Cranio-Sacral Therapy with Jenny Baker

Oxford Natural Health Centre
3 Church Cowley Rd Oxford, OX4 3JR, 01865 715615

I finally got around to going for a cranio-sacral treatment, after intending to for ages. I’d had several word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, which is apparently how it usually happens.

The theory of cranio-sacral therapy is that there are rhythms in the body, like breathing, but even deeper and more fundamental, which are expressed via the cerebro-spinal fluid, and which produce tiny movements of the spine, sacrum and cranial bones. These movements, for the sceptics among you, have been measured in experiments, and shown to be independent of both breathing and heartbeat.

The underlying rhythms, often called “primary respiration”, are a good diagnostic indicator, being strong and stable in healthy people, and weaker and more irregular if you’re unwell. Blockages can be caused by physical trauma to the head or spine, by unprocessed emotional upsets, and often by difficulties during the birth process. For this reason, cranio-sacral treatments can often be particularly effective on babies and young children.

A cranio-sacral practitioner will have undertaken a minimum of two years training in which they learn to tune in to these rhythms and allow the body to make the necessary adjustments. During the session, which lasts about an hour, the client lies on their back, fully clothed, on a treatment table and tries to do as little as possible.

My experience, over two treatments so far, has involved being gently held and steered on the feet, ankles, head, tailbone, and solar plexus area, in no particular order except that it starts and ends at the feet. This causes, again in no particular order, tingling, twitching, heat, cold, memories and sometimes the tendency to slip off into daydream to avoid what’s actually happening whenever it gets psychologically uncomfortable.

Afterwards, I have felt very calm and relaxed, with a greater sense of bodily energy, but also prone to visits from emotional moods from the past. It’s important to let these come and go, rather than getting involved.

I wasn’t trying to address any particular condition, but am subject to tight neck and shoulders, pressure around the eyes, and lower back stiffness. None of these has vanished after two treatments. They are after all, the result of 30-odd years of ill-use. But I feel sufficiently relaxed and intrigued, with an increased awareness of my own energy, to be continuing, aiming to have a treatment every three or four weeks.

Ian Threadgill 26/06/2006

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