Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Feeling stuck or in a rut? Lockdown have you feeling lethargic and low? Maybe craniosacral therapy is the remedy for you. Craniosacral therapist and homeopath, Amal Alaoui, introduces us to craniosacral therapy and how we can use to it to manage stress and rebalance. Our Camden urgent care clinic is open and our expert therapists are here to assist you during this time – click here to book a treatment.
If you are feeling depleted, emotionally challenged or perhaps experiencing physical symptoms not previously noticed, then craniosacral therapy [CST] may provide great relief. A bodywork therapy born out of osteopathy, craniosacral treatment is a gentle but extremely potent treatment to try when we need support during times of feeling pressured, including during a lockdown. It is an understatement to say that many of us are presently experiencing life in a way we have not seen before. So, self-care is crucial for helping us to bounce back.
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle but profound and powerful hands-on therapy 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 its tensions and restrictions. As a craniosacral therapist, I see people in my clinic all year round displaying physical and emotional imbalance, particularly as a result of work or relationship demands. However, in 2020 I am seeing more cases with debilitating symptoms caused by the stress that comes from shock and loss.
How we experience stress
We may express stress in many physical forms including lethargy, poor digestion or simply ‘a lack of go’ and adrenal fatigue. Mentally, it can cause exhaustion and much more. Sometimes our stress can bring on jaw pain, migraine, skin flare-ups, sleep problems, panic attacks, a poor immune system, or digestive problems. In children this can include bedwetting and nightmares, as well as compromised school performance.
The important point is how we manage our stress.
Craniosacral therapy focusses on strengthening the body as a whole. Many people simply experience the relaxing benefits of this profound bodywork, as they lie on a treatment couch fully clothed. It can also help to release recent trauma held in the body or old patterns of ‘stuckness’ while a gentle unwinding takes place in the body. I hope to align a client’s system by “listening to the body” as I work on their craniosacral system – the closest system to our nervous system. It is not uncommon for a client to comment following treatment “how did that release just happen” or “I feel that I have been truly heard” or “I feel more aligned”.
What do we mean by feeling ‘aligned?’
When the body is stressed, either because of psycho-emotional or physical reasons, we will have lost the ability to feel balanced. One of the most influential systems in the body is the central nervous system, as this acts as our main computer, controlling everything.
So, when I work with a client I am focussed on their nervous system, soft tissues as well as cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. In some cases the craniosacral motion will be altered, creating asymmetries or restrictions.
CST is a wonderfully powerful, but soothing way to calm our nervous system, helping us to feel greater equilibrium within ourselves. When we are able to achieve this balance, it can produce a positive shift in regulating hormones or shifting muscular-skeletal pain.
Non-invasive “mobilisation” techniques are applied at your feet, sacrum [pelvis] and cranium [head]. Letting go of tension and fear enables us to settle into calmness. I also like to engage in the gentle process of discussing issues blocking the ability to feel stronger.
Our body works more efficiently when we feel aligned within our mind and physical self. We feel happier and tend to have a more positive approach to our daily life. Things become more manageable. Is this not something each and every one of us might benefit from right now? Reaching that balance is essential to our hormone health including our thyroid and adrenals. I may also suggest a homeopathic remedy to address the most pressing symptom a client is coming with and it helps to also focus on healthy breathing techniques to utilise throughout your day!
Amal Alaoui is a registered craniosacral therapist and homeopath, and trustee of the Craniosacral Therapy Association UK. She provides sessions for children and adults at triyoga Chelsea, and during lockdown at Camden. Otherwise, she provides wellness appointments online. Click here to view Amal’s schedule and book an appointment.
photo credit: Melinda E. Davies