Cranio Sacral Therapist and Student Newsletter 32

March 3 – 2008

Questions and comments for this issue:

+ From Tammy in Washington.
+ From Peni in Cape Town.
+ From Nica in Berlin.
+ From Georgette in South Africa.
+ Frederic Cherri looking for Therapists to go and work in New Zealand.
+ From Barb in New Zealand
+ CST and anorexia?
+ Poem sent in by Sarah Willoghby
+ Drowning trauma and flailing arms?


It’s a packed newsletter this month, with a
possibly life changing email in it for you.
That is if you want to go and live and work in New
Zealand.  Having been there I can tell you it is

If you are one of the people who have been
gently emailing me wondering when your therapist
profile is going to be up, I’m happy to tell you
that it is.  Have a look for yourself here
If you can’t find yourself,
. . . meditation is often a good place to start.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

If you can’t find yourself, on the listing, and
you have sent me your details then send me another
email gently wondering what the hell is going on.

If you would like to be added to the listing
send me an email and I will send you back the
general information I include.

For myself, I was quite the cranio social
butterfly last month.  I met up with Nica Berndt-
Caccivio when I was in Berlin. She has sent in a
letter which you can read below.

No, it doesn’t start with, ‘Dear Mr Dalton, As
a result of your behaviour I have been banned from
the bar we met in. . .’

Later in the month I met up with Orla Foley in

It’s very good to meet up with other therapists
and I encourage you to do it whenever possible.
Regardless of training and experience it is always
refreshing to discover how much you have in common
in your approach and that was certainly the case
with Nica and Orla.

You can see some happy snaps of both here.

If you want to see what therapists are near
you, have a look at the ‘Find a therapist’ part of
my web sites.

And finally, I’ve been blown away by the
response to the launch of my Wellness Detective
Manual Updates.

Not counting the emails I have received and the
upsurge in subscriptions to the Updates, I have
also received quite a number of comments from
people who are using the different perspectives in
their own lives.

Comments, not private emails, public comments
posted on the site.  I am so impressed that people
would take the risk of sharing this kind of
personal information with the intention that it
might be of help to others.
You can read them at the bottom of the article here.

Now, if you were one of the people who emailed
me wondering what to do with the ‘Wellness
Detective Updates’ email, all you have to is click
on the link in that email, to start receiving
updates.  If you have deleted that email you can
still get the updates but you will need to
subscribe on the website.

So far you will have missed out on the article,
about why we find change so difficult.   It
includes some pictures of me in Berlin too. You
can see it here. . .
and you can also register on that page too.

Rightio, let’s get on with this gargantuan mailbag.



I am a newbie to craniosacral therapy, I received
my certification one year ago from Beth “The
Goddess” Cachat. I love this work.

Thank You so much for voicing this stuff about
responsibility and really listening to our bodies
and being your OWN wellness detective. I am
creating a website and expressed some of this on
my text and my website designer cast me a glance
and said one word, “gutsy”. I put the project

There is value in being supportive and nurturing;
however, I feel that my patients are missing the
attitude somehow, they prefer to remain passive or
locked in their current pattern even though they
are coming to me saying they want change in their
bodies. I am figuring out what my part is in all
of this. It is quite a project. Thanks for your
voice, you seem to be speaking what is bubbling up
for me.

Looking forward to receiving the book to loan to
my clients!


Tammy McLendon CST, LMP


Hello Tammy and thank you for your supportive

Yes, the ‘Fix Me!’ mentality is deeply
ingrained.  I see it as part of our work to help
ease people, in some cases kicking and screaming,
into a more responsible perspective.  It goes with
the cutting edge territory we have chosen.

I hadn’t heard of Beth Cachat before but from
what I have since read she sounds great.  I love
that, Beth ‘The Goddess’ Cachat, thing.  I think I
should adopt it too.

Let’s see, John ‘The God’ Dalton.
No, I don’t think I could back that up.
How about, John ‘The Demigod’ Dalton.
Alliteration, curses!
John ‘The Hands’ Dalton?  The Mouth?

Oh, I can’t decide.  I know, I’ll have a
competition.  Send in your suggestions,
for me or yourself and I’ll feature them in the
next newsletter and the winner gets a free place
at my right hand.



Hello John
I’m truly excited about receiving my first news
letter – Thank you!
No, I don’t have any leftover headaches from any
new year’s hangovers…..becoming wise (and
boring) in my young age. However, I promised
myself to celebrate life much more this year 🙂

The idea of mentor sounds good. How exactly do I
go about registering ?

I’m still getting a feel of how the articles are
written so that when I do contribute it will be
short and to the point.

With regards cancer patients.
I’ve only seen a few and not over long periods of

I would rather work with clients who are in
remission but this is not always the case.

My approach is with great respect and caution. I
always check in with the client’s ‘Inner
Physician’ to see whether it is appropriate for me
to work with the client.
Also, I ask that the area of concern to be ‘walled
off’  if necessary, while the rest of the body can
receive the benefits of CST. I trust this process

A friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer (now
in remission) which resulted in a mastectomy is
now busy having reconstructive surgery. She came
for CST session purely for the experience as she
now councils women with breast cancer and would
like to be able to give them as much information
re well being as possible.

I was guided by her ‘IP’ to avoid the area which
is being reconstructed which I duly did and
continued to address the rest of her body.
She felt the benefits of the session strongly.
This prompted her to invite me to speak to the
women about CST and its benefits which I’ll be
doing in a few months time.

Another client diagnosed with a cancerous brain
tumor and medical science can no longer assist
He has adjusted his life accordingly and is doing
pretty well on his own. He asked me for a CST
session and only received one treatment which he
found very beneficial. As yet, he has not been
back for more.

re focal dystonia – Unable to comment as I’ve not
had anyone as yet.

re shingles – I’ve had an attack of shingles and
was lucky to detect it before it was full blown.
Immediately saw my GP (who is also a Homeopath and
practices Chinese medicine) who gave me
acupuncture directly into the ‘alarmed’ area.  I
did some self help at home by using the ‘cranio
balls’ 15mins a day and recovered within 2 days.

Treating family members: personally prefer not to
treat my own family if a serious case as I feel we
are emotionally ‘hooked in’ which can get in the

Smells: This one for Gayle (i should tell her
myself)…some time ago I was picking up alot of
smells during  clients sessions -they weren’t
pleasant smells. Since I was unable to understand
what they were about, I asked a colleague of mine
who flatly said –
‘I don’t know, I can’t help you….perhaps you
should wear a nose peg’ . the mind boggles !

Since then have not had those smells but have had
a smell which triggered a past life for a client
(she smelt it as well) …..oh,could go on and on,
but won’t !

Until next time,
be well

Cape Town


Thank you for all that Peni. To register as a
mentor just let me know you are interested and I
will add you to the list I am putting together. It
will be going on the web site in the next couple
of months.

For myself, I have always felt cancer to be
part of the person’s body and different to a virus
or bacterial infection, which feels alien to the
person’s system.  So the idea of walling off the
cancer doesn’t really come up for me.

Physically cancer feels to me like the body
reverting back to being one cell type.  Just like
is was in the hours after conception.
Just one type of cell.

Cancer feels like the whole body trying to
become one type of cell again, what we call a
cancer cell but one type of cell none the less. It
always strikes me as symbolic of a desire for more

As I’ve said before in other newsletters
what I focus on more are the reasons behind why
the persons system might be doing that.

It sounds like you are doing good work with the
people you are treating with cancer related issues
and best of luck with your talk in a few months.


dear john,

here some thoughts for -maybe-the next newsletter:

my experience with women after a breast-cancer and
chemo-treatment is very positive. the gentle touch
and the immune system-support treatment is helping
them to release again their body, to trust their
body, to believe in their body and sometimes even
to love their body again.

so its a lot concerning the psychological support
to these women after the very aggressive  chemo-
treatments. -I am always working very slow and
very very careful. just observing how much space
the client needs. usually a lot!

there i have right now the situation that my dad
has serious problems with his heart.
he did not contact me for any help, but during our
phone calls.. i live in berlin and he in
switzerland… happens regularly a lot.
what I mean: at the phone he asks me for example
if I would have an advice for him what to do when
he is afraid to hear his heart not beating

then I give him “small tasks” like “touching and
talking” to his heart….and: he reacted very open
and positive!
a few days later I send him a letter with the same
things again (important to open the door-but not
too wide…)and things like for example:
“if it helps you, you can draw a picture from your
heart ,4 words:
(out of hugh milne book nr.1)

he was very open and right now his heart is
supporting him again…

thats it!
sorry for my english!!!!!!!!

greetings out into the cranio world from berlin!

Nica Berndt – Caccivio


Thanks for that Nica.  As I said above, it was
very nice to meet you in person when I was in

‘Important to open the door-but not too
wide…’  I like that, very wise.


Hi John,

Yes I have treated a lady with breast cancer
receiving chemo and radiation as well as
homeopathic support.
Although the cranio sessions were supportive, not
trying to fix anything, she released a lot but
never had a healing crisis afterwards.
We talked a lot about a positive attitude, healthy
food, fun in live and death.
Unfortunately she passed away but I know that
Cranio helped her to leave smoothly.
As you say, she choose her departure.

Talking now about my client with shingles, he had
3 cranio sessions and in between came on the
magnetic blanket 3 times a week for 3 weeks.
The lesions have completely subsided, he doesn’t
feel any discomfort anymore.



Thanks for that Georgette.  It is never easy
when someone you have been treating dies.  I am
sure your treatments and your presence made the
final part of her life so much easier.


“… The Craniosacral Clinic & Institute of New
Zealand is looking for 1 or 2 experienced
practitioners to come and help us launch another
brand new clinic.

We can arrange with local immigration and for the
right applicant a working visa. Ideally we would
like for the applicant to stay and work with us
for 6 months (12 is possible). If the applicant
has or desire to acquire an assistant experience
on an existing 2-year Training Course, there is a
possibility to integrate one of our Trainings in
an assisting capacity.

We need a couple of confident and experienced
practitioners (minimum of 2 to 3 years of regular
clinical practice).  You will recognise yourself:
adaptable, ease with people of all walks of life,
skills and passion for the work !!!, travellers or
adventurers and fun lovers (NZ IS a great place to
live! ask me I have been here 15 years).

We will make it worth your while in adventure
whilst over here. If you already have a specialty
or a passion for some specific aspects of CST
(perinatal, pediatrics, immune or any other topic)
it will be even better as we are developing
clinical aspects and research in these fields.

We can help with Immigration as well as
accommodation. This clinic is also the
Headquarters for the Craniosacral Institute of New
Zealand ( with a planned Student
clinic, and on-going supervision. We already have
2 trainings on the go.

The intention is to have a CST only clinic with 3
to 4 full time practitioners.

Please contact Frederic Cherri at any time:
Ph: +64 9 3760 963
Mob: +64 21 640 660 …”


Hi John
Thank you for another ‘right rivetting read’.
Much to digest as usual.  I love folklore so I
also thank you for that insight into the ways of
the Kings of yore.  I consider myself to be pretty
damn special too so quickly checked my diary to
see exactly when I came ‘splat’ off my bike –
phew, the relief – the 13th!

Having not hurt myself since 1990 (pretty jammy
really) it was fascinating to experience my
assessment of the accident as it happened,
immediately post, and then during recovery. Though
craniosacral therapy works best with the attention
of another practitioner I have to say that in
emergencies your own hands are the next best ones.

I feel I did some really good work with myself.  I
covered all the basics and the bits that hurt, and
then a little thought popped into my head.

I replayed my acrobatic arc into the air,
registering that instead of traveling forward I
was suddenly traveling sideways.  I realised I was
moving so fast I was unlikey to lose much skin as
I was coming down like a ton of bricks (I really
must lose those extra kilo’s) and unlikely to
skid.  My body streched out fully (why? to spread
the impact?). I landed hard on my right side
taking the brunt of the impact on the ribs below
my armpit, my head crashed onto my arm then my
right hip touched down – hardly even a bruise
there – a lovely purple imprint of the rough seal
on my side though.

Now the little thought that popped into my head
was about my sternum – that had to be the big
bounce point.  I put my hands their even though
there was no pain.  Now here’s what I love, though
there was as yet no discomfort, the sense of
relief was huge.

I had stretched every muscle from my hips up, even
those little ones under your chin (I’m sure the
workout did that area good), had left-ear-ache for
two days and then the ribs kicked in for 10 days
or so.

My CST colleague was unfortunately away on holiday
for the first 8 days of recovery so I was my own
very best practitioner throughout.    The ribs
resolved at 2.24am with a winded sensation in the
right lung, quickly followed by a massive sense of
nausea and a sweat – all done and dusted in 15
seconds or less.

Clever old body, huh? So,  I can now get out a do
a little running as well now.  Oh, one other
thing, much and all as I wanted to get off the
road immediately to prevent the potential coup de
grace of being squished by a car, my body was
still assessing it’s function levels and would not
move as fast as I wanted.  Luckily for me, no

I look forward to your next installment.
New Zealand.


Thanks for that Barb.  I think it is a great
description of what you can do if you have to.


Dear John,
I loved your article. I have
been learning and practicing cranio-sacral therapy
for the past year and have had lots of amazing
results. I didn’t know what it was but was drawn
to it and am so grateful.

I was just wanting to ask your advice about
anorexia. I am seeing a girl next week who is a
friend of the family who will be undergoing
treatment at Flinders Medical Centre here in
Adelaide Australia for her anorexic condition.

I am wondering what has been your experience with
these type of people.  I am expecting that there
will be some cranial compression. I want to
monitor her CSF rhythm. I want to balance the
cranio-sacral system and all of the cranial bones.

Have you got any interesting case histories you
could tell me about or advice to treat this
Attached is my photo so you know who you are
talking to

Yours sincerely
Laney Thomas


Hello Laney,
I have found anorexia to be like a mixture of
drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive behaviour and

I approach people with anorexia in the same way
I would any person with a destructive addiction.

‘Are there constructive addictions?’

Here is my experience of the way addictions
work.  There is a pain inside that we really don’t
want to look at and the object of our addiction
helps us avoid having to look at that pain.

The most obvious example of this dynamic in
action is alcohol or drugs. Both of which give a
very pleasurable distraction from the pain.

Addictions can take many forms and we all have
addictions of one kind or another.  Whether it’s
chocolate, soap operas, sex, charity, work,
shopping, exercise, model train sets, knitting or
any of the many other things I do on Saturdays, it
is the same dynamic. A pleasant distraction from
the pain.

‘Isn’t that a rather bleak perspective?’

Yes, but it stops you from separating yourself
from people with destructive addictions, which is
an easy thing to do.

‘I don’t know what is wrong with these people?
I have no addictions’, kind of thing.

I think it is easier to access your compassion for
these people if you do a bit of looking around on
the inside and realise that the mechanics of
addiction are at work in you on a small scale.
The difference is the order of magnitude.

That way, when you look at someone with a
destructive addiction you can look at how much
damage their addiction has done in their life and
that will give you an idea of how big the pain is
they are trying to get away from.

So how does the addiction dynamic work with
anorexic people?

Well it is subtle because there is no obvious
benefit but the underlying dynamic will be the

They will be using the not-eating to avoid a
bigger pain. Being open to seeing what that pain
is will help a lot.

Look at the level of disruption and pain the
anorexia is causing in this girl’s life and it
will give you an indication of how much bigger the
pain is she is distracting herself from is.

I suggest you start from a perspective of
respecting her decision to choose the lesser of
two pains, which in this case is her anorexia.

The symptoms are digestive so I would start
there.  That is where I would have me intention
though my points of contact would initially be far
from there as it has been my experience that
people with anorexia are highly sensitive around
their abdomen.


Below is a poem sent in by Sarah Willoghby.
Depending on how you feel about poetry you will be
either groaning and rolling your eyes or
pleasantly surprised.  I am including it because I
like the way it talks about being with someone who
is in pain.

Let me know what you think.

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.


Dear John….

18 months ago a Body Stress Release therapist sent
a young boy to me, aged 6yrs.  He has recurring
‘flailing arms’ and his parents have had him
checked out by medical professionals but they
can’t find a problem.

During his first visit, a lot of persuasion was
needed to get him to lie down – he is happy but
very active – mom was good at ‘bribing’ him with a
promise to buy a treat,  which worked.
Very little was done in this session but it
certainly resulted in him being a lot calmer and
the arms no longer flailing about.

Some months later he had another flair up so once
again mom brought him to me.
This time he was happier to be on the bed and a
lot more co operative. Again, a release was felt.

Since he was undergoing BSR therapy it did not
feel right to impress upon the family to bring him
in more regularly.  The releases seemed to hold
for a long time and I then realised that when he
was under stress, the flailing arms started up.

I saw him last week, now 71/2 yrs old. Initially
he was quite wriggly, moving about a lot – again
in need of persuasion to just be still.. I was
drawn to his lungs and that is when mom told me of
a near drowning at age 2yrs.. His cranial base was
tight and painful for him. As gently as possible,
I managed to release it.

Corrections were made for flexion and right side
bend lesions to the Sphenoid.  Temporals were
cleared and that is when he went into a very deep
sleep. Actually, so did mom. She dropped her head
onto the bed and fell asleep.

During his sleep state I just sat with one hand
under his head, the other under the sacrum
monitoring his csr.

When he awoke his words were ‘WOW mom, that was a
good sleep’. I suggested another session in a
weeks time and he wanted to know how long a week
was. Her reply ‘about 7 sleeps’ His reply ‘ no,
can we make it in 5 sleeps or 3 sleeps’.  I then
said ‘you have your son back’. This was very clear
to me and to her and most of all, to him.

My feeling is that when he is stressed, be it at
school or even at home he could be recalling the
near drowning – the arms flapping to keep abreast.

John, could you or any one else comment on
flailing arms?

Thank you

Kind regards

Peni – (Cape Town)


It sounds to me like you are on the right track
here Peni.  When I think about trying to stay
afloat in water, I automatically feel my arms
wanting to move.

It is a great case and a great example.

I could go on all night but we are at the end
of this issue.

Cheerio for now.

Your Mate,

John D.


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