What is BCST?
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) is a bit of a mouthful, but it is much simpler than it sounds. This gentle form of manual therapy involves educated, non-invasive touch in the form of a series of "holds", or contacts made by the practitioner in a variety of locations on the client's body. These holds are extremely light, gentle and still, and each one may last anywhere from a minute or two to more than ten minutes, depending on the specific needs and comfort levels of the client. Unlike massage, BCST does not involve manipulating (rubbing or kneading) the soft tissues of the body.
What is a session like?
Sessions can vary from practitioner to practitioner, but a typical session with me will begin by sitting and chatting about relevant goals or health concerns that you would like to work on in the session.
After our conversation, you can move to the massage table, where you will lie down, fully clothed, on your back or your side in a way that is most supportive for you. At this point, I will usually check in with you and ask if anything could make you more comfortable. Your feelings of comfort, ease and safety are of paramount importance in a BCST session, and so it is essential for you to know that you can ask for whatever adjustments you need (temperature, lighting, pillows/blankets, music/silence). Think of your BCST session as a collaborative process that you and I co-create together to help ensure that what unfolds in the session is about you and your comfort and enjoyment.
Following this, I will take anywhere from a few moments to a few minutes to ground and orient myself before I make physical contact with you. I will usually do my grounding and centering while sitting down next to the part of your body that I will contact first. I may start at your head, or feet, or somewhere else. When I am about to make contact, I will let you know. Then, after I have set up my first hold, I will check to make sure that the touch is right for you.
From there, I will move to any area of the body that needs to be worked with, using the contact that feels the best for you, and letting you know before I make each move. During the holds, I will quietly, gently hold parts of your body, feeling for subtle sensations and tracking changes in your system. I may ask you from time to time what you are experiencing and will help you to stay present for whatever you experience. There will be periods of silence interspersed with periods of conversation that are relevant to the session. Your BCST session is not the time to talk about what is happening in the news, unless it is specifically relevant to you and your health. Your BCST session is a precious, rare opportunity to tune into YOU and the workings of your marvelous physical being.
I will alert you when we are nearing the end of our time together and when I am about to step away from the massage table to conclude the appointment. I always leave a few minutes at the end of the session for you to reorient to the waking world so that you can leave the session feeling refreshed, relaxed and revived. Once you are up and alert once more, I will check in with you and I might offer some home care ideas for your consideration.
What can BCST help me with?
A key focus of BCST is nervous system regulation, which plays a critical role in how well you heal from injury, illness or any of life's challenges. A balanced, regulated nervous system can support the resolution of conditions resulting from stress and trauma and encourage tissue healing, inflammation reduction and improved immune system function.
Many clients find that BCST can offer relief from:
-stress and anxiousness
Many clients also find that BCST supports them in:
-increasing their ability to relax
-expanding their body awareness
-changing their attitudes towards their own health and well-being
-improving their overall quality of life
How this manifests can vary from person to person.
To determine what BCST helps the most with for YOU, in the next few days after your session, take time to check in with yourself and note any changes you observe. Useful questions to ask yourself can include:
-What is the quality of your sleep that night?
-How is your digestion? How relaxed are you feeling?
-How is your overall experience of life?
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