Why Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

by Margery Chessare, LMT, BCST, RCST®

I am often asked the question, "Why study (or receive) Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?"

There are many areas that distinguish Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) from not only other forms of craniosacral therapy, but from most bodywork modalities.  Let's look at just a few.

Having studied, practiced and taught other forms of craniosacral work for years before embarking on my own Biodynamic adventure, I arrived at the conclusion that everyone who practices craniosacral therapy over time inevitably comes to know the "Tidal" phenomena with which we engage in BCST.  But without a context and a vocabulary for these phenomena, how can a practitioner use them to his or her advantage?  BCST provides context, vocabulary, and an invaluable methodology that begins essentially where the other models end.

Critical to BCST is the study of embryology, the eight-week period that marks the beginnings of human life after conception.  The understanding of embryological development enables us to work with each individual's "creation story," a time during which our original blueprint was engineered and laid down. The forces that created us continue to inform our health at every age.  The fact is, human beings are good at self-healing, whether from birth trauma, a knee scrape, or stress, but sometimes we need some support.

Therefore, BCST practitioners look to engage with the health rather than with the dysfunctions of our clients.

In order to do that, we strive to resource ourselves as practitioners.  It is imperative that students of BCST learn how to work patiently, slowly and mindfully.  It is only from a grounded, neutral place that we can offer our clients the opportunity to find their way back to their own health--whatever that means in each case--at their own pace, in their own time.

We use many different tools, including awareness, a slow tempo, and stillness, to insure that we do not get in the way.

The study of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy includes anatomy and physiology, with special emphasis on the nervous system, viscera, heart and respiration.  Life before birth is critical, but we also look at birth dynamics, early life and attachment, as well as the effects of trauma, illness and healing throughout life.

You may have heard that craniosacral therapy in all its forms dates back to the research and teachings of the osteopath William Sutherland, who lived from 1873 to 1954.  What may be less familiar is the story of the last decade or so of Sutherland's explorations.  It was in his later years that he arrived at an understanding of his life's work in a new, more expansive, less mechanical way.  Informed by movements and patterns in nature, he spoke of the relationship every living thing has to the "Breath of Life."

This more holistic--many would say enlightened--approach is what we look to as Biodynamic practitioners.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is so incredibly simple, yet so deeply nuanced.  As I always tell my students, this is a lifetime practice.  We begin slowly; there's no other way.

Certification in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is 700 hours of a combination of class time, homework, and practice.  This is an internationally-established standard, which takes approximately three years to complete.

Recognizing that this is a huge commitment, we offer students the opportunity to try out the first four days of study in our wonderful Biodynamic Basics workshop. Those who then commit to the full training will meet every other month for two consecutive days over the course of about three years.

But be forewarned:  Due to the compelling nature of this work and how lovely its results, it is true that most people who begin are eager to continue.  :-)