Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Craniosacral Story

I remember the first time I stumbled upon Craniosacral Therapy very clearly. It was in the Fall of 2003 and after receiving my then routine Reiki session, I was just about to leave Stonewater Sanctuary when I saw a woman talking to a group of people in an adjacent room. Curiously, I went to see what all the fuss was about, and immediately became interested in this captivating story about a Doctor who had discovered something remarkable about the Central Nervous System, something that at that time had been barely studied or even touched by Western Medicine.

Against all common knowledge, this woman ascertained that not only were the sutures of the cranial bones NOT fused, but that they even (gasp!) moved minutely in a rhythmic fashion to accommodate the fluid pressure created by the production of cerebrospinal fluid in the 3rd and 4th ventricles of the brain. 

As this fluid was produced, she relayed, there was a slight expansion in the cranial bones, one that could actually be palpated as the cerebrospinal fluid was being produced, and when this fluid was being reabsorbed, there was even a slight contraction that could be palpated as well. Together, this rhythmic expansion and contraction of the cranium had a cycle of anywhere between 6-12 times per minute. (The variation is in itself an indication of how strong or weak the person's central nervous system is.) This cycle is commonly known as one's "Craniosacral Rhythm".

Wow! That was a LOT to absorb, and honestly very hard reconfigure in my already, "the skull is fused, the skull is fused" filled mind. I almost didn't buy it. In fact, the only reason that made me think otherwise was when out of the entire group, she picked me to do a demonstration on...

I hadn't told her anything about me. She didn't know I was still recovering from my first bout of Lyme, and I was interested to see what she would say about my own rhythm. To my surprise, the first words out of her mouth as she placed her hands in the proper position underneath my head were, "Have you been very sick lately, Sarah?" (What!?!)

I knew no one at the Center could have told her because she was a guest speaker and did not work there or even know any of the other staff, so I simply asked her, "What makes you think that?"

She laughed a little and said, "Well...probably because you barely have any kind of Craniosacral Rhythm...I must say this is something I haven't seen in quite a while for someone your age."

I immediately told her I was trying to recover from Late Stage Lyme Disease, and she seemed to understand everything after that, even saying that it was actually a common phenomenon seen in people like me.

I wondered if that was going to be the end of it, but again, she surprised me..."Let me see if I can help you out." She said.
I barely felt any kind of movement from her hands, but in seconds I was immediately overcome with a very strong acidic sensation that started to permeate throughout my head. "There." She said, "I just gave it a boost for you."

I didn't know how to respond, but I didn't like what was happening to me, so I thanked her, got off the table and practically ran out the door. I barely made it to my car when I lost it, tears of such intense emotion poured out like rain. I never thought it would stop. I kept thinking, I haven't cried like this in ages, what's going on with me?

By the time I was pulled back into my driveway at home, a profound exhaustion came over me, and I silently crept into bed and immediately fell into a dreamless sleep. I woke up 12 hours later.

What was the most interesting about this experience was that during this time, I often found myself participating in hobbies that I, as my old self, would never even think about doing. Puzzles, sew by number type projects and the like.

I had even started to make a quilt for my day, a couple of weeks after my craniosacral experience, I was working on this project when suddenly I stopped and, as if I was looking at the fabrics surrounding me for the first time, thought to myself, "Why would I ever want to do this...?" My personality was starting to come back, my old self, so to speak, and in my heart I knew it had a LOT to do with Craniosacral Therapy.


PS. In future posts I'd like to talk about how this therapy works more clearly, but for now it's the story that led me to learn this therapy for myself that I wanted to relay.

Please note: Craniosacral Therapy is contraindicated in Acute Lyme Disease, so unless you have been treated in some form or the disease has become chronic, it would be unadvisable to try. If you would like to try this therapy, I recommend finding a practitioner who has had "Upledger" training. Go to and click on the links that lead you to a therapist. I would also advise in finding a practitioner who has taken many courses in the field.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Disappearing Acts...

My friends and family would probably be the first to tell you that I have become quite skilled at pulling "Disappearing Acts".

To them, this may seem strange, but to me it is an essential survival tactic I use when I simply can't take it anymore. There are markers for these bouts, that I have recently become aware of. Oddly enough, it starts when I begin to get the feeling that if actually hear, read, or write the word "Lyme" one more time, I'm seriously going to lose it, but if I really think about it, it ALL boils down to elementary math. Like so:

If "A" is equal to the amount of energy I spend creating the facade I use to hide behind basically everything that comes along with an illness like this, and "B" is equal to the energy I mentally, physically and emotionally have at any given time. Then whenever A < B, I disappear.

Disappearing can be very, very frustrating to people, but I would urge them to not take it personally when I barely say a word around the house, and stare aimlessly at the computer all day. Or when I don't return phone calls, e-mails, texts, and fall behind on this blog; when I basically can literally do nothing more than sleep around the clock.

I would also like to say that observations of me during this time can be quite deceiving. Those who live with me may have the misunderstanding that I simply become deeply depressed every month or so. However logical that may sound, it's almost laughable how far from the truth that actually is. 

During this time, I don't feel numb, disinterested or lethargic. On the contrary, I usually am in a world of physical pain that I can't expect you to understand and therefore, respectfully keep silent about it. I don't talk, not because I have nothing to say, but because I am usually sooo mentally disorientated, confused, and emotionally liable that I actually know that it would be in everyone's best interest if I kept my mouth shut : )

The inspiration for this post has a lot to do with a remark a friend of mine made to me the other day. He said, "When I feel down, I want my friends around me." In truth, I actually understand this thinking, I've been through that kind of "down" before, but I wish to god people could understand that what I am referring to here is not a down, it's a complete "out for the count" type scenario. So please, even if you don't get it - just know we love you, will be taking a few weeks off, and would be sincerely overjoyed to see that you are there whenever it is we are able to reappear.

Thanks for listening : )