Craniosacral Unwinding – An Introduction
Fascia – The Interwoven Body
Our bodies are made up of a connective tissue called fascia.
Fascia is a continuous, interconnected, mesh-like network that extends throughout the entire body. Our fascial network encases and connects every cell, muscle, nerve, organ and bone in our bodies, creating an interlinked system that responds to fascial form, motion, composition, balance and tensional patterns. Thus, fascia can affect the very shape and function of our cells.
Imagine the body covered in a 3-dimensional sweater from head to toe, front to back. Now imagine that this sweater surrounds not only the outside of the body, but also every nerve, gland, organ, vessel, cell and muscle, and the entire nervous system. All are supported and surrounded by the interwoven knit fibers. When all is well, each encased area slides and glides in relationship with the others. When life impacts us physically or psychologically, it’s like someone pulling forcefully on the arm of the sweater, resulting in a line of tension that affects the threads all the way up to the top of the sweater.
As life goes on and we amass more and more experiences, we develop more lines of tension. These compound on top of each other, creating torques, twists, rotations, distortions and drags on our physical structure. These ripples and thicknesses impair the normal slide and glide within all sections of our bodies. We can work towards releasing these tensions using movement, yoga, exercise, stretching and many forms of bodywork—especially Craniosacral Unwinding. These can all help bring us back to fluidity, ease, health and well-being.
How Craniosacral Therapy Can Help Us Return to Health
Craniosacral Therapy techniques are used to locate and reduce adverse strain of the fascia. As the fascia returns to normal patterning and motion, neurological strain can subside and diminish the adverse tension on the “smooth muscles” (around the gut and internal organs), skeletal muscles, heart muscle, glands, blood vessels and nerves. In response, our bodies no longer have to struggle to function.
When our bodies are free to function without stress or struggle, life feels easier.
Life is a series of events, and everything from injury, trauma, repetitive strains and brain concussions to aging, chronic pain, and emotional stress shape and influence our intricate fascial network.
Over time, fascia responds to all these life events by losing hydration, buoyancy and adaptability. This can lead to harmful structural strains and restrictions that compound, causing the fascia to become thickened, stiff and less elastic. All this contributes to chronic pain, impaired biomechanical ability and performance and ill health.
Craniosacral Therapy can help ease deep structural tension and imbalance, freeing our bodies from restriction and allowing us to move toward optimal functionality and wellbeing.
“We have limitless possibilities of helping others overcome dysfunction. Craniosacral techniques can reach into the depths of the body through the fascial system. We have the honour of entering a universe that transforms illness into health, dysfunction into vibrant life!” – Tad Wanveer
I call my work “Craniosacral Unwinding”—a gentle, holistic approach that combines the techniques of Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Release. Through a process of deep listening, I feel the whole body structure for fascial restrictions, then engage the tissue with a “light touch,” noticing the form my hands are drawn into. I wait, then follow the tissue as it self-corrects. The 3-dimensional fascial network responds and self-corrects when “listened to,” not forced or pushed. The Craniosacral “touch” is the perfect pressure to facilitate this self-correction. The body knows what to do. I just need to listen, then witness the tissue do a sacred unwinding dance to fascial freedom!
Other healthcare modalities such as massage typically address abnormal patterns in the body through the musculoskeletal system. Though these modalities can be effective, there are many cases where symptoms are addressed only temporarily and the underlying chronic connective strain pattern persists. This contributes to issues not resolving completely or reoccurring persistently over and over again, due to the fact that the fascial connective matrix strain patterns are not being addressed.
Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Release address disturbances through the craniosacral, fascial and central nervous systems, offering a more global and comprehensive approach that focuses on finding root causes rather than chasing symptoms.
Seeking care and advice from a doctor is always recommended, but some things can be done outside of the doctor’s office to help manage or rid of symptoms and get to the root cause of issues.
Craniosacral Unwinding Can Address Many Health Concerns, Including:
Orthopedic Trauma and Dysfunction
Spinal Cord Injuries
Whiplash and Injury from Motor Vehicle Accidents
Endocrine and Immune Disorders
Eye and Vision Issues
Stiffness or Inflammatory Conditions
Enhancement of Athletic Performance
Fine-Tuning of Biomechanical Alignment
Injury Prevention and Recuperation
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Surgical or Trauma-Related Scar Tissue Release