Cranio Sacral Therapist and Student Newsletter 27

September 14 – 2007

Questions and comments for this issue:

+ Follow on comment from last issue from Etienne in Belgium.
+ Link between breast-feeding and CST.
+ Working with the blueprint.
+ CST clinical trials.

Hello,

I was passing a news stand the other day and the
headline ‘Crocs can kill,’ shrieked out at me from
the front page of Britain’s ‘The Sun’ newspaper.
Having lived in Australia for ten years I thought
it had taken a rather a long time for that bit of
obviousness to reach GB and certainly didn’t
warrant a headline.

But it turns out they weren’t talking about
those ridged chompers so beloved of the late Steve
Irwin.
They were talking about the brightly coloured,
perforated clogs adored for their comfort by
doctors and nurses, charged by the fashion police
with crimes against style, and flaunted by
Presidents and pop stars alike eager to capitalise
on their quirky cachet.

The paper reported the banning of the shoes by
some Sheffield hospitals, apparently because of
claims that static electricity generated by Croc-
shod medical staff could knock out vital
equipment.

So that’s what those static electric shocks are
all about.  I just thought everyone was releasing
a lot last week.

Note to self: Don’t wear crocs when
treating again.

Anyhu, I can’t stand around here lollygagging
with you about the pitfalls of being fashionable.
We’ve got a mailbag to get on with so let’s have at it.

***FOLLOW ON COMMENT FROM LAST ISSUE FROM ETIENNE IN BELGIUM***

Hi John,
I stated about the tennis sock  … if their
system can take it … even if you are not crazy
about it, its their system that has the answer !

If you can bring the elderly past their
compensations you will find they are all too happy
to go into babyhood, how do you do that … only
if you drop the idea that they will go
automaticlly into compensation (which they will do
as a defense mechanism, because they do not know
what else to do) , but it is your job not to step
into that pile but via your own system show their
system (in complete silence) how to go beyond the
mind, thats all, of course you have to drop all
prejudice for that, do not forget, knowingly or
unknowingly they are preparing for death … and a
guide out of their cr.p is welcome

There is a very good therapist in St Martin de
Lon… something (South west France) Margo Berr

Have fun,
Etienne

MY COMMENTS:

Hello Etienne,
Thank you for your swift and passionate
response.

I am not wild about the tennis sock thing for
two reasons.

Firstly I think it negates all the years we
spend developing our palpatory skill and learning
about timing and sensitive responding to a persons
system.

I agree that the person’s system has the answer
but there needs to be someone there to hear and
respond to the answer, not an inanimate object.
The person’s system will change in the time
between treatments.  If their system can’t handle
it the tennis sock will give them a headache or an
uncomfortable feeling of pressure.

Secondly.  The people that I treat are by and
large uninterested in natural medicine or
alternative approaches.  I think most of them
would be more than happy if the Doctor was able to
help them.  They only come to see someone like me
because they are desperate.

I am very aware of this and aim to make it as
easy for them as possible because I know that the
really confronting thing will be their having to
take responsibility for their own health.

So I try and minimise the other stuff.  I am
conscious of the environment they will be
returning to and the sort of resistance they may
have to put up with from family and friends.

From a sceptics perspective the tennis sock
thing looks and sounds kooky.  For its benefits,
which I think are minimal at best, compared to the
undermining effects it could have on the person’s
whole process, I don’t think it’s worth it.

As for the elderly, you are right of course.
Having any kind of preconception about how a
treatment is going to go is never good.  Whether
it is that the elderly are like babies and they are
so happy to ride the wave or that they are like
babies that are locked behind 500 layers of
compensation.  We must always treat what we find.

***QUESTION***

Dear John,

I’m contacting you after being very encouraged by
your informative website – particularly the area
on “the top ten causes of trauma”

I have had a very positive experience myself with
Cranio-sacral – jaw work – which helped me to
breastfeed successfully after 18 months of minimal
supply (20ml max)

My problem related to a fractured cheekbone –
where the displaced bone impacted the brain – not
enough to cause brain damage or to stop the
pituitary function, but enough to take away any
room for the gland to swell slightly with greater
need (such as breastfeeding).  The treatment I had
(with the intention of bringing relief to neck and
shoulder pain – not breastfeeding – I’d given up
on that by then) – included jaw work – and worked
to balance a very unstable xyoid process – and
when that balanced – my breast milk flowed like
I’d dreamed for so long (my baby was allergic to
most formulas – hence the repeated pneumonia from
a supposed hypo-allergenic formula).

I have since quizzed Moms who struggled to
breastfeed in my practice – most of them had some
kind of serious trauma to the head or spine in
their lifetime.

Considering the vital importance of breastfeeding,
it might be so beneficial to have some kind of
research project done on this one day…. do you
have any idea who could do it /how this might be
done?  Should I contact Upledger directly?

Kind regards,
C
South Africa.

MY COMMENTS:

Hello C,
Thank you for your feedback about my website.
I’m glad you found it helpful.

In my practice I don’t think I have ever had a
mother come for treatment specifically for help
with breast milk production.

Improvements in breast milk supply have usually
come in the way you have described it, a happy
secondary bonus but not as the main focus of
treatment.

I never really thought of it as a specific
problem that could benefit from cranio sacral
treatment until I received your email.  But once
you say it, it’s obvious.  I will add it to the
list of conditions that can be helped with cranio
sacral therapy on my websites.

I agree with you that it is an important area
and I am sure the Upledger Institute would be
interested in your idea
http://www.upledger.com/
as would the Craniosacral Association of South
Africa http://www.cranial.za.org/
and possibly Le Leche League http://www.llli.org/

I will include your letter in my cranio sacral
therapist and student newsletter and pass on any
enquiries or feedback I receive.

***QUESTION***

Hi John

Thanks so much for your continuing newsletter and
the great tips and humour.
I have a double question.

It’s often a lonely place at the coalface and I
seem to have people come to me with “last resort”
problems that require much from me – I am doing a
lot of anatomy and physiology research these days.

First question. Do you think it’s possible for a
young man whose body doesn’t make testosterone to
get that working again?
He is 23 and came to me essentially for massive
headaches and his lack of testosterone problem. It
was diagnosed at age 15 when he had major back
pain.

Bone testing revealed his bone age was that of an
8 year old. He has to inject himself 3 x weekly
for the testosterone cycle to happen. This
injecting ritual is also affecting his mental
health – facing this for the rest of his life is
depressing.

So, he has major lesion patterns in his head, esp
membranes, akin to birth trauma (although his
mother reports a “perfect” birth), and his pelvic
girdle/sacrum.

Unwinding those complex restriction patterns is
top of the list, with my intention also on all
sites for the production cycle to work normally
(including cerebral cortex, hypothalamus and
pituitary and testes). I can’t see any reason it
won’t, but there seems to be an issue with the
‘kick starting’ of the process.

If he is injecting and producing LSH, then his
body may not have the opportunity to take over.
He has had all the tests and specialists do not
have any idea why this is happening in his body.
They can only offer injections for his lifetime.
Can you give me any clues here?

Second question. I have a lot of people with
conditions related to experiencing terror in-
utero. So, the main problem seems to lie in the
central nervous system, and glitches in its
development.

These all have the quality of having to return to
the blueprint as the major goal. This requires a
lot, from both practitioner and client. (This is
also the situation for the young man already
mentioned)

Can you give some insight into the process of
returning to the blueprint?

Luckily, I have had success already in this area,
but the symptoms and conditions I’m treating
lately, (as well as the overall goal of returning
to the blueprint), are extreme and debilitating
for the clients.
Patience seems to be the major virtue. Have you
any other insights?

Thanks so much for your continued support.
Cheers,
J
Australia

MY COMMENTS:

Thanks for the feedback J, I’m glad you are
finding the newsletters useful.

‘Do you think it’s possible for a young man
whose body doesn’t make testosterone to get that
working again?’

Yes.  When it comes to people and their bodies
I think anything is possible.

Both of your questions revolve around the
blueprint and how to work with it so I will answer
them together.

It sounds like your palpatory skills are at the
point where you are beginning to feel the
blueprint, which is great.   The downside is that
it sounds like you are finding it a bit daunting.

But daunt not because it doesn’t need to be.
The ironic thing is that you have been working
with the blueprint from the very beginning of your
cranio sacral training.  The difference is that
now you have reached a level of refinement where
you can differentiate the blueprint from the rest
of what you are a feeling.

As you know the blueprint is the energetic
framework that underpins our bodies.  The cells of
our bodies being a bit like iron filings on a
piece of paper.  When a magnet is brought to the
underside of the paper the filings are drawn to
form the shape of the magnet.

The magnet is like the blueprint.  The
difference is that the blueprint is not a static
rigid thing but moves and grows.  The growing part
being particularly relevant for your testosterone
light patient.

Like many aspects of cranio sacral work, we
feel something and learn to work with it but have
very little scientific evidence or terminology to
describe it.  10 years ago science was enraptured
with the mysteries of genetics, with few voices
who was saying anything different, one of which
was Rupert Sheldrake and he was labeled a kook.

Then the genome was finally mapped and when the
party was over there was a dawning that it didn’t
have all the answers.  That everything wasn’t
determined by our genes.   This is reflected in
the work of the likes of Bruce Lipton in what is
being called the New Biology.

The idea of an energetic field or blueprint
underpinning our body has been around for yonks
and shows up in different cultures in different
ways, meridians, charkas, assemblage point and so
on.

As I said, the blueprint unfolds during
embryonic development.  The timing of this
unfoldment directs the pace and progress of our
embryonic development and once started moves
forward with its own pace and rhythm.

It’s like a piece of music that begins at the
moment of conception and continues for the rest of
our lives.  Within the overall piece of music
there are movements, passages that have the
general themes of the overall music but have their
individual beginnings, middles and ends.

If something happens to interrupt the music or
a particular beat is missed, it is very hard for
the body to fill in the blanks.
No magnet – so the iron filings don’t know where
to go.

For example the maxillae meet each other and
form the hard palate at about the seventh week of
embryonic development.  If this doesn’t happen
then person will end up with a cleft palate.

It sounds like all went well with your patient
during the embryonic phase of his development.  He
decided he was going to be male and the initial
flood of testosterone ensured this.

The beat that was missed was in his puberty.
The second wave of testosterone never happened. So
he never matured into a man.  It is this point
that I would look at in his blueprint.

So how to work with it?
I have found that knowing about the blueprint
is the beginning of being able to work with it.
It’s the same as when knowing what flexion and
extension were, before tried to feel for them, was a
help in being able to feel them.

A useful initial access to feeling the
blueprint is to use the cranio sacral rhythm.
Think of it in terms of William Sutherland’s
description of it as being the ‘breath of life’.

Think of flexion as the in-breath and extension
as the out-breath of this breath of life.  He also
described the movement of this breath of life as
adding potency to the cells of the body.

I find this kind of imagery helpful in getting
in touch with the blueprint.  It always reminds me
of a beach, in particular that part of the beach
where the sand meets the water.  Where, if you
write your name in the sand the water will come in
and wipe it away and smooth the sand out.

With my hands in contact with the person’s
system and my eyes closed, tuning into the cranio
sacral rhythm and feeling it in terms of an in-
breath that vitalises and recreates an energetic
blueprint, each in-breath washes across the cells
of the body and they become luminous. Any
anomalies in the blueprint itself begin to reveal
themselves.

The daunting thing about working with the
blueprint is that is energetic.  You don’t feel it
in the same way as you feel flexion and extension,
for example, which is a physical movement.  It is
felt in the same way you can feel something
between your palms when you hold them close
together. It’s the same sort of something.

The good news is that once it is felt the
blueprint behaves and responds in the same way the
body does.  So if you get a sense that there was a
disturbance in the unfoldment of the puberty
movement of his blueprint ‘music’ then it is the
same as it would feel if there was a trauma that
had occurred to him during his puberty.

But instead of looking to get a sense of a
trauma you are looking to get a sense of what
interrupted the unfoldment of his blueprint,
which, ironically could have been a trauma.

Once you get a sense of where the gap is then
you can use your intention to fill it.  But not in
a directed forceful, ‘I know what needs to be done
here.’ sort of way.   More with a sense of
providing a bridge with your intention across the
gap.

It is a little like direct technique in as much
as you are encouraging his system to fill in the
gap but you don’t make it happen.

As kooky as the blueprint may sound it is still
a mechanical kind of thing to work with.  Just
because it is energy doesn’t automatically imbue
it with mystical dimensions.

If he doesn’t improve through working with the
blueprint you would have to look deeper.

What is deeper than the underpinning energetic
blue print that holds the cells of our bodies in
place?

Well as I said the blueprint is in essence a
mechanical structure.  It is used by the part of
us that knows the bigger picture of ourselves.
What our life is about.  Why we are a man or a
woman, why we chose the parents we did, the
country we were born in and so on.

That is a different part of the questions you
would be asking yourself about the bigger picture
of what his symptoms might mean in the context of
the deeper issues he may be working out in his
life.

Is he resisting letting go of being a boy and
becoming a man?  Or is he resisting growing up?
The movie, ‘The Tin Drum’ comes to mind.  Were the
headaches just a way to get him to come and see
you or are they part of the mechanical aspect of
how this disharmony is expressing itself.

***QUESTION***

Hi John
Thank you very much for your newsletters and all
the wonderful info.
It was really exciting to read about Harvard
Medical School’s dept of psychiatry including CST
in their continuing education programme.
Hopefully this leads the way for other schools to
do the same. Do you know of any others?

My question today is how do you answer:
patients
medical practitioners
the public
who ask you for scientific evidence to support the
effectiveness of CST?

Yours sincerely,

John Rosen.
South Africa

MY COMMENTS:

Hello John,
Thank you for the feedback it means a lot to
me.  I don’t know of any other medical schools
including cranio sacral in their curriculum as yet
but I will let you know if I hear of any.

Scientific evidence to support the
effectiveness of cranio sacral therapy is pretty
thin on the ground.  There is a lot of what is
called anecdotal evidence, which is basically
people saying it is good or helpful or wonderful,
but not a lot of hard scientific evidence.

One of the reasons for this is the difficulty
of applying the normal scientific testing
procedures to cranio sacral treatment.  They say
it is hard to do the usual double blind
experiment.
In a drug trial the test group is divided in
half.  One half is given the test drug and the
other half, called the control group, is given a
sugar pill.  The people undergoing the test don’t
know which group they are in.

The amount of improvement is measured in the
two groups and if the drug is effective there will
be a substantial improvement in the group that
received the test drug.

The difficulty with applying this model of
testing to cranio sacral treatment is with the
control group.  Their contention being that once
you know how to do cranio you can’t not do it and
so provide a viable neutral group.

This has never made sense to me because I’m
sure you could show non-cranio sacral therapists
how to place their hands at different places on a
person’s body to affect the appearance of giving a
cranio sacral session.

My knowledge of this area is quite limited so
there is probably more to it than that.

I’ve never had a lot of faith in medical trials
to begin with but particularly so after what
happened with the medical trial carried out on the
Buteko method of breathing.

Buteko is a method of breathing that was
developed in Russia.  It is very effective with
Asthma.  There was a large, well organised
clinical trial held at the Mater Hospital in
Brisbane in 1995.  The trial showed that the
Buteko method demonstrated a 90% improvement rate.
This is an excellent result for a clinical trial.
Most drugs are doing well if they get a 50%
improvement.

For some reason the results of the trial got
delayed.  When they were finally released it was
10 years after the trial had been carried out.
The results were deemed invalid because the
testing methods were obsolete.

Do Doctors and Scientists think cranio sacral
therapy is valid?  By and large, the official
answer is no and I think we are partly to blame
for that ourselves.  The combination of in-
fighting between schools and approaches, the
dilution of the therapy to the level of adjunct to
massage in parts of the world and a unilateral
lack of good assessment of students.

All of which have led to some pretty shocking
people calling themselves cranio sacral
therapists.  As you might have noticed John I am a
passionate advocate of cranio sacral therapy yet
even I am very cautious about referring people to
cranio sacral therapists I don’t know.

So not very helpful I’m afraid John but let me
ask the gang.

– O –

Do you know of any trials or Scientific evidence
to support the effectiveness of cranio sacral therapy?

That’s it for this issue. Cheerio for now.

Till the next time.

Your Mate,

John D.

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