Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) supports health in the body. It is a skilled way of coming into a relationship with and listening to the anatomy and physiology of the body supporting the body to self – repair and find natural balance. It is characterized for it’s strong interest in the holism of the human experience and the creation of a safe space for overwhelming experiences to arise and resolve smoothly.
BCST has a good reputation for its effectiveness in helping women in pregnancy and for many of the ailments of young babies, children and adolescents. Below I share how BCST can support the aforementioned individuals during an integral time of the human experience:
BCST aids women in expressing optimum health during pregnancy. BCST supports mother’s-to-be inner resources so that the central nervous system (CNS) can self regulate and subsequently every other system can relax and self correct.
There are many changes in a women’s body during pregnancy to accommodate her growing baby. Generally the whole body has to work harder as muscles and ligaments soften, organs become re-positioned and fluids increase by significant amounts. Although these changes are important and natural in preparing the Mother and baby for a safe birth they are challenging to a women’s sense of well-being, producing common symptoms such as:
• sinus issues,
• hormonal highs and lows,
• morning sickness and
• back and pelvic pain.
CST sessions can be of great benefit for a mother-to-be on physical, psychological and emotional levels primarily by facilitating a state of balance within all systems within the body. In pregnancy the endocrine system, encompassing the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, takes on an important role. The hypothalamus is the major link between the nervous system and endocrine system; together they regulate virtually all expressions of growth and development, metabolism and homeostasis. Facilitating equilibrium here therefore promotes balance of the CNS and aids in reducing anxiety levels within the mother-to-be ensuring that an optimal internal environment is established and maintained to nourish and support the unborn. Fundamentally, this is the key to promoting a healthy pregnancy.
Mothers too can benefit from BCST to support rebalancing after childbirth. BCST is a very relaxing and enjoyable way of supporting the return to a non-pregnant state, helping the woman’s body to adjust after birth, so she can more easily meet the demands of parenting a newborn. During the postpartum period, BCST helps to realign musculoskeletal imbalances and helps the rehabilitation of the muscles and connective tissue strained during pregnancy, thus helping to restore pelvic stability.
Research shows that fewer than half of all women in the UK get the birth they want. BCST is effective in facilitating the mother in coming to terms with the physical and emotional implications of required medical intervention, for instance recovery from Caesarean birth and easing any residual low backache from epidural injections. Furthermore, the compassionate approach can encourage bonding between mother and baby and aid the calming of the mother’s CNS, subsequently helping her to feel empowered and in control thus giving the baby the best possible start to life.
Babies (0 to 12 months)
Babies are far more conscious and aware, even as newborns than we realise. The body of evidence is growing to support the fact that a baby’s psychological and emotional health is just as important as physical health at birth.
The baby’s well-being is significantly influenced by their experience of birth and BCST respects and assists babies to release compressive, restrictive patterns experienced during the birth process, allowing them to settle and heal. These patterns unresolved can lead to common new born difficulties such as:
• colic and reflux
• breastfeeding difficulties
• digestive or elimination difficulties
• excessive crying, difficulty settling your baby or separating from baby
• sleeplessness and
• unresponsiveness or slowness to reach milestones
Babies born by Caesarean, the use of ventouse extraction or forceps can benefit from BCST sessions as these interventions can all cause compressive forces on the babies body, particularly its head. The therapists light and perceptive touch can help ease these patterns. Baby’s bodies have fewer layers of conditioning and are highly compliant in relation to therapeutic touch; therefore the baby’s body responds quickly and easily as they have spent less time organising themselves around their physical and emotional restrictions. If left untreated, these restrictions can take more time and effort to correct in adulthood, causing pain and dysfunction in the short-term.
Babies and children will often sleep for a longer stretch than usual after a session. Both mum and baby are treated in the session, in recognition of the very close relationship between the two; if one feels better, so does the other.
Children & Adolescents (1 to 24 years old)
Children and adolescents constantly present parents and themselves with new challenges as childhood can be fraught with physical, emotional and psychological stresses, traumas and illnesses; for children it is a difficult time to be growing up in with the majority finding it intimidating to navigate through. A child at this time may justifiably feel they have little control over some aspects of their life and wellbeing.
BCST enables them to begin and continue the important process of being aware of, and responsible for their own physical and emotional health. It can also enable the child to relax and enjoy life for the first time, if he/she has had a stressful birth or childhood.
BCST treatment sets the stage for the body to most efficiently use its own natural intelligence to heal. The treatment develops from what the practitioner feels in the client – so the client, of any age, totally directs the session. Nothing is ‘done to them’.
Older children can also benefit from BCST. There may still be some unresolved birth patterns or other issues effecting a child’s health and wellbeing. These may contribute to the following conditions that can be positively treated by BCST:
• headaches and migraines
• asthma and breathing difficulties
• glue ear and associated hearing difficulties
• weakened immunity
• anxiety and Stress-related
• emotional difficulties, such as anger, frustration and withdrawal
• poor coordination and clumsiness
Additionally, BCST for children has also been shown to support, improve and manage:
• complications following head injury and meningitis
• learning, concentration and behavioural disorders
• ADD & ADHD
• autism and Asperger’s syndrome
• cerebral palsy and other brain injuries
Adolescents can receive huge benefit from BCST considering the vast shift their body undergoes physically, psychologically, and emotionally during this time. This period can be rather unsettling and treatments provide the supportive environment that facilitates a positive balancing of the central nervous system, hormone regulation (endocrine system) and organ functions, allowing them to “chill out’, create new ways of thinking and supporting them in finding a sense of self.
BCST genuinely acknowledges that the child is not an isolated individual though branches of a family unit. The child’s perception and emotional and psychological development is linked to that of his/her family, for that reason all treatments are always carried out with family members present thus acknowledging and respecting the whole family dynamic. Working with this bond helps to support the child’s development, additionally; parents and siblings may also directly experience the benefits of the treatment. Working in this way is an effective way to promote bonding and inter-personal relationships within the family unit.