Craniosacral therapists recognise health as an active principle. This health is the expression of life – an inherent ordering force, a natural internal intelligence. Craniosacral Therapy is a subtle and profound healing form which assists this natural bodily intelligence.

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Dr William Sutherland, an American osteopath, discovered intrinsic movements of the bones of the skull around the turn of the century. His further research revealed different rhythmic tidal motions in the body.

As research continued it became apparent that these movements are inextricably linked with not only physical health but also mental and emotional health. Palpation of these tide-like motions allows Craniosacral therapists to facilitate change in areas of restriction.

The whole of our life history is held in our physical form. An integral part of this work is the patient’s developing awareness of how their story is held and how it unfolds. We are a unit of life function and this is completely respected in Craniosacral Therapy.

Craniosacral Therapy is so gentle that it is suitable for babies, children, and the elderly, as well as adults; and also in fragile or acutely painful conditions.

The work can be profoundly relaxing, exhilarating, deeply moving or involve a resolution of old material. Sessions are usually between 40 – 60 minutes in total.

Craniosacral Therapy & Children

For a Cranial therapist, treating young babies and their mothers is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences. Just as a seedling can be nurtured with the smallest amount of physical guidance to grow into a healthy plant, so a baby, by the gentlest of encouragement, can be helped to release the stresses and trauma of the birth process and so avoid possible physical and psychological trauma later in life.

The compressive forces experienced during birth as a result of the passage through the pelvis and the tight fit in the birth canal can cause imbalance in a baby’s system; even in natural and apparently problem-free births. Many babies experience difficulties through the use of Ventouse extraction, forceps or Caesarean deliveries. Common newborn’s problems like colic, sucking problems and respiratory difficulties may be due to compression arising from birth trauma. These can develop into problems later in life: depression, migraine, sinusitis, spinal and pelvic pain can often be traced back to what happened at birth.

Craniosacral therapy originated with the work of Dr William Sutherland, an American osteopath, who discovered intrinsic movements of the bones of the skull around the turn of the century. His further research revealed different rhythmic tidal motions in the body.

As research continued it became apparent that these movements are inextricably linked with not only physical health but also mental and emotional health. Craniosacral Therapy is so gentle that it is suitable for all ages and also in fragile or acutely painful conditions.

John Wilks has been practising craniosacral therapy for the over 12 years. He pioneered the first professional training course in the UK specifically for midwives at Poole Hospital and is guest tutor for the Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust in London. He is former chairman of the Cranial Forum, a body representing all Cranial therapists moving towards common standards of practice under the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrated Health. He has presented a documentary for Sky TV on Craniosacral Therapy and Children.

The clinics I work from are based in Sherborne, Bridport and Castle Cary. All are within easy reach of Yeovil, Taunton, South Somerset, and West Dorset. Please see our Appointments page for further details and to book an appointment.

Craniosacral Therapy – a holistic perceptive

What is it?

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a form of healing which, through light touch, facilitates the body’s natural powers of self-healing. At the core of the craniosacral system are the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord and which create subtle motions and pulsations throughout the whole body. These different tide-like pulsations are an interface enabling the therapist to make a connection with the organising forces of life (sometimes called ‘the breath of life’). In craniosacral therapy, palpating these pulsations enables therapists to access the breath of life and to make a therapeutic relationship with the body-mind through their hands. It is a non-manipulative discipline that has developed from the same roots as cranial osteopathy.

How does it work?

The therapy is based on observations that, for the healing process to develop spontaneously, it is often enough to really listen through palpation. To do this the therapist puts preconceptions to one side. Cranial therapists are also trained to make a variety of interventions if appropriate. By focusing on the body’s internal rhythms and allowing restrictions to change, therapists help the client to learn, on both a conscious and sub-conscious personal level, how to recognise and release areas that may be causing illness or hindering recovery. The therapist will always also be aware of the anatomical structure of the person he or she is working with and use that to guide the treatment. Therapists recognise a number of different rhythms or ‘tides’; the slower tides are thought to be more related to deeper levels of healing.

What does it involve?

Clients usually lie, or sometimes sit, fully-clothed on a comfortable treatment table. The therapist uses his or her hands to ‘listen with the hands’ to the body’s subtle rhythms and then engages the tissues of the client’s system. The hands may be still for quite long periods of time. It feels different for everyone – you may feel heat or cold, tingling sensations, gentle pulsing or sense of deep relaxation. Sometimes people have a clear sense of significant physical or psychological reorganisation. Traumatic memories or episodes can be released via low-level emotional releases. Sometimes the therapist may ask questions about what the client is feeling to assist the process. The number of sessions required depends on the reason for treatment, varying from one or two sessions, to regular treatments over a long period of time in difficult conditions. This therapy does not involve manipulation or massage.

Who can benefit?

Anyone can benefit, but because it is so gentle, craniosacral therapy is suitable for children and elderly people, as well as those with acutely painful conditions that are difficult to treat with other hands-on therapies. It is also often appropriate when other therapies may be contraindicated, for example, during pregnancy or after an operation.

What are the side effects (contraindications)?

There are no side effects as such but therapists would exercise caution when working with women in the early stages of pregnancy or people who have recently suffered a stroke.

How much does it cost?

An hour long session usually costs between £25 and £50. Ask when you book. Some therapists make reductions for children.

Where can I have this therapy?

There are practitioners in many parts of the country, mostly working independently or at natural health clinics and similar centres. For names and contact details see below.

Where can I find out more?

From the Craniosacral Therapy Association, Monomark House, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3XX. Write for a list of registered therapists (please enclose SAE with 42p stamp), phone 0844 700 2358 or visit the Association website