The Shambhala Clinic

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Introduction to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy


Life and motion

Life expresses itself as motion. At a deep level of our physiological functioning all healthy ,living tissues subtly "breathe" with the motion of life –“ Inherent Motility “, a phenomenon that produces rhythmic impulses which can be palpated by sensitive educated hands. The presence of these subtle rhythms in the body was discovered by osteopath Dr William Sutherland  over 100 years ago, in the USA. He undertook many years of research during which he demonstrated the existence of this motion and eventually concluded that it is essentially produced by the body's inherent life force, which he referred to as the "Breath of Life."

The essential ordering principle carried in the rhythms of the Breath of Life acts as a blueprint for health which is present from the time of our early embryological development and is the fundamental factor that maintains balance in our form and function.

Thus, the ability of cells and tissues to express their primary respiratory motion is a critical factor in determining our state of health .When these rhythms are expressed in fullness and balance, health and well-being naturally follow.


Inertial patterning

During the course of our lives our bodies become patterned, shaped and conditioned according to how we are able to deal with any stresses or traumas. If stresses or traumas are overwhelming, they become locked in the body as sites of inertia - until such a time as we are able to access resources that allow them to be processed and released. These sites of inertia effect the natural rhythmical movements of the Breath of Life and so hinder the ability of our essential blueprint for health to manifest at a cellular level.

Common causes of inertia are physical injuries, emotional and psychological stresses, birth trauma and toxicity. Due to an accumulation of these stresses , tissues can become imprinted with the memory of unresolved experiences and so act like a video tape which may keep replaying whenever stimulated.

A gentle facilitation

The emphasis in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is to help resolve the trapped forces that underlie and govern patterns of disease and fragmentation in both body and mind. This involves the practitioner "listening through the hands" to the body's subtle rhythms and any patterns of inertia or congestion. Through the development of subtle palpatory skills the practitioner can read the story of the body, identify places where issues are held and then follow the natural priorities for healing as directed by the patients own physiology. 

The intention of treatment is to facilitate the expression of the Breath of Life and so enhance the body's own self-healing and self-regulating capabilities. This is done in a non-invasive way as the practitioner subtly and gently encourages the conditions that allow for the re emergence of primary respiratory motion. Furthermore, the practitioner's deep and clear quality of presence can become a reflective mirror for the patient and an invaluable cue for their potential for change.

A holistic approach

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy takes a whole-person approach to healing and the inter-connections of mind, body and spirit are deeply acknowledged. It is an effective form of treatment for a wide range of illnesses helping to create the optimal conditions for health, encouraging vitality and facilitating a sense of well-being. It is suitable for people of all ages including babies, children and the elderly, and can be effective in acute or chronic cases.

What does it involve?

Cranio-Sacral Therapy is most often carried out with the client lying down , fully clothed in a quiet and peaceful environment. Treatment is usually experienced as a very profound relaxation which may pervade the whole person , physically, mentally and emotionally, often accompanied by a feeling of  lightness and ease.

The gentle approach of Cranio-Sacral Therapy is entirely non-invasive. The subtle interaction of two systems - brought together by this light contact - stimulates and enhances self-healing mechanisms within the body to respond, release and open up to a more balanced healthy state.

What can it treat?

Cranio-Sacral Therapy treats people rather than conditions. It is primarily concerned with creating and maintaining a healthy, balanced state on all levels - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. This underlying state of wellbeing enables the body's own healing mechanisms to operate at optimum level, and therefore enables the body to eliminate disease and restore health.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy works on many different levels and influences many different structures within the body. It influences the musculo-skeletal system , the nervous system , the cardio-vascular system , the immune system , the organs ,the connective tissues , the fluids and the energy systems of the body.

Because it treats the whole person it can influence all conditions affecting the whole person or any part of the person. Cranio-Sacral Therapy therefore has a very wide range of applications.

It is suitable for every age from newborn babies to the elderly, including all ages and stages in between.

It is particularly valuable in babies and children since the establishment of healthy patterns at an early age sets patterns for the whole future of that individual , both in their health and in their abilities.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy is also particularly valuable in solving and resolving intransigent  and persistent conditions.

Clients can experience a gentle release of  embedded and inertial trauma affects ,without neccesarily re stimulating or  re visiting traumatic memories. This is a unique feature of connecting with The Breath of Life within  Biodynamic  Craniosacral Therapy !

There are no contra indications with this therapy ,though a client may experience short periods of a "healing crisis". To read more ,please go to

The following are just a few examples of the many conditions which might benefit from Cranio-Sacral treatment:

  • Headache, Migraine.
  • Asthma, Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Cystitis.
  • Frozen Shoulder, Arthritis, Sciatica, Chronic Sprained Ankle, Joint Disorders, Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
  • Digestive Problems, , Menstrual Disorders, Period Pains.
  • Back Pain, Neck Pain, Persistent pain anywhere in the body.
  • Tension, Anxiety, Stress, Insomnia, Visual Disturbances.
  • Problems during and after Pregnancy, Depression, Post Operative Effects, Adhesions.
  • Baby Care, Colic, Pyloric Stenosis, Feeding Difficulties.
  • Ear Infections, Glue Ear, Tonsillitis, ENT Problems.
  • Birth Trauma - with its profound physical and psycho-emotional consequences.
  • Compression of the skull due to a difficult birth, with its many after effects.
  • Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, Squint, Lazy Eye.
  • Hyperactivity, Autism, Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy.
  • Behavioural Disorders, Tantrums, Obsessional Behaviour, Poor coordination.
  • Dental and Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Problems.
  • Shock and Trauma – from traumatic incidents, accidents, or conditionings.
  • Head Injuries, and their subtle influence on personality and mental state.
  • Meningitis and its chronic consequences.
  • Post Viral Syndrome, ME, Glandular Fever, Fatigue, Lack of Energy.
  • The after effects of any chronic illness or debilitating disease.