint in the cranium where the body of the sphenoid and the basilar portion of the occiput meet or articulate. Restrictions in any part of the cranium will affect the entire cranial structure however, it is the movement of the SBS that is pivotal to the entire cranio-sacral system.

Restrictions at the SBS (such as compressions, twists or torsions) can lead to dysfunction of the endocrine system, reduced cerebrospinal fluid flow, decreased vascular flow into the cranium, etc. Restrictive patterns at the SBS can also reflect restrictions or traumas in other parts of the body.

This clip is a short movement meditation of the six patterns that can be felt at the SBS – flexion/extension, compression/decompression, lateral shift, vertical shift, side-bending and torsion.

(In this clip my torso or arms represent the sphenoid and my legs the occiput, with my waist being the SBS joint?).

Music: 'Fairy Tale' by Me!

#craniosacral #craniosacraltherapy #health #wellbeing #yoga #flow #move #sphenobasilar #sbs

Cranio-Sacral Therapy

Before I started training as a herbalist, I had added “study to be a Cranio-Sacral Therapist” to my long list of things to do. This year I have been fortunate to tick that item off the list and I am currently completing my diploma in Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST).

In short, CST was born out of Osteopathy by Dr William Garner Sutherland in the early 1900’s, who examined the human skull for many years and concluded that the bones of the skull were capable of small movements (counter to the conventional understanding that the bones of the skull fused around the age of 25 and after which could not move). Furthermore, he found this movement occurred in all tissues of the body which he termed primary respiration.

Sutherland went on to find that obstruction of these bones to move freely also caused physical, emotional and cognitive disturbances. He found that the structures and the tissues of the body responded to a fundamental pulse in the cerebrospinal fluid (which bathes the brain and spinal cord). He called this the Breath of Life and surmised that by working with the potency of the Breath of Life, the practitioner could enhance their patient’s well-being and vitality.

An ancient Egyptian papyrus scroll dating to at least 1500 BCE, the Edwin Smith Papyrus, is believed to be the oldest known manuscript on trauma – specifically neurotrauma and recommended remedies for the treatment of skull fractures. The text is also the first to reference the word brain and to mention, what we now refer to as cerebrospinal fluid. It was not until the 18th century that CSF was accepted as being a normal constituent of the human. Before this time many physicians referred to the fluid as pneuma (spirit) or considered it to be a pathological sign. Cerebrospinal fluid flows from the head (cranium) to the base of the spine (sacrum), therefore the therapeutic practice was coined Cranio-Sacral Therapy by Dr John Upledger in the 1970s.

A therapist once said that watching sessions of CST can be like watching paint dry, as it may look like very little is happening. But in contrast, in this very still, quiet space there is very significant and powerful things that are taking place. Engaging with the cranio-sacral system (essentially the entire central nervous system), the practitioner is able to aid the client’s inherent healing potential and address imbalances on a physical, emotional and cognitive level.

My experience of CST as a patient has been incredible and has enabled me to think, walk and talk differently, as I address issues – old and new – that have been locked into my system through physical or emotional trauma, injury or epigenetics (if you want to get deep) . As a student CST practitioner, experiencing the human body through this unimposing presence and non-invasive, light touch is amazing (without sounding too overdramatic) – feeling the body rebalancing itself and finding its way back to health and vitality.

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