Updated: Aug 9
By Dorian Martin, I Start Wondering Founder
Sometimes to move forward in life, you have to take the necessary time to deal with the past. That may not be easy. We often want to avoid painful memories. And in some instances, we may not be totally sure about what from the past remains after the passage of time.
This is when you need to shut off your chattering mind that is constantly analyzing and projecting stories. Instead, listen to your body. I learned this lesson firsthand in the last six months during a CranialSacral Therapy (CST) session – and the breakthrough I had was amazing.
What is CranialSacral Therapy?
First, a little bit about CST. I have been a regular devotee of massage therapy but hadn’t heard about CST until early 2017. My initial experience was brief – 20 minutes – and I wasn’t sure that I understood it. Fast-forward to the fall of 2017. A friend had just completed the initial CST training and needed guinea pigs. I volunteered and found myself on her therapy table.
What I found is that CST, which uses a very light touch, can be very deceiving. My friend found a few blockages that she removed – and I didn’t feel a thing. However, I experienced a surge of energy in my central nervous system that night, which prompted me to do a little more exploration about CST.
Here’s what I learned — “CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord,” the Upledger Institute states on its website. “Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.” This therapy is increasingly used as a preventative measure and also can assist with health issues ranging from migraine headaches, orthopedic problems, concussions, post-traumatic stress disorder, and scoliosis.
A Big Breakthrough
I went to two more sessions where I noticed some other minor energy releases afterward. However, my experience both during and after the fourth CST session was profound.
Let me set the stage — I had been having difficulty with increasing tightness in my hip and lower back that had slowly accumulated over the past few years. I attributed it to too much sitting. I couldn’t stretch my hip and back out enough to release the tension and massage therapy only offered momentary relief. I was starting to believe that I needed to schedule an appointment to talk to my doctor about the issue and if it kept getting worse, I feared surgery was going to be an option.
I didn’t discuss this issue with the CST therapist at my next appointment. However, she quickly identified an energy block in my knee. She began to work on it and it took a while to break up. As she worked, we had a dialogue about what might be causing the energy cyst, and based on previous CST sessions, she suggested that it might be due to past traumatic experiences in my life.
With some prompting, I suggested that it might be linked to a relative who was emotionally abusive to me as a child. Immediately, my therapist noticed that the blockage in my knee started to release. Interestingly, by that evening, I noticed the pain in my hip and lower back was gone. And for the next two days, I felt the muscles in my upper leg and my knee continuing to move around. Since that session, I haven’t experienced any more issues with my hip, lower back or knee.
Of course, I asked my CST therapist what had happened. It turns out that what I experienced was something called SomatoEmotional Release (SER). This release is grounded in research conducted in the 1970s by John E. Upledger, an osteopathic physician who founded the Upledger Institute, and Zvi Karni, a biophysicist. These researchers found that the body often holds onto the emotional imprint of physical trauma, especially in relation to intense feelings. These feelings basically get placed into the body’s tissues as “energy cysts” and the body just adapts to them. However, the stresses of daily life can eventually cause your body to lose its ability to deal with these energy cysts, at which time symptoms show up that can no longer be ignored.
While I didn’t suffer physical trauma, I did stuff the very intense emotional trauma I experienced as a girl and teenager into my body. And until that CST session, that trauma was coming close to physically crippling me.
I also am finding that releasing that long-held energy cyst also helped me move forward emotionally in ways that I hadn’t expected. In fact, the Upledger Institute reports that common experiences after an energy cyst are dissipated can include:
Spontaneous memories of the trauma that trapped the emotions;
Experiencing emotions that can include fear, sadness, anger, frustration and guilt; or
A sense of relief, lightness, exhilaration and joy once the energy cyst releases.
Needless to say, my experience with CST has given me the opportunity to learn about my body in new ways. I am looking forward to additional sessions to identify what other energy cysts exist and need to be released so I can move forward in life. More importantly, I want to get back in tune with my body’s inherent wisdom. We all have this wisdom, but often tune it out in the 24/7 craziness of today’s world. It’s time to listen.