Defined by Oxford Dictionaries, CranioSacral is “a system of alternative medicine intended to relieve pain and tension by gentle manipulations of the skull regarded as harmonizing with a natural rhythm in the central nervous system”. This past January, I began studying and practicing CranioSacral Therapy (CST) for continuing education with The Upledger Institute. I have plans to continue taking courses about every 6 months, as my schedule allows. Previously, I was introduced to CST in massage school in 2005 and I received the work when living in Moab, UT. My first impression of receiving the work from a professional, was that it felt more like a “supervised nap” than any form of bodywork I was familiar with. Someone could be very disappointed with this type of work, if they were expecting a massage and it is important to understand how different this work is when compared to other forms of bodywork. However, over the years, as I have engaged with my own healing process, whether from grieving the loss of my dad to cancer or from other traumatic experiences like a car accident or getting mugged abroad, I turned to CranioSacral treatments to heal from trauma. I do feel very excited about learning more about this type of bodywork, as it seems to expose and engage with the healing process itself. CST began with osteopathic physician John E. Upledger, can help improve many conditions and essentially, is an integral part of the healing process. The CranioSacral rhythm was first discovered by Upledger when assisting in a surgery in 1971. He and the surgeon were performing spinal surgery to remove a calcified plaque that had formed, deep in the spine of his patient. His only job was to hold the layers of the spine away and completely still while the surgeon removed this plaque. He could not understand why the tissue was moving and how he was unable to perform the simple task. The Upledger Institute offers this description of the importance of the craniosacral rhythm and why we should consider the value of CST, “The rhythm found at the base of the head, at about 8 cycles per minute, has great influence over the health and well-being of the central nervous system. Few body systems have more impact on the central nervous system than the craniosacral system, which is the soft tissues and fluid that protect your brain and spinal cord. CST is a light- touch approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole body health, wellness and performance. Because this bodywork is so gentle, it can be effective for all ages from newborns to elders. CST has been shown to help a full spectrum of pain, illness and dysfunction, including: migraines and headaches, chronic neck and back pain, stress and tension-related disorders, motor-coordination impairments, infant and childhood disorders, spinal cord injuries, post-concussion symptoms, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, TMJ syndrome, scoliosis, central nervous system disorders, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, orthopedic problems and many other conditions.” For further inquiry or to schedule a session in either CranioSacral, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone, Thai Massage or a combo of these modalities, please contact Ambrosia Brown at Alison Palmer Physical Therapy and Wellness Center at 435-260-1122, www.ambrosiabrownmassage.com , www.telluridethaimassage.com. Please note that Ambrosia will be out of town for off season April 6 and returning May 15. We are located in the Cimarron Lodge at the bottom of Lift 7, next to Carhenge Parking Lot. Wellness is the full integration of mind, body and spirit. We look forward to helping you towards a healthier life!