In the video above I go through the difference between Attention and Intention and how we use intention in craniosacral therapy.
Here are some other aspects of intention to consider. We use intention to help restrictions release. Intention has the potential to sound almost mystical. Particularly when the therapist works on the head from the feet, which can happen from time to
time. Intention is similar to attention but includes intent.
You are in a forest. A young boy is hiding behind a tree about 1 meter away from you. 10 meter in front of him you can see a young girl whom you suspect is his sister. She is hiding behind another tree. In the distance you can see their father looking for them. You are enjoying the reactions of the children in their game of hide and seek.
What you are using in the forest is your attention.
You look at the boy close to you, then the girl in the middle distance and then the father in the distance. When you are looking at the girl you are aware of the boy and his father, because they are all in your line of sight, but your attention is on the girl. The same when you look at the boy or his father.
Attention has no intent in it. It is simply the focus of your observation. With intention we are talking about the focus of our palpation. What level or depth you are working in the person’s body. Like the princess and the pea, we feel through all the mattresses (layers of fascia) to the pea (restriction) at the bottom.
You are six years old. Your grandmother has sent you a Christmas gift in the mail. Your parents place it under the Christmas tree and say you can’t open it until Christmas morning. As soon as you are alone you pick up the package and start to feel it. It feels like it might be a doll. But Granny has wrapped the doll in something before she put the wrapping paper on. It feels like bubble wrap. It is kind of squeaky and plasticy.
You are palpating through two layers now, the wrapping paper and the bubble wrap.
Opps! You have popped the dolls leg out accidentally. You can feel it through the dolls clothing. (That’s three layers you are palpating through.)
After some wriggling and squiggling you manage to get the dolls leg back in its socket. You have done this without ever contacting the dolls leg directly. You have used a form of intention to put the dolls leg back in place.
In Cranio Sacral Therapy we use our intention in a similar way to help structures to release, that are impossible to contact directly.
You can read my answer to a question about intention in the newsletter archive here.