Brain Floating

I want to share a practice that I do when: I want to get deep rest in a short period of time, or when I have trouble sleeping, or when I'm feeling stressed or worried or in a thought loop that won't resolve, or when I just want to feel more whole, awake, embodied, fluid and integrated! I call it Brain Floating. 

This is a practice that I teach my students as a way to get in touch with the expression of cranial wave motion and be able to experience and witness our body's natural process of slowing  down into the deeper Tides of Primary Respiration where we resource the healing potential as we drop in to that miraculous feeling of Wholeness. We witness an emerging process of regeneration or re-organizing around fulcrums of stuck or stagnant places in our body consciousness. 

I started experimenting with this on a daily basis as a way to learn more about the patterns of flexion and extension of my membranes/fluids, bones.... the expression of the layer of cranial wave- or Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (CRI).. that can be seen as an expression of our patterns of reaction or compensation to stress and trauma. I soon discovered that if I gave the process a lot of mental and energetic "space"- the way we do in a biodynamic cranial session for our clients- that my system dropped into  a delicious fluid reality where I got to witness the profound wisdom of this potent force within, that knows where to focus or organize into stillness to bring Balance and Clarity on all levels! 

The practice involves stimulating the motion of flexion and extension to trigger or exaggerate the motion pattern. One way to do that is to press the back of your neck into the  bed or massage table on your inhale, then relax and release it on your exhale, stimulating and tiring your muscles. Do this several times, then let go and observe the inner motions of membrane and fluid, allowing the response to that stimulation to unwind and eventually wind down into a slower more organized motion. Once you get a feel for it, it becomes easy to drop in without having to do the voluntary exaggerated motion- but just drop into relaxation- feeling supported by the bed, massage table, or floor- it helps to let go of tension at the back of your neck, relax your whole body, and relate to yourself as a FLUID BEING IN A SPACIOUS FLUID UNIVERSE. You may fall asleep. That's fine. You will probably wake up very refreshed.

Here is a brief video to give an example of an approach to this practice.

Welcome to my new site.

Craniosacral Therapy by Heidi Wilson

This is an article that I wrote in 2009 for Arizona School of Integrative Studies in Clarkdale, Az. where I teach my series of workshops,"Riding the Wave, Touching Stillness", Craniosacral Work with a Biodynamic perspective.

I welcome any comments.

Describing what a craniosacral therapy session feels like is not easy. A recent client of mine said, “It feels like being in the womb of the world!” Words like “peaceful, relaxed, balanced, centered, free, calm” are often used to describe the experience of a session.
You might think of receiving craniosacral work for numerous types of symptoms or conditions. Headaches, low back pain, symptoms from injuries, recovery from surgeries, nervous system disorders, brain injuries, spinal injuries, muscular-skeletal issues, tension, stress of all kinds, integration of emotional and spiritual issues, hiatal hernias, immune system issues, and more. This modality treats the whole person, so it seems almost limitless as to what might be addressed.
Craniosacral therapy originates in the western medicine practice of osteopathy. It is a profoundly relaxing and gentle modality that promotes healing on a deep level. The focus of the practitioner is mainly on the subtle movement and slower rhythms of the fluid continuum that is present in the body.
This work began with an osteopathic doctor named William Sutherland. As a student of Franklyn Taylor Stills in Kirksville, Ill., around the turn of the 20th century, he began exploring the possibility and significance of a type of motion occurring between the sutures of the cranial bones. He began experimenting on his own cranium, applying devices that restricted movement of some areas of the skull, while freeing up or amplifying movement in other areas. He observed how these restrictions caused imbalances in other systems of the body, including mental and emotional.
These experiments revealed a relationship between the free-flowing subtle movements of the cranium and the health of the whole person. The results led Sutherland to a mechanical view of the relationship of the cranial bones to each other, almost like a system of pulleys and levers, with the spheno-basilar joint in the center of the head being the focal point of this movement. He also observed a relationship between the sacrum and the cranium through the involuntary movement of the spinal dura. He hypothesized that these movements might be caused by the motion of the cerebral spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
Sutherland began working on patients to restore balance to this system or mechanism, and he taught this system to other osteopaths. It took many years of success with his patients and much lecturing and teaching before it became accepted in the osteopathic community that the cranial bones did have motion and that cranial osteopathy was an effective healing modality.
Dr Sutherland became deeply interested in what was the driving force behind this motion. He observed a type of respiration of the whole body, or the fluid body, that is separate from lung breathing. He called this motion Primary Respiration. This is the kind of breathing we were doing inside our mothers’ wombs. As his work deepened and matured in his later life (mid 1940s), he began to discover that the more he got out of the way and observed this process of Primary Respiration, the better the results for his patients. He observed the presence of very slow movements that he called Tides, which seemed to move through the body at various rates. He also observed stillnesses in which it seemed that the system was able to come to a deep rest and get recharged or reorganized. He observed that sessions in which these deep states of rest and stillness occurred resulted in his patients being able to change long-held patterns of imbalances in the body and mind. He began to develop and teach this very gentle method of the work in his later years. The continuation and evolution of this phase of his work is what is now known as the biodynamic approach to craniosacral therapy.
Today, this work is done by some osteopaths and has been embraced by many massage therapists as well, thanks to Dr John Upledger, who was the first person to present and teach this work on a wide scale to non-osteopaths. Today, many different schools offer craniosacral therapy, some with a more bio-mechanical point of view (Upledger), some with a pure biodynamic approach (Charles Ridley, Franklyn Sills, Micheal Shea), and some with a combination of both (the Milne Institute offers both biomechanical and biodynamic perspectives, as well as explorations of shamanic practices).
Craniosacral therapy is gentle and safe for all ages from newborn to the elderly. Heidi Wilson offers continuing education classes through ASIS Massage Education in Arizona. For more information, visit www.asismassage.com