Benefits of the Light Touch.
In my own therapeutic career I have worked with hands-on therapies such as deep tissue sports massage right through to very subtle Bio-energy treatments where I work hands-off the body entirely.
Through experience and training I have found that the subtle hands-on approach yields much more accurate information about the body than the more manipulative techniques of my earlier work.
In the more manipulative techniques the body’s defensive mechanism may be triggered and muscles tighten, pain reflexes are initiated and the body defends against the therapist’s hand.
The Hands as Diagnostic Tools.
Early in my own therapeutic training while studying Reiki and Bio-Energy I was taught to trust what my hands were sensing. At first I doubted what I felt. When I felt heat or cold being released from the body I immediately looked to the sun shining in the window or cold coming from an open door.
Finally I came to trust my hands as reliable diagnostic tools. Through these energy treatments I realised that the lightest touch allowed the body to do what it needed to recover. Then I discovered CranioSacral therapy.
Helping the Body to Heal Itself.
The significance of CranioSacral therapy is that using this therapy, we activate the body’s own healing mechanism. This light touch does not activate resistance in the body and so the Therapist facilitates the body in its own healing.
This hands-on therapy allows the tissues to unwind, relax and the body to self-correct. There is no time limit put on this healing and in general the client decides when they would book their next treatment. The significance here is that the responsibility of healing rests firmly on the client’s shoulders. The treatment is client-led rather than therapist-led.
As I treat the body from the inside out, I work with fluids, nerves, tissues, fascia and outwards to bone, ligaments and muscles. Other therapists i.e. a physiotherapist or chiropractor would work on the periphery with muscle or bone adjustment etc.
Combining with Physiotherapy.
I noted while doing clinical practice with cerebral palsy children that their parents booked the children for CST prior to their physiotherapy appointment. The physiotherapists encouraged this as they could work with greater success on grosser manipulation once the children had released overall body tension in the previous Craniosacral therapy session.
Craniosacral therapy, using light touch elicits one of the most important aspects in the therapeutic relationship - that of trust between client and therapist. I have found working in this way that I have gained the client’s trust by simply placing my hands gently on the body in the first few minutes of a treatment. Once trust is gained the treatment can progress encouraging an active response in the client’s self-healing process.
The Light Touch following Severe Body Trauma.
I recently treated a client who was involved in a serious car accident. He was fully checked out in hospital prior to this treatment and had no obvious injuries. He was however very sore and tender. He was comfortable with the CST touch and it proved to be a very beneficial treatment early in his recuperation where other treatments would have been much too invasive.
In summary, the Healing Touch that I have learned through CranioSacral Therapy has proved very important in my own practice. It shows me where there might be abnormalities in a person’s functioning and provides feedback on the success of my therapeutic efforts in re-establishing normal function.