We finish our last instalment of the #MindOverMatter series with a gentle alternative mental health practice: craniosacral therapy.
Busy schedules, meetings and events left and right, living in a city can energise us just as much as it can drain us. Honking cars and pedestrian crosswalk sounds all turn into white noise as we get lost in our thoughts, thinking about the next meeting’s pitch deck, how that air-conditioning leak needs to be fixed or what to eat for dinner.
Similar thoughts were buzzing in my brain as I walked into Balanced Health to meet Michell See for a craniosacral therapy session. Less spiritual and closer to a massage than anything else, this type of therapy can work for both physical pains, whether it be migraines, neck or back pains or fertility, as well as mental conditions such as anxiety, depression or insomnia.
Essentially, craniosacral therapy is a light hands-on therapy, where the practitioner gently touches different parts of the head to observe the movement of the fluid around the central nervous system. While there are two different types of craniosacral therapy, biomechanical and biodynamic, Michell uses the latter which involves two slower fluid rhythms.
“Craniosacral Therapy enhances the function of the central nervous system, comprising of the brain and spinal cord, and gently encourages proper production and distribution of the cerebrospinal fluid,” explains Michell, “In an optimally functioning central nervous system, muscles relax, circulation improves, pain and swelling decrease, and the immune system is better equipped to fight infections and disease, and symptoms of anxiety and depression ease.”
During the hour-long session, Michell starts by gently placing her two hands to hold up your head from below, to properly feel the fluid passing through. The holistic touch, which will use the energy from the practitioner and the body’s own resources, will provide a natural adjustment to the movement of the fluids. When the mind is filled with thoughts, the fluid appears directionless, when the mind is overwhelmed, the fluid can feel stagnant and stuck. As you relax, the fluid starts to smoothly run down the spinal cord and back to the brain. Eye twitches, changes in breath and eye fluttering are a few of the signals to the practitioner that the body is recalibrating so that it can function properly again.
Next, Michell moves her hands to the forehead. The frontal bone usually shows signs of stress, tension and imbalance. “Often when clients are overwhelmed with tasks and emotions (professional or personal) their frontal bones feel very tight and dense,” Michell clarifies,” that frontal lobe is responsible for planning, organisation, logical thinking, reasoning and managing emotions.
The practitioner mirrors her own sense of calm to put your body into a deep state of relaxation, which will help reset your body and put it in a position to self-regulate. By helping clients reestablish a balanced rhythm, the practitioner helps give the client’s ‘regenerative power of life force’ strength. “The regenerative power of life force is the healing power we are born with. The body has the innate ability [to heal], however this ability can be disturbed or blocked when the system is overwhelmed with stress and off balance.” Much like a physiotherapist works on rebalancing the muscles and bones in your body, the craniosacral therapist your body so that your mind can become a clean slate and self-heal. And with that renewed power, you are capable of anything.
Balanced Health - Holistic Clinic, 27/F, Universal Trade Center, 3 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, balancehealth.com.hk