How does CST work?

Health is intrinsic and always present despite the variety of stresses that affect our body-mind throughout life. Shocks large and small, sudden or chronic, physical and emotional  become layered within our systems, obscuring our essential state of well being. Such impacts are described and indeed sensed by CS therapists during treatment as “compressive forces”.

Craniosacral works with these trapped layers. As strata of experience begin to unwind and release, the client can begin to sense not just physical improvements such as increased energy, but (possibly more importantly) greater clarity and meaning as their perceptive field also expands.

Treatment focuses on the fluid dynamics of the physical body. Perhaps an old fracture shows up, a tight jaw muscle, or general sluggishness in the client’s system. Sometimes issues from pre or perinatal events emerge as the client is able to increasingly access the deep sense of calm that exists beneath the surface waves of their daily life. This can include old patterns in the cranial bones laid down from birth to accessing thoughts and feelings from this very early time.

iStock 450725875The state of deep relaxation that is essential to the work is facilitated by the heart-centred holding field generated by the practitioner. This sets up a resonance that is picked up by the client who in turn can drop into a more expanded state of being. Emphasis on a very gentle and resourced approach makes CST a treatment of choice for shock or trauma in its many forms. As these release you may feel a tingling or streaming sensation or change in temperature.

Sessions are client led in the sense that it is the wisdom of the receiver’s body-mind that decides what is to occur. Franklyn Sills, pioneer in the field and author of Craniosacral Biodynamics I & II points out that William Sutherland “wrote about an approach where no force from without is used, but the unerring potency (life force) is trusted to initiate and carry out healing processes. What needs to happen cannot be learned through analysis or motion testing, but is a factor of what Sutherland called the Intelligence of the system and the intentions of the Breath of Life. At its depth, work in this field casts one into the mystery of life itself.”

Craniosacral training requires practitioners to have a firm grounding in anatomy and physiology with special emphasis on embryology, birth dynamics and the complexities of the nervous system.

If you would like to investigate further, some sites with more detailed explanations of Craniosacral Biodynamics see In depth. I would particularly recommend Franklyn Sills’ own site.


For any further information on Shiatsu and Craniosacral Therapy contact

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Clinics are in Malmesbury and Bristol.
For further details see Appointments.