By Adam Rubinstein

“We have at our core, a fundamental health which is incorruptible. Illness and disease are simply layers imposed outside of that, like caked layers of mud enclosing a diamond. The way to health is by uncovering the pure, clean diamond we have inside us which has been progressively obscured on our journey through life’s difficulties.”

My approach to Craniosacral Therapy is to enter into a deeply relaxed state with each patient in which they can quickly let go of superficial stresses. Within this space, the ‘caked layers of mud’ are clearly revealed. They are the barriers and defensive tensions set up in response to past, unpleasant, experiences, which we have not been able to fully let go of. Very often, they re-activate during times of stress and this can be the cause of a wide range of symptoms.

Ideally, having experienced a distressing situation, we would let go of any stress associated with it soon afterwards. What usually happens however is that we hold a memory, which can be, stored somewhere in our body. These emotionally charged memories are held as tensions which compound and overlay one upon another, gradually restricting the normal functioning of organs, vessels, nerves and other physical structures, eventually causing symptoms.

My work is to enable you to release these deeply held patterns of emotional stress. Once this is achieved your body has all the resources and knowledge needed to complete the healing process, just as it has to heal a cut finger or a broken bone.

Case 1

Name: Jonathan (not his real name)
Male, 9 years old

Diagnosed condition: Mondini’s syndrome. (Congenital under development of cochlea causing partial deafness, in Jonathan’s case hearing reduced to 70% in left ear, 30% in right).

Due to his partial hearing, Jonathan suffered social isolation, low self-esteem and difficulties keeping up at school. Jonathan also suffered from poor concentration, short-term memory loss and an undiagnosed condition, which caused a totally debilitating cerebral attack at very regular intervals.

The first such attack happened at 10 weeks of age and they continued every 10 weeks increasing by 1 or 2 days each time. When Jonathan came to see me the attacks were occurring every 13.5 weeks. The next was due on the 24th of August. Although his mum had taken him to many specialists throughout the UK, no one had offered any explanation and nothing had had any effect. Both epilepsy and migraine had been ruled out.

In the run up to an attack, there was a gradual deterioration in his hearing (or perhaps his attention) over 2-3 days; then his eyes would go unfocussed and vacant immediately before the attack. Starting with a headache in the frontal area, which might grow gradually in intensity or be very sudden, Jason would have to lie down on his front with no head movement. After 2 – 3 hours, there was a massive increase in the intensity of the headache with violent vomiting (sulphurous yellow bile with mucus). This would continue for between 12 and 24 hours and then stop suddenly. He felt better immediately afterwards.

To all outward appearances, Jonathan is a normal 9 year old, he has an open, relaxed face and is very willing to communicate with people who make the small extra effort required, i.e. speaking loudly and clearly.

Session 1 – 11th August.

The first session is usually a general assessment / treatment in which I identify focuses of holding or weakness. The patient (especially if a child) usually also needs to get used to me and so often isn’t able to completely relax. Jonathan got a bit fidgety after a short while (normal with children) and at the end of the session said he didn’t feel anything (also normal). Even so, I felt that we made some clear progress in releasing the cerebral tensions, which were apparent.


Session 2 – 25th August. (2 weeks)

Jonathan had had early signs of an attack – unfocussed eyes with a lesser headache – on the evening of the 14th (2 days after the last session) and had been given Calpol and put to bed. He awoke the next morning with a yellow/green and smelly nasal discharge but had no other unusual symptoms or further development of an attack. During the treatment I continued with the release of cerebral patterns especially at the left lateral ventricle and intra-ventricular channel.


Session 3 – 22nd September. (3 weeks)

Jason pulled off his shoes and jumped onto the couch as soon as he entered the room, he couldn’t wait to get started. There had been further nasal discharge for a few mornings following the last session, this time without the headache. Jonathan’s mother noticed a marked improvement in his concentration after the last session, which lasted for a few days and then drifted back. The next follow up was to be in a week to enable me to build on the progress before it reverts. I continued working on cranial patterns and released the right temporal bone.


Session 4 – 29th September (1 week)

There was no further discharge and Jonathan had good focus at school. His cranium was soft and open with no major patterns but some localised congestion and holding which released during the treatment.


Session 5 -13th October (2 weeks)

The benefits at school lasted 12 days this time. Jonathan said he felt lighter after the sessions but the heaviness gradually came back. We talked about his experience during a treatment so that he could do some ‘homework’ between sessions to maintain the benefits. He was very pleased and had no resistance to doing it himself.


Session 6 – 27th October (2 weeks).

There was further significant improvement at school. Jason came home the other day and started telling his mother about what they’d been doing, reciting facts that he’d learned. She was very excited and started telling everyone as he’d never done that before. In this session Jonathan’s whole cranium lightened energetically suggesting a significant resolution.


Session 7 – 27th November (4 weeks)

Jonathan’s improved concentration at school lasted the whole month helped by the work he’d been doing at home, which he clearly enjoys and benefits from. He was slightly poorly yesterday (unfocussed eyes, slight headache) when an attack would have been due, but went to school anyway and no full attack developed. He was completely better this morning.

There were two major releases during this treatment allowing significant expansion of stuck areas. Jonathan slept deeply throughout and awoke gradually as I talked with his mother. He went unfocussed momentarily as he was waking but then seemed very alert and volunteered information in response to the conversation when he would not previously have been able to hear it.

I will see Jonathan in a month to ensure that the new cranial pattern has stabilised and perhaps see him at three-monthly intervals after that at about the time an attack would be due.

Case 2

Name: Iris Occupation: Cleaner
Female, 52 years of age

Presenting complaint: Iris was unable to turn her head to the right following a fall 6 months before in which she banged her right arm. She was referred to me by her homeopath who found her so sensitive to remedies that treatment was difficult.

There had been plenty of physical trauma, she was a breach birth and, as a child, had had many knocks and injuries including hitting a car windscreen at age 7, falling off a horse at age 12, knocking herself out and fracturing her right clavicle. At age 24, all her wisdom teeth were removed without a general anaesthetic. More recently she had torn ligaments and tendons and had a hairline fracture in her right ankle, which continued to give her pain, and had ongoing problems with her teeth following root fillings. Osophogeal reflux, pneumonia and pleurisy had also appeared at sometime.

Iris was currently stressed with a messy divorce and had very low self esteem following years in an abusive marriage. She felt a complete failure and said that she sometimes contemplated suicide but couldn’t go through with it because of guilt for the trauma it would cause whoever found her (she had once found a suicide). She had recently finished 5 years of clinical psychology for depression but had not found significant improvement. Iris struck me as an intelligent woman who had been so mistreated in life that she had virtually given up.

As is so often the case, Iris’s physical symptoms were inextricably linked to her unresolved emotional traumas. During the first two treatments, she experienced deep upset and grief while the physical tensions in her neck and right shoulder started to release. Improvement in her mobility was apparent after the first treatment and increased after each subsequent session.

Iris was very distressed on arrival for her third treatment. Her raw emotional state had continued all week since the last session but she had found support through it with homeopathy. Iris wept and talked for 40 minutes. She related that she had had a frozen shoulder 7 years previously and had been suicidal. At the time she hated her husband who had raped her soon after the birth of their second child. He wanted to sail every weekend and expected her to as well. She had to be close to him in the small dinghy with her operating the jib (lots of work for the shoulder) while suppressing her emotional trauma. This became locked up in her shoulder causing it to freeze. It had gradually improved with physiotherapy regaining most of its function until the combination of stress in the lead up to the divorce and the blow to the arm when she fell, brought it all up again. When we started the treatment, it seemed to me that the priority was to ground her emotionally and so I worked only from her feet. Iris was much calmer after the treatment and had experienced a warm yellow flow rising to the level of her solar plexus. I felt that with this session we had turned a significant corner.

When I saw her two weeks later, Iris reported that there had been a vast improvement in her well being. She had some upset towards the end of the session but not on the same scale as before. This time she experienced the warm flow rising to her neck.

I saw Iris twice more, each time we were able to move further through the physical patterns now that she had released some of the emotional resistance. She continued to experience some physical pain during the treatments but found improvement subsequently.

There is no doubt in my mind that, for Iris, Craniosacral Therapy was the right therapy at the right time. She was dealing with the maintaining cause of the problem (her abusive marriage) by getting a divorce and so, mainly, just needed help in letting go of past trauma. This is one area where Craniosacral Therapy excels, however, if someone is unable to change their traumatising situation, Craniosacral Therapy can often help them to find a new approach which enables them to deal with it better.

Iris still has a lot of hurt and anger, which she recognises, will need dealing with. She has embarked on a 4-year training course in a complementary therapy and is now able to face her future with a positive outlook. Her neck movement is no longer restricted.

About the Author

ADAM RUBINSTEIN R.C.S.T.
Craniosacral Therapist
122 Highgate
Kendal Cumbria
Tel 01539 824099
The North Lakes Clinic
Cockermouth
Cumbria Tel 01900 821122

Having trained with the College of Craniosacral Therapy (CCST) in London I am now practicing in Kendal and Cockermouth. I have taken post-graduate courses with Mike Boxall and Franklin Sills (Karuna Institute), Graham Kennedy (Institute of Craniosacral Studies), and Andrew Stones.

My long term self development includes Chi Kung and other energy work, which both inform my practice, and I find that gardening plays an important balancing role.

I have successfully treated patients with M.E., TMJ problems, learning difficulties and Attention Deficit Disorder, frozen shoulder and other physical restrictions, anxiety, sinus problems, poor sleeping and nightmares, back problems, headaches and migraines, inexplicable pain and other major undiagnosed symptoms, and many more. If you have a problem for which your doctor can find no cause, Craniosacral Therapy, approaching from a different direction, may be able to help you.

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