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CranioSacral Therapy Promises Relief

If you are interested in healing, read the book Your Inner Physician and You by John E. Upledger, D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy). I learned about it when researching CranioSacral Therapy (CST), a form of treatment that Dr. Upledger developed. My physical therapist is a CranioSacral therapist and has been using CST techniques to help me recover from a head and neck injury.

The back cover of the book describes the treatment nicely: “Using a light touch generally no greater than the weight of a nickel, practitioners today use CST to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, eliminate the negative effects of stress, strengthen resistance to disease, and enhance overall health.” The touch is gentle yet powerful. Dr. Upledger also writes about what he calls Somato-Emotional Release, which “helps rid the mind and body of the residual effects of trauma and negative emotional experiences.” Some of the stories about this type of healing show us that often disease and pain result from early emotional wounding. Beliefs stemming from these hurtful experiences must be unlearned in order to recover.

Upledger’s discoveries are groundbreaking and the stories in his book unforgettable. It’s hard to summarize the work because it’s so far-reaching, but it’s not only potent for healing most types of injuries but for treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), TMJ (tempero mandibular joint) problems, hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children, and many other conditions. Here are some quotes from the book that won me over:

“At present I am reasonably convinced that the only limitations imposed upon our self-healing abilities are those that we ourselves construct out of the negative beliefs that we hold about self-healing.”

“By ’tissue memory’ I mean that the cells and tissues of the body may actually possess their own memory capabilities. These tissue memories are not necessarily reliant upon the brain for their existence.”

“I think that what happens is that we all live with a sort of ‘censor’ in us that rather paternalistically keeps certain memories and experiences out of our conscious awareness The intentions of this censor are good. It feels that it is protecting us. However there is an ongoing cost to keeping these memories and experiences beneath the surface. This cost can be manifested as pain, disability, unhappiness, chronic anger, irritability, lack of self-esteem, and so on.”

I’ve been getting significant help from CranioSacral Therapy for TMJ, a condition that I’ve suffered from for as long as I can remember. In my case, the origin of this condition is gritting in agony from infant surgery without anesthesia. Of course, the surgery and pyloric stenosis are way in the past, but I’m still grinding my teeth as I sleep. I often awake tense, my jaw sore. I look forward to the day that I post a piece announcing with great joy that I no longer hurt from TMJ. Think positive for me.

The Divine Self: Believing What Is

When I graduated from college, my cousin sent me a doll in the mail. Without knowing why, I immediately took the scissors and magic markers to it. I snipped off the white yarn hair and drew a recored of my abuses onto its body. My eyes are black tear drops, my jaw is aflame from… Continue Reading

Two Images: Trauma Interruptus

“Haunted Shrimp Baby” and “Moth Baby” are two pictures that I drew with colored pencils and black magic marker back in 1999, trying to come to terms with my infant surgery. At the time, I was not aware that I hadn’t been given anesthesia for the operation. As I uploaded these pictures, I was scowling.… Continue Reading

I am held

Lately, I find myself thinking about these words–aloneness, isolation, independence, interdependence. While my partner is out of town, I have felt lonely at times–ah, another one of these words. Given that I’m recovering from an injury, I feel more vulnerable and more in need of others. In general, I thrive on a balance of aloneness… Continue Reading

On my Head

Here are two drawings I made when I was coping with Post-traumatic stress in the mid 1970s. I chose them because they convey some of what I’m feeling these days. Lying in bed at night, awaiting sleep, I am discovering an old breath pattern in which I hold my head and face rigid, especially my jaw.… Continue Reading

Healing from infant trauma: listening to my baby self

Do you want to be free? Do you want to overcome PTSD? In healing from pre-verbal trauma, unconscious material is allowed into consciousness. Breath habits are treasures of information, especially patterns of holding. Each day for a short time, I sit quietly, following my breathing and listening. Frightening emotions often emerge that have no basis in present… Continue Reading