The Energetic/Shamanic Overtones of Craniosacral Bodywork
By Gary Strauss
I have been working as a teacher and practitioner in the energy based healing arts for over 35 years. I would say one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in my life. They say in Energy work that you give a session and at the same time you get one. People are always asking what cranial is about and I realize that I have spent more than half my life trying to explain it. I could say very simply that it is the balancing of the Craniosacral system including its hard soft and aqueous tissues. For some that might ring a bell. Or as Dr. John Upledger synthesizer of Craniosacral Therapy says “CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord”
Or as Hugh Milne, creator of Visionary Craniosacral work says” A visionary knows how to touch a client with precise and gentle contacts that help the client feel more aligned, and more at home in themselves. Sometimes, by touching just the right place in just the right way, a visionary can help the client understand what troubles them, and what they need to reclaim their equanimity, and their place in life. Such work can also help the client access and release their healing potential”
Or as Franklyn Sills synthesizer of Biodynamic Cranial work says “We, as human beings, are seen to be an expression of the wholeness of life itself, and are not separate from the vast forces at work throughout the universe. In this concept, a spiritual essence called the Breath of Life is perceived to generate a subtle tide-like ordering and organizing principle called primary respiration that manifests as a biodynamic life force or potency within the human system.
This intrinsic health integrates all cellular and tissue form and function, from the moment of conception until death, and is constantly at work maintaining the best possible balance and homeostasis even in the most desperate circumstances.
I love listening to how our leading thinkers/practioner-teachers have found this work and how they express it. Just from reading about these principles you can absorb the ideas and incorporate them into life. I think because in Cranial there is something so special going on that the very nature of the system is also the nature of life and the universe.
The spine and the brain are at the heart of our bodies evolutionary history as well as nature itself. Our center organizes our experiences and helps us to integrate the fullness of life. For thousands of years seers and physicians have found that the spine and brain are a central organizing system that makes integrity out of our daily living experience. Through our brain and spine and all the nerves and tissues that come and go from them we operate a vast array of daily miracles. From the cellular through the cosmic our Craniosacral system is helping us to integrate the dimensions of life.
I think we are dimensional beings – we have a spirit, a mind, an emotional,energetic and physiological level of being. We actually have more levels or dimensions connected to our being then these and it becomes difficult to represent this, except when it comes to the experience of ICSU.
Working with and focusing on the spine, brain and all its tissues the ICSU practitioner opens up dimensions of being that have been sacrificed through the stresses of our modern civilized life. Clients come in fractured, in pain, out of balance and leave aligned through their spine integrated in their hemispheres and balanced in their auric field and body energy components. This is because the brain and spine are the integrators of the dimensions of life. With very simple ways of teaching and regarding our clients spine brain and intelligence we can help them to reconnect with self and gain greater continuity through their bodies and the world around them. When people ask what are the results of this work and why would I consider either learning how to do it, or receiving it, I usually say that after 37 years and tens of thousands of sessions – participating in both I can tell you that people become more integrated, self oriented and in tune with life purpose through it. If these are things you are interested in then Cranial might be for you. I have found that clients/students lives tend to change in similar ways from participating in ICSU. They become more aligned through their spine and brain, become more organized in a healthy way around the self and then life changes according to that alignment creating experiences, relations and manifestations in great resonance with who they are, adding energetic resources to release symptoms and empower living. It seems like life has such a great horizontal demand that we become compressed by it , often loosing our beingness . Working with the cranium spine and pelvis through ICSU seems to restore our humanity , bringing us back to who and what we are. I think that people who have been participating in meditation, kundalini yoga, tai chi, chi gong and most energy based or spinal based methodologies have found similar results. I have come to believe that our spine is the doorway to our connections between the dimensions of our being and that simply thinking spinal life makes a huge change in our experience. What would it be like to experience a more aligned an integrous life, and is this not what we are all after. What is so interesting about this methodology is that in the most simple way by doing and or receiving it this outcome is accomplished effortlessly and for all who participate in it. To this day I look forward to doing sessions as much as receiving them.