cranial sacral and civilization


i had an incredibly powerful cranial sacral session yesterday afternoon with my naturopath that felt like an an electrical storm passing through my body while on the massage table. wow – crazy energy and emotional response. i have been going every two weeks for counselling, homeopathics and cranial sacral work since february and can attribute a lot of positive movement in my life to working with this healing modality.

a few days ago, a friend of mine who is also a cranial sacral practitioner (and who introduced it to me in the fall) sent me an email about the origins of CST, and his ideas about how it could relate to civilization – which i have shared below because i thought it was really fascinating.


he writes:

“Do you know the origins of cranial sacral? A man named Sutherland was a student in the Osteopathic school (a very holistic western medicine, much more education and dedication than standard western medicine). Well Sutherland was studying Anatomy and every day as he walked past a disarticulated human skull in a case (each of the head bones having been separated to show their size, shape and what not) he would stop every day to consider it. Now a few notes here, this was some 60 years ago, Sutherland was a very “normal” american, and the accepted, indeed unquestioned, understanding of the bones of the skull was that they fused solid during infancy (they are clearly separate at birth, allowing us to squeeze through the birth canal– the “soft spot” on the babies head is unosified cartilage which is waiting to turn to bone). Well as Sutherland stared at the skull one day he heard as clear and as loud as if someone was standing next to him “the bones are bevelled like the gills of a fish allowing for articular motion”. He jumped! Turned! No one was there! No one was there! The old boy thought he was going crazy.

Continuing in school, receiving his doctorate and moving into practice the vision he’d had continued to haunt him. Finally giving into the torture he was in over the episode he began to explore the possibility that the bones may indeed move. For over ten years, indeed I believe for nearly twenty, in secret even from his wife, he experimented by pulling skulls apart and investigating them, and then finally modifying an old leather football helmet in such a way that he could jam particular cranium bones. Finally letting his wife in on the funny scene in his basement he began to experiment with his helmet, tightening down one bone and having his wife record the differences in his behavior. One thing led to the next, and over another 25 years he eventually gave birth to what is now cranial sacral therapy. Others, geniuses in their own right, have taken Sutherland’s work and made what may become one of the most important healing treatments for this horribly troubled time.

Here is my biological mysticism relating to Cranial Sacral; cranial has become a major modality, both in and out of the osteopathic tradition. A major part of cranial is the reference and attention given to the CRI, the cranial rhythmic impulse, which is the most often used rhythm in the cranial system. It has a fluctuation of about 6 cycles per minute (which a slight bit of variation for each individual), which is slow for modern people to try and hang with, thus the settling effect when a practitioner drops into listening to it. There are however two other rhythms which Sutherland noted and which, although less known, are just as present. One is the “mid tide” which has a rhythm of 12 seconds per cycle and then there is the “long tide” which is 50 seconds per cycle.

Well here’s where it gets really interesting to me, there is an osteopath who travelled around the world holding heads from people from every walk of life, he found that tribal people do not have the CRI but only the mid tide and the long tide. There is then some wonder if the CRI is a bodily reaction to modernity. Wow! How about that vision Sutherland ha
d huh? Could it be that the bones were talking with him as plants talk to Vegetilistas in the jungle? Could it be that Cranial needed to come to help people drop back into the tides of the body (mid tide) and the ancestors (long tide).”

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