Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is an exceptionally gentle, non-invasive, and yet very powerful form of treatment that interacts with the body’s deepest inherent healing forces, both emotionally and physiologically.
The body has powerful self-healing potential which can be encouraged to counteract the effect of injury, disease, trauma, or stress. Craniosacral therapy offers a safe space, where these kinds of challenges can be processed, and the body’s natural balance and overall health can be restored. It strengthens the body’s resources and its ability to regulate and prioritize its needs, and the client will often feel brighter, calmer and naturally start to orient to a healthier lifestyle.
We all have an inherent intelligence present from conception, which stays with us throughout our lives, and every cell in our bodies is naturally inclined to seek out balance and health. There is always health to orient to.
“The natural healing force in each one of us is the greatest in getting well.”
“Get out of your head & into your body & let’s see what the system knows how to do.”
Dr. John Upledger
“Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by various protectors in the body to ensure survival. Once those protectors TRUST that it is SAFE to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process.”
Bessel Van Der Kolk
The Body Keeps the Score
What conditions respond well to craniosacral therapy?
I work with clients who come to me with many conditions including:
Pregnancy and birth are one of life’s most profound events and craniosacral therapy can offer a little help with easing into family life. For expectant and new mums, craniosacral work can offer support with the changes in the body.
This is a time of rapid change and is ideal for sorting out old aches and pains, as well as preparing the body for birth, as the bones are more flexible, and health is usually at the optimum. Craniosacral therapy can help with:
Babies’ systems are so potent and ready to shift easily back to balance – some just need a little cranio support.
Common reasons for bringing a baby in are:
Baby does not have to lie on the treatment couch but can be comfortably treated on Mum’s lap or while nursing. I also encourage partners to come too.
Increasingly children of all ages are suffering from stress, anxiety, and attention difficulties. This seems to be partly from school pressures, but also due to busy lifestyles, as well as things such as environmental toxicity, screen use and electromagnetic fields.
Teenagers can have a really difficult time as their bodies and brains show rapid development towards adulthood, this period of change may add to anxiety, particularly at a time of global uncertainty. Many teens are also undergoing intensive orthodontic treatment. Craniosacral therapy can help the body to integrate these changes gently.
Regular treatment can help to strengthen a child’s nervous system, improve sleep and nurture confidence, as well as help with some difficulties relating to concentration and learning.
Craniosacral Therapy works very well alongside conventional treatment and is not intended to replace a medical diagnosis or treatment.
History and Roots in Osteopathy
Craniosacral therapy originates from the work of osteopath William Sutherland, who after many years and thousands of patients, arrived at the foundations of the model that is craniosacral therapy today. Late in his career, he came to the belief that the deepest work was subtly energetic, rather than mechanical and arose from the inherent health held within the body, particularly the fluctuation of cerebrospinal fluid as it bathes the brain and spinal cord, and potentizes the tissues of the body.
He called this expression of health Primary Respiration. The heart of all treatment was best oriented around relating to the health, rather than focusing on disease. Through his hands, he found that physiology reflected the energetic fields that organize form and function and that everything the body needed for health could be found internally when he worked with the organizing forces.
Many of these insights are now recognized and researched through scientific enquiry or neuroscience, fascia, and quantum physics.
Craniosacral therapists are trained to listen deeply to the health of the body through a hands-on gentle touch.
A clear understanding of the anatomy and an approach of careful, non-judgmental, and neutral listening provide the opportunity for the body to clarify its needs.
Initially, there will be a detailed and sensitive discussion of your history and your reasons for coming for craniosacral therapy.
During the treatment, you remain clothed and will usually lie face-up or on your side on a treatment table.
I will gently use my hands to respectfully make contact with your body, and listen to its various systems (musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, fascia) as well as the more subtle energetic qualities of Primary Respiration.
The body functions as an integrated whole, so I may focus on areas other than where your symptoms are, as pain and inertia can often be referred from other parts of the body.
During sessions, clients often feel, a sense of ease, deep relaxation, stillness, warmth, tingling, increased energy, a sense of feeling more alive, balanced, and heard.
“Deep listening is the kind of listening that can relieve the suffering of another person.”
Thick Nhat Hanh
There is no set number of sessions. Some people find relief from their symptoms after one or two treatments. If there are significant health issues, I may recommend weekly or two weekly treatments to achieve optimum benefit. This will be reviewed regularly between myself and the client.
My session fee is £50 for an hour. I offer discounts on packages of treatment. Treatments for children & teens are usually half an hour and are £30. Post-partum treatments involve baby AND mum (and dad when possible) and these are negotiated at the time, and as needs arise. I treat both together because the connection between mum and baby is very strong, and issues are often resolved more speedily when both are involved. Often many post-partum issues in mum are sorted out too (epidural backache, etc).
I hold an up to date advanced DBS check.
I have been a primary school teacher for 27 years and have enjoyed teaching many children with a wide range of needs and abilities. During this time, I noticed a marked increase in anxiety and attention difficulties, as well as common coordination and learning difficulties. I felt compelled to learn how to help with these at an earlier and much deeper level than what could be addressed in a classroom setting. And so, I trained as a Craniosacral Therapist, and I am passionate about the work. The results are astounding and are achieved gently and respectfully, working with the client’s system, without placing any forced intention or pressures on the physiology. The body knows how to orient to perfect health, and sometimes only a little support is needed.
I first encountered Craniosacral therapy after the very difficult birth of my first child. We both had a traumatic time, involving too much pethidine, (which severely disrupted labour), a distressed baby, dangerous heart rates and an emergency c-section. The result was a very stressed-out first-time mum with post-natal anxiety, and a fractious baby with colic and feeding difficulties to name a few.
When my daughter was 6, I was told about craniosacral therapy and took her immediately for treatment. The effect for her was almost immediate. She fell asleep during her first session, and it was apparent that the therapist offered her relief from left-over birth trauma to her head and skull bones, from being stuck in the pelvis. As the sessions progressed, she showed calmness, was not as fretful or irritable, was able to have her hair washed (which was usually a very traumatic experience!) Her concentration improved at school, as well as her general well being.
Looking back, I wish I’d known about this gentle supportive therapy while I was pregnant. It would have helped prepare my body for childbirth, helped with any associated anxiety, and most certainly helped new parents with all those evenings of trying to calm a screaming infant with a chronic tummy ache from colic. My daughter would have also been able to breastfeed without the difficulty of latching on, which was painful for her at the time.
I am passionate about helping all my clients but hold a particular interest & experience in working with babies, children and teenagers.
“My first CST session with Leigh was profound. I have had CST in my life for 12 years through various practitioners and have to say that I LOVE the way Leigh works. The session was led with an incredible sense of calm and confidence.
Leigh had a deep connection with what was needed throughout the session and gave me some valuable insights on my current health. 24 hours later I am feeling unusually calm (for me) and my symptoms have been non-existent! I can’t wait for my next session!
“I have been experiencing extreme anxiety and IBS. Leigh helped me to understand that these two are related. She has helped my nervous system to a calmer place and we are working on my IBS and food issues. I have already seen an improvement after only two sessions. Leigh has also taught me all about my vagus nerve and how it works. I am learning breathing exercises and with her help, I am really getting on top of my anxiety and tummy issues.
“I have been struggling with tinnitus. Through Craniosacral therapy and Leigh’s help my tinnitus is now under control. I am learning to manage my own anxiety and stress which were the cause of my tinnitus. I find this therapy heals the whole person emotionally and physically and I feel better for it .”
“Leigh introduced me to CST and I would definitely recommend this gentle therapy. She has successfully treated me with lower back, neck and shoulder pains. She applies a gentle touch to key areas allowing your body to relax itself and relieve the tension. I can thoroughly recommend this.”
“I brought my 8 week old baby girl who is struggling with colic to see Leigh to try Craniosacral therapy. She insisted on working on me as well, which I thought was strange. I now know why! Not only did she help with Emma’s colic, but she helped to calm my own system too. Leigh showed me how close the connection is between mum and baby. As I calmed, Emma’s system mirrored mine. AND I no longer have lower back ache from the epidural. After a difficult birth, am beginning to feel more like the old me. Leigh helped both of us and I’m so grateful.”
“We came to our 1st appt exhausted and desperate. My daughter, 11 had been suffering with restless arms, legs, neck and shoulders for weeks and trying to get her to sleep before midnight was just impossible. Leigh was so lovely and put us both at ease straight away. My daughter enjoyed the session and within 2 days her restlessness had completely subsided and she was asleep by 10pm. We had the odd flare up but nothing that bothered her too much. 4 sessions later and we are done, with the assurance that should it flare again we know exactly who we need to visit. You have given her back her ability to truly relax and restored peace. What you are able to do is truly life changing. Thank you x ”
“I had Craniosacral Therapy for a very painful shoulder. The injections given to me by my doctors helped for a short time, but the pain came back. I can honestly say I felt relief within the first session, and it has been so much better since. I wholeheartedly recommend Leigh and Craniosacral Therapy. It is truly the way to better health.”
©2021 Leigh Carter
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