A typical CranioSacral therapy session usually takes place in a quiet, private setting with the client wearing loose, comfortable clothing, Clients remain fully clothed, though most choose to remove their shoes. The session is performed with the client reclining on a massage or treatment table while the practitioner stands or sits, positioned at various times throughout the session at the client's head, middle torso or feet. The session usually lasts about one hour.
In the Upledger method of CranioSacral therapy, a ten-step protocol serves as a general guideline, which includes
(1) Analyzing the base (existing) cranial rhythm,
(2) Creating a still point in that rhythm at the base of the skull,
(3) Rocking the sacrum,
(4) Lengthening the spine in the lumbar-sacral region,
(5) Addressing the pelvic, respiratory and thoracic diaphragms,
(6) Releasing the hyoid bone in the throat, and
(7-10) addressing each one of the cranial bones. The practitioner may use discretion in using which steps are suitable for each client, and may or may not follow them in sequential order, with time restraints and the extent of trauma being factors.
The therapist places their hands lightly on the patient's body, tuning in to the patient by ‘listening’ with their hands or, in Sutherland's words, "with thinking fingers". Therapeutic contact between the patient and therapist may involve between patient and practitioner. Patients often report a sense of deep relaxation during and after the treatment session, and may feel light-headed.
What you may experience during a session?
Experiences during a CST session are as individual as the clients and practitioners themselves. They also may differ from session to session. At times, a client may deeply relax or even fall asleep; at other times, he or she may talk a great deal, recalling hidden memories or expressing emotions. Some will remain still during the entire session, hardly noticing the practitioner's evaluation and treatment, while others will experience sensations within the body as the evaluation process is carried out.
At various times throughout the session, the practitioner will support a client's limbs and spine while facilitating release of accumulated tension. This process is called energy cyst release or tissue release. During this release, the client might recall circumstances surrounding a past shock, trauma or injury. Releasing and re-experiencing past hurts assists the body in reversing dysfunction and restoring the previous level of mobility. This entire process has been named SomatoEmotional Release®.
What you may experience following a session:
Just as individuals experience CST sessions differently, the immediate results can be diverse as well. This relaxed state may cause some to sleep for many hours after a session. Others may experience an increase in energy. Reduction of pain or an increase in function may occur immediately after the session, or it may develop gradually over the next few days. Since CST helps the body resume its natural healing processes, it isn't unusual for improvement to continue weeks after the session. For some there may be a reorganization phase as the body adapts to the release of previously held patterns.
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