From the school of osteopathic manipulation and medicine, this hands-on bodywork encourages gentle release of tension-fear and encourages renormalization of the body’s natural biological rhythms (called extension and flexion in the tradition based on the movement of cerebrospinal-spinal fluid and its effect on the organism). When I saw that my Rolfing instructor Michael Salveson was using it very effectively to encourage autonomic discharge in his clients, including me, I went off to the Upledger Institute to study with Dr John Upledger, D.O.
By gently interfacing with the physiological rhythms of your body’s Central Nervous System, blocks held within the body can release non-invasively. Our body has this ability to resolve and evolve if we receive compassionate and expert touch.
I have seen the legs of a client raise completely off the table (they said they did not do it), many instances of full body discharge (where arms, limbs, torso, neck and head discharge tension out via autonomic discharge) that are not volitional by the client. Many clients enter what they verbalize as a dream state. The analytical mind, the one that takes over when awaking from sleep, is very inefficient. Cranio-sacral manipulation allows the waking mind to step aside sometimes, thereby allowing for deeply efficient and effective release of blocked energy. All this happens easily. The astounding human organism is capable of self-healing; this we know. Cranio-sacral boaywork provides these conditions, in my experience speaking as both a client and a practitioner.
I was trained in this approach around 1986 and have done numbers of consecutive trainings in it. I personally studied with Dr. John Upledger who brought this healing modality back from obscurity into the public eye many years ago. Others have since picked it up and begun to teach it but as I understand it, he originated it.
It is a central aspect of what I do with singers today. If I cannot achieve the sort of opening and discharging of held fear that this releases, more directive bodywork will be far less effective. I am speaking from decades of professional experience here, not from a theoretical or philosophical position. It is very sophisticated and also very simple, once you learn to use your hands as encouraging, listening tools. The body is so sophisticated and has incredible healing capabilities once we give it the kindness and encouragement it needs to release the accumulated fear that most of us are carrying around and pretty much unaware of.