WHAT IS CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY?
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance. It was pioneered and developed by Osteopathic Physician John E. Upledger after years of clinical testing and research at Michigan State University where he served as professor of biomechanics.
Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system. CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it's effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.
DISCOVER CRANIOSACRAL BODYWORK
Few structures have as much influence over the body's ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.
Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.
Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the craniosacral system.
By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body's ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.
CRANIOSACRAL FASCIAL THERAPY
Craniosacral Fascial Therapy (CFT) is the work of Dr. Barry Gillespie. Based on his theory that the Craniosacral and Fascial systems are not separate, but one interconnected system, CFT blends two established modalities: Cranial Sacral Therapy and Myofascial Release, into a single, highly effective therapy.
This intricate system originates in the body's core around the brain and spinal cord and extends through the body's fascial web which surrounds and permeates every structure down to the cellular level. A healthy system allows for the free flow of Cerebrospinal fluid from the brain, down the spine, to the sacrum, and into the connective tissue (fascia). Strain anywhere in that system may effect brain function and mobility. Our brains must expand and contract, and any restrictions or damage to this motion, such as those due to difficult birth or head injury, can greatly effect our health and wellbeing.
CFT techniques are designed to gently unwind accumulated fascial strain, allowing optimal mobility and therefore better brain function. When the Craniosacral Fascial system is loose and open, there is optimal flow of cerebrospinal fluid to help nourish the body and cleanse toxins.
The Brain has to breathe. The Fascia has to be free.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN CST AND CFT SUPPORT?
Craniosacral bodywork is effective for all ages and benefits a variety of conditions.
PEDIATRIC AND CHILDHOOD CONCERNS
Tongue Tie and Lip Tie
Lactation issues; Inability to latch (difficulty sucking, swallowing)
Asymmetrical head shape
Autism & Spectrum related disorders
ADULT AREAS OF CONCERN
Anxiety & Depression
Concussion and TBI
Migraines and Headaches
Chronic Neck, Back & Hip Pain
Stress and Tension-Related Disorders
Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
Central Nervous System Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
And Many Other Conditions
All of us have experienced trauma. Difficult birth, surgery, auto accidents, falls, concussions, dental/orthodontics, vaccinations. and emotional traumas to name a few.
BODYWORK BY APPOINTMENT
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
Weekends by appointment.
Pediatric sessions are offered in the privacy of your home or at my wellness space in Asheville, NC. Adult sessions are only offered at my wellness space.
Heather & her 4 children.
My journey into the mind/body/innate connection thoughtfully expressed itself during my undergraduate career studying anatomy and bodywork under the guidance of Professor Andrea Olsen (my mentor at Middlebury College). This experience guided my graduate program at Northeastern University, where I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Herbert Benson at his mindfulness clinic, in collaboration with Harvard University.
Then life took me in a beautiful and challenging new direction with the birth of my first son. He was tongue-tied and lip-tied, exclusively breastfed until he self-weened at 19 months (prior to the birth of my second son). Colic, reflux, heartburn, sleeplessness, slow to gain, nursing every 1-3 hrs; chronic tension in the body and the need to be constantly held; these chronic symptoms affected the whole family. I overproduced and recovered from mastitis multiple times during our nursing relationship. It was a painful and arduous road with constant misinformation from the professionals I trusted. I had limited answers from my pediatrician, chiropractors, lactation counselors and lactation support groups (TT & LT training was just not part of the standard pediatric protocol yet and very few professionals were trained in assessing it properly). Eventually, the more I learned via self-research the more I realized I wanted to pursue lactation training (earning my CLC in 2012). I actively attended various lactation support groups under the guidance of Sherry Spacco, IBCLC at NWH and Dana Paris Mahoney, IBCLC at Norwood Hospital. I co-lead a BACE-NMC group with Linda Winslow, IBCLC and became an active member of the MA Breastfeeding Coalition. As a volunteer, I captured photographs for several of their campaigns targeting Massachusetts legislature, some of which are on a permanent human body exhibit, the Museum of Science & Technology in Tampa, FL.
It was during this process that I figured out how the majority of my oldest son's symptoms were related to Tethered Oral Tissue and at this point, my two oldest children were released by Dr. Kotlow in Albany, NY. I went on to have two additional home births in Asheville, NC and both children were TT.
As a result of this journey, I learned the importance of CST & CFT bodywork for pre & post care to support optimal tongue posture and function. Furthermore, I gained insight into diet and lifestyle and the impact that our epigenetic profile has on future growth and development.
My path in bodywork evolved organically through the challenges that I encountered and through helping my children continue to thrive through optimal development.
It is my purpose to help the individuals and families that I work with integrate towards the best version of themselves, while honoring and following their innate wisdom. I focus on reducing fascial strain and increasing the function of the Central Nervous System in adults, children and newborns. I offer hope to every mother that I work with whose baby is TT or LT and help reduce overall fascial strain in their child while supporting their breastfeeding relationship and their breastfeeding goals. I collaborate with lactation professionals, dentists and chiropractors that are working with my patients, to create an optimal care plan.
I am humbled by the individuals that I work with and by the great healing potential of the human body.
Aside from my work, I am passionate about setting intentions in my life, mothering my four children, yoga, natural health products, herbal remedies, fermentation, skiing, sailing, kayaking, organic gardening, conscious living
and gathering energy by the ocean.