May 2019

"Every treatment protocol should be dictated by the wisdom of the patient's own body."

 - John Upledger

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy is a form of bodywork that unwinds tension within the musculoskeletal and nervous systems with very light pressure and slow movements. There are a few schools, or approaches, of Craniosacral Therapy. The Upledger Institute focuses on a set series of techniques to unwind the whole body to address the client's situation. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy focuses on the Mind, Body, and Self integration where the therapist is focusing on your emotional (energetic) wellbeing affecting your physical health. Visionary Craniosacral Work is a combination of the other two practices to find the tension points and the therapist facilitates the processing and release of the tension.  
All approaches were inspired by Dr. William Garner Sutherland's research published on cranial bones and Primary Respiration from 1914 to 1954. Primary Respiration is the now proven subtle movement of bones to help release blood and to handle our actions. Dr. Sutherland's experiments with a leather helmet to prove our skulls weren't fused together when we are alive had also shown that pressure on the cranium greatly impacts our brains and bodily functions.
 With these two discoveries, Craniosacral Therapy focuses on the bones' rhythm to see which bones have frozen up or are moving in an antagonistic relationship to their counterparts. This is applied to every bone in the body, not just the skull and sacrum. 

The Session

At Osetra Wellness, we offer 30 minute and 60 minute sessions of Craniosacral Therapy.
The 30 minute session is ideal for someone dealing with one issue that pertains to their nervous system such as insomnia, headaches, migraines, sinus pressure, difficulty swallowing, TMJ Syndrome, localized nerve pain in the limbs, inflamed Sacroiliac Joints, and spinal issues that massage therapy can address. The 60 minute session is for the therapist to address the overall tension patterns in the body from chronic conditions, whiplash from car accidents, postpartum recovery, and surgery recovery. We can take the time to unwind multiple tension points to give you a deep sense of integration and relaxation. For both sessions, you can be fully dressed with shoes off on top of the blanket or dressed down under the top sheet and blanket. Though we do request you take off jackets and sweatshirts. The fabrics are a little too dense for us to feel the rhythms.
Once we know what you wish to address, we will most likely have you start the session lying face up. We may make the decision to have you start lying face down if it's an issue that needs myofascial release of the back muscles first. When the back is relaxed, we will have you turn over to start on the Craniosacral techniques. We may start with listening to the rhythm of your cranial bones, the spinal cord sheath, tarsal bones in the feet, or the knees. It's a very gentle form of bodywork as in our touch is gentle. As massage therapists, we are gently coaxing the region to think it is the body's idea to release the tension. If the region is frozen up or too active, we mimic an ideal rhythm to get the region to reset its ideal movement. It's akin to the process of CPR. The schools of Craniosacral Therapy call it inducing a Still Point. 
The Still Points can take a while to occur or can be very sudden and noticeable. We encourage you to move if you feel like it, whether it's shaking your arms and legs or twisting your spine. It's part of the unwinding process. It's common to feel warm, weightless, heavy, sleepy, bubbly, very alert of the area we are working on, or a combination of these. The nervous system is a very intricate system that Scientists are still figuring out. When your tension is caused by trauma, the brain can easily place you back to that trauma when going through Craniosacral Therapy. We call this an Emotional Release. Both Sophia and Marjorie are trained and prepared to assist you through the emotional side of recovery. Especially for car accident whiplash, we may have to move your neck to the angle it was pulled right before the snap back. It's a technique that is well worth it and we will communicate throughout it to help you stay grounded in the present moment.


Because Craniosacral Therapy integration can be intense, we encourage you to take the rest of the day slowly. Take a walk around the parking lot and enjoy the redwoods before driving away from your session.
Avoid caffeine and stimulants of the cardiovascular system if possible when we have addressed the cranium. This is to prevent undoing the work we did to address insomnia, migraines, sinus pressure, whiplash of the upper cervical spine, and TMJ Syndrome. STAY HYDRATED! And don't be startled if you feel more unwinding or joints popping for the next couple of days. Moving around helps improve circulation and increase the likelihood of the positive changes to stay.

Our Therapists and Their Experiences

Sophia has been practicing Craniosacral Therapy for 18 years. She was introduced to it at a Continuing Education course taught by a practitioner who studied under Hugh Milne of Visionary Craniosacral Work. The course was healing for her and she followed up with courses at the Upledger Institute.

Marjorie has been practicing Craniosacral Therapy for 6 years. She had a severe concussion and Craniosacral Therapy greatly improved her healing journey. She took Craniosacral I and II with Cyr Zeeberg-Foote at East West College of the Healing Arts. Cyr taught their set of craniosacral techniques from Upledger and Biodynamics that they had been using for 20 years at the time of teaching Marjorie. Craniosacral I was focused on listening to the rhythms and inducing still points. Craniosacral II was focused on cranial trauma whether congenital or impact based. For the past 6 years, she has worked with many migraine and concussion sufferers who benefited as much as she has with Craniosacral Therapy. 

"Try Something New" Special

We are offering $10 off a session if you ask to try a massage style or technique you haven't received before and want to try. We have experience in a lot of different styles of massage outside of Deep Tissue and Swedish. If you're interested in the special but don't have anything in mind, we can discuss what new techniques would benefit you most.

This is only valid for one session paid out of pocket excluding Groupon and Spafinder. We don't offer Thai Massage.

Osetra Wellness
1777 Borel Place, Ste 104
San Mateo, CA 94402