The truth is I didn’t find CST at all when CST came into my life I was severely injured and barely able to care for myself. A severe concussion left me alone, jobless, and struggling with Post Concussion syndrome. While far away from family and friends I received a phone call from my Mom saying she had booked an appointment for me and it was right by my apartment and could walk to it (I wasn’t able to drive at that time). I didn’t really understand what I was going to have done but I didn’t understand much at that point.
My first appointment offered deep relief I was able to relax fully and felt like it would be possible to make it through this injury. Before my CST session my speech was very slow and delayed due to aphasia after my first session my Mom could hear the difference in my speech the next day and was able to speak more smoothly and find words easier. Although I had a long way to go in my recovery it was the first positive progress I had seen since the injury over a month ago. CST quickly became the cornerstone of my concussion recovery and found it to be one of the few treatments that offered relief from symptoms and, I believe, sped up my recovery time.
As I was dismissed by Doctors and Neurologists and Counselors with my various symptoms I found that CST remained one of the few things that offered relief and allowed me to see and experience progress in my recovery. Most of all I wasn’t dismissed by the many talented and compassionate CranioSacral Therapists I had the chance to work with during my recovery.
Once I had recovered from my injury I began looking for ways to rebuild my life around my new normal and kept coming back to how important the CST work and therapists were to me during that difficult time. The more research I did into CST that more I came to understand that this is an extremely important skill that is deeply needed in the world today. A few months later I was enrolled in my first Human Anatomy and Physiology classes and signed up to study with the Upledger Institute. And now here we are, trying to get CranioSacral Therapy to as many people as possible in order to facilitate, empower, and support them to go after their healing goals.
I began studying Reiki in the Fall and fell in love with it. After my CST course I came in expecting there to be a big learning curve when it came to “feeling” what was going on when I was learning to palpate the CSR I was shocked with how easy it was to feel the Reiki Energy after my first class with Lourdes Gray at the John Gray Center for Reiki.
I chose to add Reiki to my practice because I was looking for a way to offer combined treatments of Reiki and CST techniques to those who are unable to tolerate a full CST session, such as those with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome who may have a cerebral spinal fluid leak. Due to certain physical ailments where a full body CST session would not be recommended click here to see what those contraindications are. Reiki has no contraindications and is suitable for everyone regardless of their physical condition.
After my class I found that I was no longer dealing with the extreme fatigue that I’d grown accustomed too during my recovery from Post Concussion Syndrome. It came as a very subtle change over a couple weeks of self treatment and a work trip to Phoenix that should have wiped me out. I found instead that I wasn’t drained or getting the usual low grade headaches I’d grown accustomed too because of Post concussion syndrome but instead felt as I had before the injury.
In addition to the personal benefits I was really pleased with how impactful it’s been during the CST sessions for my clients. Reiki is a natural energy that flows through a practitioner hands whenever those hands are in contact with a living thing (it’s great for plants and animals too!) I found the Reiki flowing most frequently during a CST technique known as a diaphragm release (what I think of as a hand sandwich) I found that the fascia was releasing much quicker and at times more dramatically I also felt that my hands had become more sensitive to the subtle movements of tissue release.
Put simply, positive creative community is important. There is so much support and warmth already in this building and I’d love to share that with as many people as possible. Since my time working in remote Alaska with some seriously phenomenal people I’ve felt like I’ve been on a search for a similar upbeat, fun, active community of people in the creative world and I feel so grateful that I was able to find that at Studio 550 Community Art Center.
In my own life I’ve found that the combination of art and bodywork has a tremendous impact on the mental, emotional, and physical healing process I just wasn’t quite sure how to bring it all together in a way to offer to others but am very excited to be taking steps forward. At this time I’ve been working as a pottery instructor at Studio 550, making my own work, and working with CranioSacral Therapy and Reiki when a room became available at the center it made sense to take the next step in working on bringing both art and bodywork together.
True Blue Wellness is located in the sunny studio 3 and on your way in you’ll get to stroll through the gallery filled with local artists, peek into the clay studio, snoop past the stained glass studio and by the time you reach the treatment room you’ll be brimming with inspiration. In addition to these great art studios there is also a movement studio available for yoga classes, social dance, and private parties. We look forward to seeing you there!
CranioSacral Therapy Terms
CranioSacral Therapy - Is a gentle form of body work that is based in Osteopathic Medicine that treats the CranioSacral System and tissues of the body. It is a whole body experience and can even be used to treat the mouth and teeth. While the therapist touch is very light and it is a very different experience from a massage the work is still done deep within the body and can have a profound and positive impact on your overall health and wellness. It is particularly well suited in treating difficult or chronic symptoms that may not be responding to other forms treatments.
CranioSacral System - Refers to the cranium (head) and sacrum (tailbone) and is a fluid filled system that protects and nourishes our brain and nervous system. When you have a lumbar puncture (or spinal tap) this is the system that they are drawing fluid from to test.
CST - Short for CranioSacral Therapy
Fascia - Super cool interconnected tissue all over your body. Because of fascia an injury in our leg can show up over in our elbow. It’s all connected!
Release - A release is when areas that are restricted or have lesions are able to relax and move easier. Sometimes this will feel like heat, pulsing, or the muscle relaxing. Sometimes it’s a deep breath, your stomach gurgling, or twitching.
Restriction - Areas of tension within the body and it’s tissues that can limit mobility (on either a large scale or a small scale).
Lesion - When your tissues or sutures get stuck and don’t allow as much movement from the filling/draining of the CSR.
Diaphragm - Not just the one under your lungs. Diaphragms refer to areas in the body where tissues run across the body connecting your back to your front.
Stillpoint - Therapeutic stopping of the CranioSacral Rhythm. It's like rebooting a computer - everything works much better after you turn it off and back on again.
CranioSacral Rhythm (CSR) - Is a slow pulse of the cerebral spinal fluid as it fills and stops filling (it’s always draining) within the CranioSacral System. CST practitioners use this rhythm to evaluate what is occurring in the body. There are 6-12 cycles of filling/draining per minute. Sometimes you can feel this VERY subtle movement while lying in shavasana pose in yoga class. Palpating the CSR is one of the first things a CST therapist learns.
Palpating - Feeling, observing, and learning using your sense of touch.
Mouthwork - CranioSacral techniques that take place by working in the clients mouth. Interested in learning more about mouth work? Click here.
Sacrum - This is your tailbone and part of your CranioSacral System.
SomatoEmotional Release (SER) - Experiencing an emotional response (big or small) to a CST technique. Want to learn more click here to read about my own SER response to a positional tissue release technique. SER’s are great things!!! It means we’re able to release some deep tensions that are being held onto in the body.
Jazmine Jade is a Techniques Certified CranioSacral Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist, and Reiki Master. She lives and works in New Hampshire.