From the Washington post
April 2013 completed an 11 year journey of Cranio-Sacral therapy, four years studying visceral manipulation and one year neural. Every step has been enlightening, adding a new piece to the puzzle and I know it doesn’t end here as I signed up for more advanced levels.
When I decided to attend level one of the visceral manipulation series, it was mere curiosity. I’d heard so much about it from other students. Day one into level 1 made me realize that it wasn’t just a technique I could learn over a short course, nor was it a simple CEU to renew my annual license in the UK, it was much more in depth than that. The books were very hard to understand at the beginning, change in terminology , sinking versus force, listening rather than just doing was a struggle. I then realized the link between the organs and posture, the organs and joints, the organs and fascia, felt more and a whole new world unfolded. I couldn’t let go, because every level left me hungry for more. Once I’d covered most of the organs, I discovered that there was more to palpate and feel, and that working with the organs alongside everything else I did, just didn’t feel complete, so I enrolled in Articular courses, then neural and I look forward to attending the vascular system. It all seems to fall into place now, however challenging.
A normal bump or fall travels through the entire body. Children fall out of low windows, off chairs and end up with a bruise and survive. Years later that same child develops postural patterns or digestive issues, and very often parents will brush over the initial fall very quickly as something in the past. Unfortunately it’s not. Trauma travels up or down the body away from the site of impact and lodges somewhere, and that location is a good starting point to treat. It could be where the continual pull comes from,. Other times emotional trauma is locked in tense tissues, the speculations/reasons are numerous, but a finely tuned hand will be able to pick up micro-traumas when an MRI fails to see it.
This link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-kx7oYS-a0 of special photography shows how an impact can travel in the body, and it doesn’t have to be a punch in the face, it can be as simple as falling down the stairs or bumping the edge of a table.
Visceral manipulation looks at the container of the body, and works on a multitude of issues.
Traveling to Ayr used to be an ordeal, but with time I now look forward to the long journey of diverse scents, sounds and sights. I know I’ve arrived as the train passes a beach and my body immediately sinks into a knowing of the little town which shuts at 5 o’clock and the calmness that lies ahead.
Visceral manipulation is now being offered as a separate session in my practice. I will continue using bits and pieces incorporated into other sessions, but people are now welcome to book for a full session to explore their organs and link the mind and the organ’s pathway.
Thermal manual evaluation was the title of the last course I attended. It is yet another tool of diagnosis. Studies have shown that hands can pick up heat discrepancies off the body as well as thermal diagnostic machines. With thermal evaluation, a therapist can locate areas of dis-ease and not necessarily disease. Through that, specificity is very important, and inhibiting several areas will locate the exact organ. By further evaluations, a therapist can identify whether the problem is physical or emotional. If the problem is physical, a visceral manipulation session will be given to the specified organ and its supporting organs. If the issue is an emotional link, the therapist will be able to link brain centers to the organ to reconnect the link. This is all done manually and cannot be compared to organ massage or energy healing.
Visceral manipulation is gentle, but not as soft as cranial. It is deeper and does not need the use of oil, it needs a sound understanding of anatomy and physiology and an ability to feel the direction of pull of the tissues. It is an excellent diagnostic tool which I incorporate into biomechanical assessments, eliminating or including organs in posture analysis and deciphering whether an organ is the cause of a joint injury as they share common connective tissues.
I’m one step away from completing the series, and look forward to repeating them again and again as each time I will learn and understand more. This is a never ending learning process and precision is not a course it’s a journey.
Dr John Upledger aged 80 passed away this morning. A great man who contributed to the healthcare system and was one of the first to break down barriers. If you are a cranio sacral therapist trained at upledger or a client whose pain has been relieved by cranial work, I ask you to say a prayer to the man who gave training to therapists and eased pain for thousands around the globe. I met Dr Upledger 10 years ago in Florida. He will be truly missed.
Getting to my last course reminded me of the movie ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ Towards the last leg of my journey, I suddenly thought how mad I must be traveling such a distance for three charged days, and double back to resume my life as if that pause never happened. However, it’s hard attending such a course with like minded people, learn amazing things, challenge my knowledge, skill and confidence and walk out the same. Some courses are transformational, and this one most certainly was. The distance, the location, the course content, meeting old and new colleagues are always part of the experience.
‘Manual articular lower extremities’ was a continuation of the upper limb course I attended earlier this year.
Precision is key in this cutting edge technique, listening to the body, and following through.
An often deep and profound technique which differs from other methods of therapy, and isn’t a three times a week event, but once every few weeks to allow natural body adjustment and communication with the brain.
I specialized in knees 20 years ago when it was mandatory to be a specialist in something. I remember asking my uncle who was a doctor as to which joint would be best to specialize in, and he with great conviction said not the knee as it was one of the most complex joints and rehab wasn’t very successful due to its complexity.
I took it upon myself to challenge science and decided to approach knee injuries through protocols, biomechanics, fitness and alternative therapies.
After many years in this field, and especially after this particular course, I believe that there’s a huge gap between anatomy books and this kind of work, perhaps university courses need to be revised. It’s very hard to get my hands so finely tuned to realise that they can be refined more and more leaving a big question mark and gaps over the years.
The current techniques not only address the joint, capsule, synovial fluid, tendons, ligaments but arteries, veins, nerves, and fascia. I can’t address tissues as just soft tissue because each has a function, even the ones sheared during surgery and deemed unimportant.
I’m going all the way with this method not to offer yet another therapy, but to have the tools for that occasional case that could walk into my clinic once a year. To have the tools to assist in a smooth transition. This type of therapy has just launched my knowledge in anatomy and physiology to a new level and am truly humbled to the intricacy of this very sophisticated vehicle we call ‘the body’. It is much more than that!