jouurney to distance craniosacral therapy

The Journey to Distance.

A couple of months ago I was helping a man in Australia with tinnitus and chronic sensitivity to radiation.  The tinnitus, which is a continual ringing in the ears, was nearly driving him insane, and the chronic radiation sensitivity meant he had to live in the middle of the countryside away from Wi-Fi and cell phones. He was so sensitive he would feel nauseous if the person in the car in front or behind him on the highway were using their cell phone. 

Our work progressed well, the tinnitus improved as did the radiation sensitivity. One day he asked if I could help with his left eye as it was a bit dry in comparison to his right. He said it wasn’t a big deal but if I could look at it that would be great.

I asked him if he had any trauma to that part of his face and he told me he had been beaten up by the police some twenty five years previously.

We had our session and I did what I could to help the assault trauma release.

When I saw him the following week I asked him how his eye was doing. He told me that the morning after our session his wife asked him what had happened to his eye. He looked in the mirror and was amazed to see that he had a black eye. His left eye was black just as it had been twenty five years previously.

As the trauma was releasing it expressed itself as a black eye.

While this is a remarkable story, what is even more remarkable is that the whole time I had been helping him in Australia, I had been in Ireland, 9,393 miles away. 

How is that possible?

How did I come to be able to do this? 

It started in 1993, and much much closer.

When I started training as a craniosacral therapist one of the first skills we were taught was how to feel the craniosacral rhythm.  This is a very subtle movement in the body, a bit like breathing but slower and much more subtle. 

To get this skill we started with what were called the, “listening posts.” These were places in the body where it was easier to feel the craniosacral rhythm. We would start at the feet, then move to the shins then on to the thighs, then the iliac crests, or hip bones, and so on up the body.

We worked with our eyes closed and tried very hard to feel what was under our hands.

It felt to me that my contact on the person’s body was like a flashlight in the dark.  In the beginning, it was very close to the person’s body so all I could see was what was directly under my hands.

In time, and with a lot of practice, it was as if the flashlight pulled away from the body a little, the circle of light became bigger and I could, “see,” more. 

If I had my hands on the person’s feet I could also feel what was happening in their shins. When I had my hands on their shins I could feel what was happening in their feet, shins, and thighs all at the same time. 

The more I practiced the more I could feel until eventually, I could feel the whole body from any point of contact. I could have my hands on a person’s feet and be able to feel minute restrictions in their brain.


The next expansion in my ability came from working with children, particularly children who didn’t like being touched. 

I would make contact with their body, get a sense of a restriction in their head, for example. Take up a good contact on their head and then seconds later my hands would be swatted away by the child.

I would gently replace my hands, reconnect, then they would swat my hands away again. 

This pattern would repeat over and over again. 

“Let the nice man put his hands on your head Timmy. He is trying to help you,” the parent would smile at me embarrassedly.  

Over time I began to see that having my hand swatted away didn’t actually affect my connection to the child’s system. Each time my hand was swatted away my connection would stretch like glue but not break. 

My hand was away from physical contact with the child but I could still feel everything as if my hand was still in physical contact. 

The connection was elastic, it stretched but didn’t break.  

This newfound ability was most helpful when working with children on the autistic spectrum. I was able to connect with them long before I approached them physically. 

Once the child was in the room I could connect and begin the process of working with them, while I was talking with the parents, for example.  

I would then wait for the child to invite me to approach them with my hands. Once the invitation came it was easy and natural to begin to work directly with my hands. From the parent’s perspective, this was miraculous. “He normally never lets anyone touch him, particularly his head!”

Family dynamics

I was also able to use this ability when working with babies. Not with the babies themselves, there were usually no issues with them but instead with the parents.  Often the babies’ restrictions were influenced by their parent’s unreleased traumas. 

The atmosphere in the room could become very tense when the baby was close to releasing and the possibility of one of the parents grabbing the baby and running out of the room felt very real.

I found that I was able to connect with the parent’s systems as I worked with the baby. Sometimes the whole family were in the room, parents, siblings, and the baby. I discovered I could connect to and hold them all, and help soothe the parent’s systems for long enough for the baby to release what they needed to.

Friends in faraway places.

Over the years I have trained many people to be craniosacral therapists. In the course of their training, I was able to pass on these skills. A number of former students asked me to work with them remotely which I was happy to do. From my perspective, the process is almost identical to working with the person in person. 

I didn’t promote this aspect of my practice because there wasn’t an openness to it with the general public.

When the lockdowns began I closed my in-person practice.  As they continued a new openness to many things emerged. Working remotely in all its different permutations became very acceptable.  

It wasn’t long before people started to get in touch asking me to work with them remotely and that is the way I have been working ever since.

So that is how I was able to work with the man in Australia and while the black eye was dramatic it was small compared to the massive improvement to his life that the reduction in his tinnitus and radiation sensitivity had. 

The moon doesn’t touch the ocean
yet the tide goes in and out.

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash


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