Craniosacral Therapy And Remote Sessions
The pandemic has caused many of us to work remotely, and surprisingly, my colleagues and I found ourselves in the same boat. Remote sessions are a real thing, and I wouldn't have believed it myself had I not had some of the profound experiences that I did ten years ago with a practitioner working in energy medicine. I felt so much support from this, that I continued to receive sessions over the years. Fast forward to 2020 and craniosacral therapists are meeting with one another (virtually) to find that our skill set can still support many of our clients remotely, with obvious limitations.
That being said, a rift began to form between many of the different practitioners as to whether or not it's still "craniosacral therapy." I'm of the school of thinking that it's something else because there are certain physiological limits on what I can support without physical contact. What I see as the most fundamental aspect of my practice still remains though, whether in person or virtually; the ability to activate the client's parasympathetic nervous system and guide them to rebalance the central nervous system. Thus, a properly trained biodynamic craniosacral therapist can work with insomnia, pain management, headaches, anxiety, depression, and trauma remotely with a client's full attention.
I still, however, would say that this is not craniosacral therapy. My clients can't feel the warmth of my hands, the subtle bone movements might not be felt as vividly as an in-person session, and the few procedures that require a bit more pressure, particularly TMJ and other work for the jaw, are considerably more difficult to support. So what I'm trying to say as plainly as possible, is that distance sessions are supportive and have real value and well studied craniosacral therapists have the ability to offer them, but they are not actual craniosacral sessions and calling it that delegitimizes the modality itself.
As it stands, no matter how many clients we support; no matter how much progress our clients see; no matter how many published journals, articles, or books that we write; and no matter how many new discoveries are found in science and medicine that support our work; the allopathic medical community as well as much of the general public will still continue to look at us as voodoo new age hippies trying to con people with "pseudo science." Do a google search on "craniosacral therapy" and you can see how many doctors in the medical community love to discredit us, the same way they used to discredit osteopaths, chiropracters, and acupunctarists.
I realize that offering a distance sessions turns the "wu-wu" meter up to 11 and I'm fully aware of how hard it is for even exceptionally open-minded people to accept. And to be fair, distance sessions really could use the backing of research that supports it as well as testing. Unfortunatly, those things are not cheap and very few of the orginazations which have the equipment and funding to carry out these tests are actually willing to do so. This is why I offer my first session on a donation basis or often free, simply because I don't people to be discouraged from trying them as the nervous system can relax and unravel sometimes much better from one's own personal safe space than the massage table of a clinic.
The bottom line is that we try new ways to approach poor health in faith, whether it's traditional, modern, holistic, or experimental. Distance sessions take a great amount of faith, so I aim to give ground breaking experiences and gain believers. But I don't want people to require that same degree of faith to try craniosacral therapy!
Roughly 150 years ago, doctors had just begun washing their hands before surgery. It wasn't until the 1950's that people began to take osteopaths seriously and now in the US, one can hardly tell the difference between them and MDs. It wasn't until the 1980's that the science and medical world began to question whether prescribing anti-biotix to patients so frequently was such a great idea, and low and behold, years later people are strugging with more autoimmune and digestive disorders because too many prescribed anti-biotix destroyed the necessary bacteria in their large intenstines. Chiropractors were barely recognized as legit even in the 1990's and are still to this day often looked down upon by MD's, despite that so many people swear by them. Outside of athletics, clinical massage doesn't really get the credit it deserves. So it's no surprise that craniosacral therapists will need to be patient for their work to be accepted by the general public and it will take even longer until society evolves to accept distance sessions. In the meantime, think of distance sessions and craniosacral sessions as two different practices, both worthy of attention, but not the same thing. I would encourage people who have the opportunity to try a distance session (and a craniosacral session if that's still a first) to give it a go and allow individuals to draw their own conclusions.