Visionary Craniosacral Work – Reflections on Stories and Stillness
As a Visionary Craniosacral Practitioner I often get the question what Visionary Craniosacral Work is and how it differs from other approaches to Craniosacral therapy. Visionary Craniosacral Work got developed by Hugh Milne D.O., third generation osteopath and himself a visionary who created his own approach to Craniosacral therapy. Visionary Craniosacral Work combines different traditions: Osteopathy, energy work, and the non-doing quality of Taoism.
How does this work? What is it like?
Being with people is a remarkable opportunity, especially when being with people happens in the depth of a Craniosacral session. For me, something turns on the moment my client walks in the door. It is as if I extend my antennas, go in “reception” mode, and I feel a sense of presence growing in the field around my body. My presence field and intention call to my client’s dreambody. The dreambody, in Visionary Craniosacral work, is the name for the whole field of intelligence that we can meet in people. It has physical, emotional, mental and spiritual components, all of which will relate to us when we offer the kind of listening hands and listening presence that calls them out. I very respectfully enter into this field of deep exchange with my clients, where the dreambody is so invited to tell its story that it unfolds the physical tensions and the emotional wounds and the story of the hurts and the effects these things have had on the soul.
When Susanne* comes to see me she has been suffering from lower back pain for some months. Expanding my field and listening to her sacrum and lower lumbar spine from a place of stillness for maybe four or five minutes, I sense a cramp and a frozeness on the left side of her sacrum, and I feel a sadness arising in myself. Quietly, I encourage Susan to allow the tears. Shortly after, she starts crying – and old pain starts welling up in her. Her sacrum begins to feel warm. She is also trembling now, and I invite her to allow and support the trembling as her body is releasing the old tensions. Her sacrum feels hot by now, and while still shivering, after some time she says, “It feels like I’m coming out of the fridge…” – and she starts smiling.
What happens to human beings when we are willing and able to be still and present with them, wait and really listen, empty ourselves of all ideas and preconceptions, and let their dreambody tell its story, is a wondrous thing, a mystery.
Sessions begin with an opening to the bigger field of intelligence that we are both about to meet. In order to contact the soul and be able to hear the dreambody’s story, I need to still myself, to be silent and wait. “Be still and know”, was the mission statement of William G. Sutherland, one of the forefathers of Craniosacral therapy. “I” needs to get out of the way and become the “empty vessel” that will hold the space for whatever the client’s dreambody has to tell. And it certainly wants to tell its story!
Intentionally opening my senses to the field, something bigger, the Big Ocean in which we all are the waves, comes in, and a subtle process is triggered. Entering visionary consciousness means becoming a channel for whatever wants to come through. Stories my clients’ body and soul need to tell, and other messages from the beyond. My ability of being instead of doing – of doing non-doing – is crucial in this. In Taoism this is called wu-wei.
Wu-wei means action without action. It means doing without doing.
It means allowing that which wants to happen.
Don’t do it, allow it to happen. And that is the way of the heart.
Trusting Stillness I will also know when to be silent and when to speak to a client’s system. The dreambody is geared to heal itself, and not only does it communicate its complaints but also its needs, the blueprint for treatment, the inherent treatment plan. Sometimes communicating with different structures can support the process. Acknowledgement and an invitation to let go might be all that is needed for the story of a long “forgotten” accident to come into the light and be transformed. “The cure for pain is in the pain.” Rumi says. But when a person’s head tells me to do nothing, I do just that – nothing. I listen and follow what is being offered.
Visionary Craniosacral Work is also Shamanic work, and the great secret of shamanism is intention. Listening with focus and intention invites the body’s own intelligence, the intelligence of the cosmos, to come into play. Holding a clear intention for a physical target structure or a lost soul part supports the dreambody to find its way in re-organizing itself.
Craniosacral therapy derives from our “ancestor spirits” Andrew Taylor Still and William G. Sutherland, osteopaths who both also had extraordinary visionary gifts. Both of them were known for their remarkable ability to see a lesion, i.e. a fault pattern, from across a room. This kind of seeing comes from years of experience and a profound knowledge of anatomy and physiology, but it also includes the ability to perceive what stays hidden to most of our eyes. As a Visionary Craniosacral Practitioner I open my presence field to sense the full dreambody, including many things that normally are hidden to our ordinary eyes. This is both remarkable and ordinary: all of us have these capacities in us, and most of us know how they come out from time to time in the way we receive information or get a “feel” for people from our intuition. Even though this sensing is ordinary, the meeting that happens through it is always deep and new for me.
The bioelectric field around a person is like a database containing information, and this field is constantly broadcasting. It cannot do otherwise. Our so-called “sixth sense” picks up this information and is able to “read” it, and we can consciously use this tool. Our sixth sense consists of different channels of perception: inner eye, inner ear, empathic senses, and heart. Tuning into the “frequencies” of another’s broadcast I intuitively know what really troubles someone, where they need to be touched, and how I can help.
In diagnosis, we are searching for soul contact.
If we cannot see, hear, or feel the soul, there is no healing – just a rearrangement of symptoms.
– Hugh Milne
Not only the physical body, every structure of the dreambody is an expression of consciousness and has its own dream or story to tell. Any dis-ease or complaint has a deeper reason to be there and is the dreambody’s attempt to tell its story. Treating the fullness of the dreambody means operating from such a place of respect and stillness that the dreambody itself unwinds in the direction its own intelligence dictates. Being present with focus and intention and allowing that to happen will support restoring Health from within.
*Name changed due to privacy concerns