This touch therapy heals without popping pills

Our understanding of a healthy body goes beyond the Newtonian concept which advocates the “one size fits all” statement. There is a deep shift in the perception about disease management today that goes beyond the ‘popping the pill’ culture. People are becoming more responsible and research on the ability of the body to find its own health is coming to the forefront.

Dr William G Sutherland, an osteopath by profession, got interested in different junctions between the skull bones (sutures) and believed that there was a subtle movement in them that allowed reorganisation in the body, something that neuroscience research today proves. The body has an inherent capability to reorganise itself and this goes much deeper than a superficial cut or burn.

Dr John Upledger coined the term Craniosacral Therapy (CST) where practitioners use a light touch and access the core nervous system allowing the body to orient towards health. Dr Upledger was astonished while assisting a neurosurgeon where he was unable hold the tissue surrounding the spinal cord (dura) still. Try as he might, it continued to move in a rhythmic pattern, now termed as a ‘tide’, in cranial work.

Bodywork like myofascial, craniosacral and osteopathy are treatments that have developed a new meaning in the light of research evidence that supports the concepts of the interconnectedness of the whole body.

Our bodies are far more intelligent and sensitive than we have known before. The connective tissue that forms the fabric of the body is called the ‘fascial network’, and it has tiny nerve endings called interoceptors that respond to a light touch, communicate with the brain, revisiting the areas of trauma, often enough to realign stress patterns that have been residing in the body, sometimes  for decades.

It essentially works as a “reboot” function for the brain where the body is able to realign, reorganise and renew its functional efficiency. Craniosacral therapy is one of the modalities using a light touch to help the body do just that. Craniosacral therapists are trained to recognise areas of strain or held patterns over a period of time in the body. They provide the right space using a light touch for the body to orient to the forces of health and heal itself.

Body awareness plays a huge role in the efficacy of cranial work and it essentially pushes the brain to remap the body using conscious attention by the person towards their bodies. Old patterns of trauma may become a habit and the body needs to be gently made aware of it to create a new pattern of health and functionality. The role of a professional craniosacral therapist becomes paramount here. It is probably time that we look afresh at the meaning of health, healing and functionality. The word “healing” is not mystic anymore. I believe it is the term for the deep journey your body undertakes in full conscious awareness to orient to the forces of health and to find a new you; and all this is completely measurable and scientific.

The author is a Bangalore-based dentist and has been practicing CST for the past 10 years after she experienced the benefits of the therapy and recovered from multiple disc prolapses in her back completely, sans any surgery