Clinic questions and the ones you are too polite to ask!

Clinic questions and the ones you are too polite to ask!

1) What conditions does Craniosacral Therapy (CST) help with?

The effects of CST are far reaching, so it would be impossible to draw up an exhaustive list of symptoms than can be helped by CST.  However, to summarise, I specialise in the following three areas:

Stress and Anxiety.  Craniosacral Therapy is unique in its ability to treat the source of symptoms on every level, mental, physical or emotional. Letting go of tension and fear held in the body enables it to settle into calmness.

Pain Management.  People may come for Craniosacral Therapy because they have acute physical symptoms like headaches or back pain, or long standing issues with pain.

Babies & Children.  Craniosacral Therapy can offer support for colic, reflux, sleeplessness, irritability in babies and many common behavioural, social and learning difficulties in children respond well

2) There’s nothing actually ‘wrong’, can I still come along for a session?

There doesn’t need to be anything ‘wrong’ as such for you to benefit from a session.  Many people use it simply to maintain their sense of well being and calm.  I actually still have regular sessions myself for this reason.

3) So how does CST actually WORK?

It took me 3 years to train in CST.  It works on many different levels and different approaches are used depending on the needs of the individual.  To summarise:

“Craniosacral Therapy is a subtle yet profound and powerful hands-on technique, developed from osteopathy, which identifies pain and tensions held in the body.  It supports the body’s natural tendency to find health and optimum balance by relieving the body of these restrictions and allowing it to realign.  Craniosacral Therapy can often effect structural change, but also has much wider implications, both physically and psychologically.  Craniosacral Therapists are trained to feel motions in the body which are more subtle than the heart beat and lung breathing that we are all familiar with.”

The best way of understanding the treatment is to experience it yourself.  You don’t have to believe its going to work for it to work and you certainly don’t have to understand how it works for it to work.  But it does take at least a little bit of hope on the part of the client (I always have hope).

4) I’ve had this insomnia / back pain / depression for 20 years.  Can you resolve it in one session?

I have actually had people ask me this.  One lady even said that even though there wasn’t a doctor in the land who could help her, she still expected me to resolve her long standing symptoms in one session!
It’s only right that I manage people’s expectations the best that I can.  Generally speaking, fresh / recent trauma / restriction in the body tends to resolve very quickly (new born babies suffering with birth trauma are a good example of this).  When symptoms have been there for decades (or the tension has been gradually building over this time), it’s likely that it will take longer to resolve.  I usually recommend a short course of treatments (maybe 5 or 6) and then a review to see how much progress has been made.
It is true to say also that there might be other issues that your system needs to resolve before the specific issue that you want me to address is able to come to the fore (that is, your body has its own sense of priority and since I am working with your body’s own innate ability to heal itself, the ‘inherent treatment plan’ of your body will dictate the order of things).
Amazing things happen in my clinic but I am not a magician!

5) So……what are you actually DOING?

This is a question I often get asked either when someone is watching someone else have a treatment or when they are having a treatment themselves but have not been able to ‘feel’ much changing.

In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (CST), there will be no physical manipulation ever.  I am working at a much deeper, more fundamental level.  For various reasons, some people are able to notice a lot of the changes that are happening in their body during a session and some will notice fewer or maybe even none (this does not mean that nothing is happening!).
Somebody watching a session may observe jerky movements, changes in the clients breathing, movement and so on but obviously they will not see all of the changes that are happening inside the body (again this does mean that nothing is happening!).

If you want someone to ‘click’, ‘crunch’ or otherwise manipulate your body you need to seek a different kind of therapy!

6) Are you being honest with me (Will you tell me that I need more sessions than I actually do for example)?

One of the reasons that my practice is a successful one is because I get good results.  Another is that I take pride in running it with honesty and integrity.  I have a firm belief that a therapeutic relationship built on mutual trust and respect gives you the best chance of getting the results that you want.
This said, I cannot fix everything for everyone!  I also cannot guarantee in advance how your system will respond to treatment.  However, I am a highly experienced practitioner and my advice to you will be based upon the successes that I have seen in the past.  I know what tends to work best and I will be honest with you about how I think we can achieve the best results possible.  We will discuss this in order to ensure that your treatment plan is a good fit for you.

7) Can something so gentle make me better?

YES! I am working with your body’s innate ability to heal itself.  I will be listening with my hands to what your body needs and facilitating the process of release and restoration.  When we are working at the level of the mid-tide, changes are gentle but profound.

8) Can CST work even when many other avenues can be exhausted and the doctor says nothing can be done or that my condition will only get worse as the years progress?

That is very possible yes, I have seen it many many times!

9) How long have you been practising for / how well qualified are you?

I graduated from the Craniosacral Therapy Education Trust (CTET) in 2011 after a three year training.  For over two years, I have worked as a tutor in CTET’s teaching clinic, supporting final year students.  My practice is very busy.  I will soon be qualified to work as a supervisor (mentor) to other CSTs.

10) I’m sure I must be the worst case you’ve ever seen?

People say this a lot.  There can be a lot of shame and embarrassment over our condition.  Rest assured that I have worked with a lot of trauma (military, road traffic accidents, abuse, violence, the list goes on). I am not here to judge you or your situation.  I am here to create a safe, listening, neutral and supported space for your system to express what is going on and then I will facilitate the processes that need to take place in order for you to recover, at a pace that feels okay for you.  You are getting help and that is what’s important.

11)  Your life must be really perfect! / You must be really sorted!?

Often people see their practitioner as being someone who is ‘shiny’; someone who sets a good example and they assume that the practitioner must have a pretty perfect life.  Typical things that people often assume about me are that: I am vegetarian (probably vegan), that I meditate daily, that I have a VERY happy marriage, that I never shout, that my children are completely zen, that I am super healthy and fit, that I never take prescription drugs and that I probably don’t drink.  It is true to say that my focus is very much on my own health first (otherwise how can I help anyone else), but I am far from perfect.

Honestly, I am on a journey just like you are.  I have suffered a fair few traumas in my life, more than I care to recall.  I have a belief that often therapists are people who have ‘been through the mill’ themselves.  Hence why you tend not to get therapists in their 20s. I have worked very very hard on myself over the years (receiving CST has been a big part of that but not all by any means) and I will continue to do that always.  Not because I aspire to be shiny, but because I know I still have a lot of growing to do and growth brings me better health, a better understanding of myself and others and the result of that is that I feel happier, make wiser decisions and I enjoy life more – yay!

Pain – what is it and how to reduce it!

Pain – what is it and how to reduce it!

The subject of pain is a HUGE one and deserves much more time and space than I have here, but I will do my best to cover the key points.
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We all know what pain is like, but to clarify…. acute pain is short lived, the term chronic pain is used when pain has lasted for 3-6 months or more.

In a Lancet study carried out in 2014 (Michaleff et al), it was found that reading about how pain works for 30 months plus two telephone conversations, worked as well as twenty, yes TWENTY sessions of physiotherapy!!!  Therefore, understanding how pain works is key to recovering from it.

So here, and in my clinic, I teach people why they still have pain and help them out of it.

Its important to recognise that initial pain is often an indicator of danger.  It tells us to react and can save us from further injury or death e.g. if your finger is burning on the oven for example, you will automatically withdraw your hand from the heat (without even thinking).  When we have just injured our back, pain is helpful, because it warns us against further injury.
However (and this is the important bit) what we now know, is that after 3-6 months, pain is rarely in the tissues but in our nervous system.  That is, pain has caused our nervous system to change.  Our nervous system has become too sensitive!

“Sensitization means we turn the volume up on our alarm system, but are very poor at turning the volume down.’, Steve Haines, Pain Is Really Strange.

The medical profession used to believe that chronic pain was held in the tissues of the body, now we know that it rarely is.  The answer to resolving the pain issue is to show the system how to down-regulate / desensitize / ‘turn the volume down’.

I should also say at this point that unresolved emotional trauma is held in the physiology and in the limbic system, not the cognitive (thinking part of the brain) as previously thought.  It often shows itself as physical pain.  So whilst we may be looking for the cause of our pain by having MRI scans for example, there may well not be a structural cause.

So…..hopefully all of this goes some way to explain why Craniosacral Therapy (in my experience) is so effective in terms of reducing or eliminating pain from the body.

I could go and on about this subject, but I am passionate about helping people with pain.  The people I see in my clinic have often been in pain for decades.  They may have limited mobility and their quality of life / ability to work may be seriously affected.

In a treatment, we find that the body has it’s own sense of priority.  Number one is showing the system what safety is, this may be something which is a new experience, but is it key to everything else.  We then teach the system to notice sensations other than the pain.  This is all HUGE in terms of down-regulating the nervous system (turning the volume down).

Gradually, trauma, whether that be physical or emotional will come to the surface and release and the pain gets less or goes.  This is an amazing experience for someone when the pain has been there for a long time!

So, hopefully that gives you a brief summary of why I see so many people’s pain levels reduce or disappear.  These steps seem counter-intuitive I know and how can something so simple be so effective??  If you would like to understand more or see if this therapy can help you, please do get in touch.

Ouch!

Resourcing is essential to health

Resourcing is essential to health

Resources why do they matter – a little test for you ……

I have been working as a Craniosacral Therapist for about 7 years now and I have learnt many things along the way. One of the main things I have discovered, is that some people are more likely to suffer ill health than others.

There are many factors that can predispose us to disease, of course. But what I see time and time again, is that people who are suffering ill health, pain, depression are under-resourced. When we are under resourced, we have few coping strategies and we struggle more with life’s challenges. We neglect ourselves, year after year, often putting other people’s needs before our own. We just carry on and on and on, ignoring the signs (no time for that!) until our system, one way or the other, FORCES us to stop (pain, disease, depression etc take over) and we have no choice but to ask for help.

When we are well resourced, we are resilient, strong, feel supported and are far better equipped to cope with life’s stresses and problems. In a nutshell, we are less prone to disease.

There are many reasons why people become under-resourced. A Craniosacral Therapist can sense how well resourced your system is through touch and then they can work with your body to build the potency passing through it. That is one way to build up the resources within the system. There are also things that the patient can do, outside of the treatment room to help themselves.

Here comes the little test……..So how well resourced are YOU?

I encourage all my patients to write a list of 10 things that resource them. Go on, have a go. Your list is unique to you. There may be things on it which you are not able to do right now, but still, put them on if you consider that they would ‘feed your soul’. So, grab some paper and a pen and have a go before you read on (it works best this way)……

How did you get on? Did you get to 5? Over 10?

Often, simply putting our attention on that list is a useful exercise. It can really help us to focus on our own needs.

I find that well resourced people can write their list quickly and easily and could often write way more than 10 things down. These people are well aware of what they need to keep themselves well and they make their health a priority.

Whilst people who under-resourced either look at me blankly, or as if they think I am mad (new mums fall into the latter category – their focus is naturally on their young baby and they have little time for themselves), and they struggle to think of even two or three things that should be on their list. It may even take them a few days to get to 10.

If you are struggling, examples might be:

• Having a Craniosacral Therapy session
• Taking a walk in the woods
• Writing a diary
• A trip to the seaside
• Going out with friends
• Talking to your best friend

As I say, there is no right or wrong, everyone’s list is different.

More to the point, if you struggled with that exercise, how would it be for you to do something about it? This is YOUR life and it’s important that you enjoy it and stay as healthy as you can!

I’m too busy

If this is the case, please pause and take an honest look at your life and how you are living it. Do you want things to stay the same?

I need help!

I am offering free telephone consultations now! Do get in touch on 07956 390419 and you can tell me more about your situation and I will see if I can help you.

Chronic pain and how to overcome it

Chronic pain and how to overcome it

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Recent revolutions in science tell us that chronic pain is usually NOT in the tissues! This contradicts many old ideas of how to “fix” pain. Want to know how to overcome chronic pain?

What we now understand is that pain is a complex process and that it can often become a habit which we don’t know how to stop. The practice of feeding the brain new information, “tricks” the brain into experiencing the body in a different way. As a result of this, the pain is less, we sleep better, anxiety levels often reduce and generally speaking, life is better!

In Craniosacral Therapy, we guide the whole system towards safety, encouraging it to move into the present moment and we help to develop new neuropathways, so that the old ones don’t “shout so loud”. At Cranio Kent, I often see people who have been living with pain for many years, sometimes even decades and with Craniosacral Therapy, they very often find great relief. It is simple, but incredible. Why not try it for yourself?

This graphics book, Pain Is Really Strange was written by Steve Haines, and explains these concepts in simple terms.

What is pain and what is happening when we feel it?

What is pain and what is happening when we feel it?

Pain

What is Pain? Lorimer Moseley discusses pain, the reasons we have it and how we can achieve relief from it. Pain isn’t always in the tissues.  We can learn new ways to experience our bodies.  He says that, ‘The best interventions focus on slowly training our body and brain to be less protective.’  This is often the focus with Craniosacral Therapy.

Read more here: https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-pain-and-what-is-happening-when-we-feel-it-49040