As a therapist combining cultural healing from my First Nations' Ancestors with 'formal' qualifications in biodynamic craniosacral therapy my role is to facilitate a safe, supportive space of connection and deep listening. To be present with you as you journey into the felt experience of your body. To support you to safely be with the experience that is happening now, and assist the transmutation of the spaces that have long been held because they were too overwhelming at the time.
Country is the primary holding space, the womb, offering the knowledge that we are whole, we are connected.
If we are not aware of our body, we cannot be aware of our connection with the earth. When we are experiencing disembodiment and dissociation, we need to feel safe enough, on a primal/subconscious level, to be able to become aware of the sensations of our body, to the felt experience of the moment. This awareness begins the journey of healing.
As we delve into our sensations, we notice all sorts of things, for example our heads might feel fuzzy, our body parts feel discombobulated. For example, we may feel like our head is floating like a talking bubble and is separate from the rest of our body. We may feel that parts of us are missing, that our chest feels hard and cold like armour. We might talk about parts of our body like they are objects and not part of us. We might feel light, buzzy, absent, be aware of a fuzzy or nebulous outline, and not have a sense of particular parts of the body.
When we are feeling safe and embodied, we can access the feel, weight and shape of our feet as they connect to the earth, we might notice our body's texture, temperature and outline, our internal experience of our body. Our heads may feel clear and spacious. We experience ourselves as whole – not parts that are separate and objectified, we are unified.
Some of us need to practice being connected. By doing this, we are not trying achieve something, but to allow ourselves the time and space to pay attention to what we are actually sensing and feeling in the moment. This sounds simple, and it may be a 'simple' thing, but it is not easy to do especially as we are so often practicing objectifying rather than being.
The essence of trauma is dissociation. Trauma, is unconscious tension. Literally the brain has disconnected from the cognitive, felt awareness of parts of the body in order to escape from overwhelming sensory experiences that were unable to be fully processed at the time of traumatic experiences. In our cognitive view, which is often our 'reality', parts of our body are compartmentalised and hidden in an attic of sorts, locked away in boxes that have no labels and buried under layers and layers of traumatic experiences. When we are able to feel safe enough and supported to start to notice all these compartmentalised and hidden parts, as we become aware of the sensory feeling of our feet on the ground, the sensations of our body, literally the tissues, fluids, nerves, muscles, bones, spaces, energy - we discover. We realise, hang on, that leg feels like it's missing and that arm is there, it feels soft, my chest feels hard like armour, my shoulder feels like it is not part of the rest of my body. In this process of feeling, sensing, being, we walk towards the attic and we begin to discover these hidden parts ourselves, we look inside the boxes, and we are able to let go of the things that are no longer necessary for us to be carrying around unconsciously. This frees up space and energy that can be directed towards things we do need and do choose.
We need a guide here, some sunlight, some support to walk with us as we unpack these boxes. Those boxes are heavy, they manifest as discomfort in being in the present moment, we feel things rising and pulsing and sparking and we find ourselves exhausted or hyped up or continually in tears. It’s heavy. But with someone to walk with us, to support us to hold those feelings in the moment and recognise that the experience that overwhelmed us has now past and we are safe, we have the strength to live through the experience, to thrive in it's release, that is healing.
If you are looking for a guide and support on your healing journey, book a healing session here.
Awareness is the key to everything. It is the place we find healing. From our bones. From our connection with those who have come before us. We seek their stories and wisdom and through our present moment awareness, we recognise, the collaborations, the synchronicities. With awareness we can acknowledge the hurts and patterns of our ancestors to access the seeds of wisdom. When we can hold that awareness of the whole, knowing that we are not wrong or right but if we continue unabated in a sleepy state, we will perpetuate patterns of disregard and violence. Knowing ourselves, we know each other and we connect with the earth.
What is biodynamic craniosacral therapy?
What we feel, heals. Let's be present with our whole selves.
Where awareness flows, change and freedom emerges.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is a profound and gentle touch therapy working with the whole person. Thaedra works like the Ombudsman for the body, mind and spirit - facilitating the resolution of concerns. Craniosacral therapy has its origins in First Nations healing, osteopathy and therapeutic embodied mindfulness practices. Read more about the origins here. Your therapist is trauma aware, trained in anatomy and in working with the nervous system.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is therapeutic for a broad range of conditions and symptoms and has numerous benefits including improved energy and wellbeing. Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy can be effective in reducing clients’ experience of pain and tension in the body regardless of the cause or diagnosis.
What is happening during the session? The session involves the experience of being supported to be mindfully present in your body, safely with whatever is arising. In your session, you are supported by the gentle contact of your skilled, impartial therapist and will be guided in this. You do not need to come in calm or to try and relax, stretch out or realign during the session. Rather, the therapy supports your body and spirit (being the bones, muscles, tissues, nerves, fluids and spaces, emotions and experiences) to reorganize and find its own alignment, balance, equilibrium and homeostasis. Similar to a scratch healing, our body has its own methods that work effectively to ensure our wellbeing without us needing to figure out how to fix things which often causes more issues.
When we meet ourselves in the present moment, feel what is actually going on, bring our awareness to places within the landscape of our being that we have objectified in thought and analysis (eg. I have a bad hip. That arm is always sore. One of my legs is shorter than the other. My back is crooked. I will always have headaches. My pain is because...) and we are able to be with the actual experience of those places and feel and describe them in a sensory way in the present moment, we notice that the sensations of these places change.
In fact our sensations are always changing and our brains can be trained out of objectifying ourselves and into being present with whatever is arising. This is often surprising, for example, something that is initially described as feeling painful (perhaps hard, cold, absent etc) can transform to a place that feels comfortable and free.
We cannot see our own blindspots and when we have concerns that are ongoing, or overwhelming, we need support - an additional, skilled, impartial, safe, supportive presence for healing and alleviation of symptoms.
Want to feel this for yourself? Book here.
What do I wear? You will be lying fully clothed on a massage table, in some cases you will be side-lying or seated – your comfort is paramount. If you are pregnant, extra supports are provided so you are comfortable.
What if I am not comfortable during the session? Your feedback, consent and safety is paramount and feedback is always welcomed, please let your therapist know at any stage during the session if you are not comfortable or having any questions or feedback.
What can I expect after a session? It is recommended that you take some time after your session to rest and to hydrate and support the body and your brain to realign. You may find that you feel some irritability, some emotions arising, some tiredness or increased energy, this is simply the body and your psyche processing and it is suggested to take a gentle stroll or a bath and to have a rest. The therapy is continuing around 48 hours after the session. If you feel spacey or overwhelmed, please advise your therapist and you are welcome to provide feedback or ask questions at any point in the session or following. If we are able to allow our feelings to flow, tension and stress will release, healing will occur and we will come into a state of greater health and wellbeing. If we stop the flow of our natural emotions and experiences by analysing them, ignoring them, or not allowing ourselves to rest, or feel them, the stress and tension will return. Tears are a natural healing balm and body medicine, allow them to run down your face and be like a waterfall or the rains, cleansing the spirit.
How many sessions do I need? For most clients, you will need a minimum of 4 consecutive weekly or fortnightly sessions. For long term or acute situations, a series of 6-10 sessions is recommended at regular (weekly or fortnightly) intervals. In babies and children who respond quite quickly, they may only need a couple of sessions to resolve the concern. We will discuss what is needed after the initial session and reassess with each session.
These sessions are therapeutic and not designed for one off treatments or quick fixes. Just like you will regularly update your computer and software, service your car, clean your home, brush your teeth, we are supporting your body, mind and spirit to clear out anything that is not needed and make space for greater health and wellbeing. See this video for more on looking after our minds, body and spirit.
Regular maintenance sessions are recommended to support your health and as a regular check in and support. Once a month is usually a great support for your optimal health and wellbeing.
Can I do other therapies and exercise with biodynamic craniosacral therapy? If you are receiving body work such as osteopathy, including cranial osteopathy, chiropractic, bowen or any manipulative therapy, it is recommended that you pace those sessions at least 48 hours before or after your craniosacral healing session. Gentle massage and acupuncture is ok within a shorter time frame. Gentle movement or exercise that you do regularly only is suggested in the first 24 hours of your treatment to allow the treatment to unfold. While your body is realigning it may be more vulnerable to strain.
What if I am taking medication? Please advise your therapist if you are taking medication and supplements – they may impact your experience of the treatment and how your body responds during and after treatment. For example, pain relief may impact on how much you can feel during a session although it will generally not impact the ultimate effectiveness of the session.
Are there contraindications? There are very few contraindications for biodynamic craniosacral therapy as it is working with you and your body in a very gentle way. However, biodynamic craniosacral therapy and First Nations healing does increase your awareness of your body, mind and spirit including emotional and physical sensations and invoke changes on an holistic level so it is really important to allow yourself time and space for changes to occur and integrate. If you are unsure, please contact us to chat about any concerns. Always notify your practitioner of any health conditions you are experiencing.
I hear a lot of talk about the nervous system and I'm wondering, what are we really saying when we speak of the nervous system being disregulated or activated or heightened? Yes there are endless theories and western science explaining all of that, offering solutions for regulation and balancing. But what of it? In reality, what are we really speaking of?
In truth, my heart says that when we are speaking of the nervous system, we are really speaking of our spirit. our heart. How connected are we to our heartbeat and the rhythms of our spirit dancing with the rhythm of country. How are we in this moment of truth, in our spirit? Regulation is reconnection with spirit.
Facilitating reconnection with our spirit, that is what the healing moments are all about. Often, when someone is present in a session and they feel disregulated, their heart feels like it is outside of their body, it is sitting up, separated from the wholeness. Just like when a surgeon removes an organ, the heart feels like it is up in the ether, out of the nourishing containment of its place in the landscape of the body. This feeling is present in dissociated states, in states of shock, emotional disconnection and pain. A lot of times, there is no ability to even sense the heart, it is cold or buzzy or floaty or empty. The suppressed emotions and experiences feeling too great to acknowledge. But if we are disconnected from our hearts then how can we honour and listen to our spirit? The potent aliveness and creativity that we are? Allowing our hearts to rest back in our bodies, to be contained in our being with full presence, honouring our spirits. That is healing.
I facilitate one on one healing sessions to support you to reconnect with your spirit. Book here.
In a recent article published on ABC news, leading researchers shared that psychological factors play a significant role in chronic pain. Further, they suggest psychological treatment aimed at identifying the varying factors at play and retraining the brain as having significant therapeutic effect in reduction of pain and management of symptoms.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is a supportive approach for clients experiencing chronic pain on many levels when taken as a series of regular (weekly/fortnightly) sessions and, where indicated, alongside other therapeutic, rehabilitative and/or medical approaches such as psychology, physiotherapy and medication.
Biodynamic craniosacral therapy is not a quick fix and requires a commitment of time, energy and resources. It is also very safe and helpful for people of all ages and stages of health from newborns through to the elderly regardless of your diagnosis.
This body based therapy works with each client as a whole and enables them to feel safe and be present with challenging sensations. Being present with sensations is a different approach to how many of us connect with our embodied experience. Sensing is about the sensations we are experiencing in our anatomy. For example, right now, how would you describe the sensations of your body as you are reading this blog? How heavy do your feet feel? Are you aware of the outline and shape of your whole body? Do you notice that there are places in your body that feel cool or warm? If you are tired, what do you notice about where 'tired' is in your body as a sensation? Eg. is it in your head, do your legs feel heavy, how can you describe the sensations like you are holding them in your hand?
If you are experiencing chronic pain, there is usually a level of dissassociation from that part of the body. During a biodynamic craniosacral therapy session, you are supported to feel safe enough to connect with the sensations in your body and to also find places that do feel safe and comfortable in your body. To meet your experience. This may include emotions or memories that are wrapped up with that pain. After all, pain is a message from the brain saying this is not safe. It is something to be met and listened to.
If we listen to our pain, be with our pain, allow our pain, it will shift. Our brain will literally rewire. We can do that when we have a supportive, grounded therapist to facilitate that space for us. If we don't meet it, the pain is like a cupboard that you never enter or clear out. It is going to stay like that until you're willing to go in there and see what's there, air it out and enable the room for something else. In the case of us, imagine what can be expressed and created with all the energy that is tied up in holding pain?
It's important to note that healing is not the same as fixing or curing and it is not a linear journey. It is a journey that requires time, energy, space and resources.
If you are ready, connect and book your sessions in Torquay on Wadawurrung Country here.
PS. You can also read more from biodynamic craniosacral therapist and trainer Steve Haines who I have trained with here.