Craniosacral Therapy: Moderate Pressure, Meaningful Change.

By Kate Fruchey, LMT

One of the most unique aspects of craniosacral therapy is the use of lighter, more moderate, pressure. “Lighter” in this case should not be confused with superficial. Our bodies are incredibly adept and intelligent when it comes to feeling. Sometimes the use of deep or forceful pressure can trigger a defensive reaction in the muscle, which causes the body to tense in response. This is counter-productive to the goal of most bodywork. The aim is typically to disrupt those very patterns of tension. Applied with intention and skill, a moderate touch can elicit a deeper response because it engages the nervous system in a dialogue that communicates safety and wellbeing. 

Most importantly, the gentle stillness of craniosacral therapy allows the recipient a chance to look inward, and fully experience what is happening below the surface of their skin in their body as a whole. Over the course of a session, the nervous system has time to respond to the work, as opposed to react. This is an important distinction, and the smallest shift in this respect can have far reaching impact in our lives. When we habitually exist in a state of heightened vigilance or anxiety we may tend to overreact or give certain stimuli more weight or energy that it actually merits.

Delivered with skill and the intention to listen, the light touch of cranio and more moderate pressure of a Swedish massage do not force the body into further action, but offer the opportunity to find a healthful balance between vigilance and simple awareness, a space of ease. In this space, over time, we are capable of meaningful and lasting change.

This blog post is part of a series on Craniosacral Therapy. For an introduction to the therapy, please read Cultivating Ease with Craniosacral Therapy.