Our sessions had begun in earnest, because she was a client committed to purging her body of the ill effects of alcohol. She revealed a family history of alcohol abuse, a fact she hid before. This disclosure led to others, with equally long-lasting influences on her life.
CST is friend to the harmonious workings of the CNS (central nervous system). This system includes the brain and the spinal cord – neural tissue that embodies and promotes health everywhere in the body. From my experience as a therapist with alcohol users, the CNS shows up differently each time.
Interestingly, touch on a client’s body sends signals to the brain, improving its functions. With my client, over time, a cognitive shift was seen with respect to controlling an urge to drink limitlessly and to curbing an impulse to swing into action at the first sign of discomfort.
The brain in general has space around it, devoted to its bouncy and fluidic nature. This is what I have palpated time and again. A craniosacral therapist can gauge by light touch, contractions in the neural connective tissue – whether nerves, bone, blood or membranes – in the head. By staying present to the goings-on inside her head, over a number of sessions, we came to a place wherein the newly triggered dull throbbing fell silent.
The brain interprets touch in a certain way and if found favorable relaxes its vice-like hold on the pain mechanism in the body. Though she felt no other pain in the body, she felt laxity in her muscles making her inactive and dull. It was wonderful for her to see how that changed.
It’s understood that the brain responds to signals or stimuli, to accordingly activate muscles and other connective tissue. In her case somehow the brain wasn’t getting to do its job. And this is where the connection to her alcohol consumption comes in. Her brain was getting impacted somehow. We didn’t need to know where and how at this point.
The quality of touch offered to my client had a stimulating effect on her within a couple of sessions, with the connection and communication between her connective tissue body and brain restored.
Craniosacral touch sets off the somatosensory system – whole clockwork of activity between the sensory organs, the spine, and the higher centers in the brain. It helps to switch off over-activation in the sympathetic nervous system or rouse an inactive parasympathetic system. In her case it invoked a sympathetic charge in order to bring some life back to her musculoskeletal system.
We made tremendous progress quickly. There was much more ground to cover, however, in the sessions to come. Substance and alcohol abuse is a deeply layered issue. It takes time and collaborative effort to arrive at the core belief and need for external stimulation in the client. Chances of reversals are high, but equally high are chances of recovery.
Craniosacral treatment in combination with therapy for behavior modification can work a miracle into someone’s life. Like anything else in life, this healing work deserves a commitment to self-healing and self-restoration from the client. My job as a therapist is to be there when that happens.