What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy uses light touch to ‘tune in’ to the subtle sensations of a client’s system, working with the nervous system to support the body’s innate capacity for health and healing. It is as powerful as it is gentle. Underlying the Craniosacral approach is the belief that more health and wellbeing is always available to us; sometimes we need some compassionate holding to help untap  this. The therapist’s touch connects with the physiological system as well as the emotional, mental and spiritual to move towards a greater sense of integration and alignment. 

The therapy can be used to address anything from acute to chronic illness, injuries, and trauma to more general ‘maintenance’ and support with the demanding lives that we live. The benefits of a treatment can range from an overall feeling of deep relaxation and ease to transformative insights and releases into parts of selves that were previously inaccessible.

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Craniosacral therapy stems from Osteopathy and encompasses the bodymind as a whole. The Craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord, bones, membranes, fluids and tissues within the body and works to release restrictions in any of these. As the name suggests, there is a particular focus on the areas of the Cranium (head), Sacrum and the space between because this is where the Central Nervous System is located. Nervous system health and balance is key to our experience of overall health and wellbeing. Craniosacral therapy works to balance, soothe the nervous system. This helps to release patterns of tension and holding.

Craniosacral therapy can help with trauma recovery. When we experience trauma, our nervous systems become very activated, releasing hormones such as adrenaline and we can remain in this state of activation. Over time, our nervous systems become dysregulated which can make us much less able to cope with the twists and turns of life. This can cause physical disturbances such as digestive and sleep issues and mental distress. Craniosacral therapy  helps us to ‘come down’ from a state of hypervigilance by working directly to calm the nervous system.

The therapist offers a safe, grounded and compassionate holding space for the client. The orientation is one of unconditional acceptance, welcoming everything that arises and in doing so, affirming all aspects of the client at the very core of their being. Unexpressed emotion can create disturbance in our body and being and can play a role in disease and illness. The awareness and releases that Craniosacral therapy can enable help us to experience life with a renewed sense of ease, vitality and  freedom.

Why might I come to Craniosacral Therapy?

People come to Craniosacral therapy for many reasons. Below is a non-exhaustive list of common clinical conditions where Craniosacral therapy has effectively provided support *

  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • ADD and ADHD
  • Autism, including Asperger Syndrome
  • Bells Palsy
  • Blackouts and fainting spells
  • Breathing issues
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Caesarean Birth
  • Childbirth
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Chronic Pain
  • Colic
  • Compressed vertebrae
  • Depression
  • Digestive issues
  • Dyslexia
  • Ear infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Fertility
  • Fibroids
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Focus
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Head injuries
  • Heart disease
  • Herniated vertebral discs
  • Hip replacement surgery
  • Hysterectomy
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Jaw tension
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD, acid reflux, heartburn)
  • Memory loss
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Meningitis (recovery from its impacts)
  • Migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Nerve Entrapment (including sciatica) and irritation (including carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Neuralgia
  • Occlusion (bite) issues
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Paralysis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post surgical recovery
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Pregnancy (can be used in all phases)
  • Prostate problems and repairs
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Rotator cuff injury (and other shoulder and arm soft tissue dysfunction)
  • Sciatica
  • Sleep disorders (including apnea and insomnia)
  • Speech problems
  • Squints
  • Strains and sprains and dislocations (recovery)
  • Stress
  • TMJ (e.g. jaw clenching)
  • Tendonitis
  • Thyroid problems
  • Tinnitus
  • Torticollis 
  • Trauma 
  • Ventouse and forceps birth
  • Vertigo
  • Vertebral fusion or vertebral implantation surgery
  • Whiplash 
  • And many more

*Note: Craniosacral therapy is not a substitute for medical advice. I will advise you to consult with your doctor when there are issues that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

Other situations where Craniosacral therapy can be supportive include:

  • Mental health issues
  • Self-confidence
  • Creativity
  • Intuition (connection with)
  • Spiritual health
  • Recovery from abuse and violence
  • Family dynamics
  • Intergenerational and racialised trauma
  • Gender dysmorphia
  • Sexuality issues
  • And many more

Others may also come for general ‘maintenance’ as the therapy is very effective for deep relaxation and restoration. Craniosacral therapy is extremely effective for babies, children, pregnant people and post-partum – particularly because it is so adaptable and non-invasive.

If you’re unsure if Craniosacral could help you, feel free to book a chat with me.

“The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind”

– Caroline Myss.

Graphic by the College of Craniosacral Therapy

What is my approach?

Craniosacral Integration – My training is in Craniosacral Integration which combines aspects of the ‘biomechanical’ model (for example, addressing specific pathologies) and the ‘biodynamic’ model (working on a more energetic and intuitive level). Fascial Unwinding is a further tool that I may use in sessions. This approach appreciates the value of both approaches and I used my informed awareness to respond effectively to the unique circumstances and needs of every client.

Affirmative – Being fully seen, heard and having our whole selves held with care and compassion is a fundamental need that we all have. Through caring touch and via dialogue, I affirm your whole being at a cellular level.

 

Deep Listening – I hold a kind, compassionate and non-judgemental space. I’m not trying to make anything happen, but instead ‘listen’ to the movement, rhythm and intelligence of your body in a non-imposing way.

Empowering – As we work together, a wider picture begins to emerge and I may invite us to explore aspects such as lifestyle, thought patterns and beliefs, postural habits, and much more, to support you in moving to a fuller sense of alignment in your everyday life.

Trauma-informed – I work in a trauma-informed way and always emphasise that you are in control. I encourage a lot of choice and agency and adapt the way that I work so that you feel as safe as possible.

WHERE DO SESSIONS TAKE PLACE?

Sessions currently take place at  Carlton Hill Rooms. 

I have a monthly in London Craniosacral Therapy pop-up at Open Barbers in London.

 Upcoming dates are: Sat 27th May

* E-mail me for more information and to book*

 

CANCELLATION POLICY

Please provide at least 48 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment.

Cancellations made with less than 48 hours notice will be charged the full cost of the session, as you will if you do not turn up for your session

BOOKING INFORMATION AND PRICES

To book a session at Carlton Hill Therapy Rooms

`Please e-mail me to book directly: hello@jilnashah.co.uk 

A session lasts 50 minutes.

£55 per session 

£50 concessions 

*please get in touch if the concessions rate is not accessible for you and we can discuss options*

Access information and Parking:

Address:

Unit 1

Kemptown House

72 Carlton Hill

Brighton

BN2 0GW

The therapy space has step-free access and is wheelchair-accessible. 

There is street parking on Carlton Hill, and there is a Car Park at Morrisons on Edward Street.

I work within an anti-oppressive framework. If these rates are inaccessible for you, please get in touch to learn about my sliding scale options. The purpose of my sliding scale is to make session work more accessible for queer, transgender, and BiPOC and people in the  immigration system.  

FAQ’s

What Covid precautions are in place?

The clinic spaces I work from comply with strict safety measures and the spaces are cleaned and ventilated regularly. I space out my appointments so that the room can be cleaned and ventilated.

I can wear a mask when giving treatments and the room will be ventilated at all times.

What do I need to wear?

You remain fully-clothed for a session and you can wear whatever you like. I suggest that you wear something comfortable to relax back as much as possible.

What can I expect from a session?

A session generally lasts 50 minutes. During your first session with me, I will ask you some detailed questions about your physical and mental health, and wider lifestyle to start understanding your context.  

Typically we begin a session with a verbal ‘check-in’ where there is space for you to share anything that you would like to. I then invite you to lie down (or to get comfortable in another position) on the practice table. I start by allowing space for you to ‘arrive’ and to settle. Sometimes I may guide you through a short body scan to help you with this. I then engage with your system gently through various craniosacral holds, for example, at your feet, along the spine and head. I ‘tune in’ to your system and what it is expressing through offering a still and grounded presence. There may be a brief chat at the end of a session to discuss anything that came up, after-care and any next steps. 

How many sessions will I need?

The answer to this isn’t definitive as each person is different and will respond to treatment at their own pace. Generally, there is an expectation that it will take more time to experience a significant difference with a deeply-rooted or chronic condition. 

You might just need 1 session. Minor or more recent conditions or injuries can respond immediately to treatment. 

 If you are coming for general life support and resourcing, you may wish to have monthly or more ad hoc sessions.

I generally recommend that you plan to have 3 sessions from the outset. 

You are in control, though, and you can choose whatever feels right for you.

Does the treatment take place in silence?

Generally, there can be a lot of quiet during a session, to allow you to rest back into your experience. However, I know that silence can be difficult for some people. I will talk to you to understand what you would like and can also work in a way where I check in with you to explore what you are experiencing, and I can share what I am sensing with you. You are also welcome to share and ask me anything that feels helpful for you.

Is Craniosacral Therapy inclusive for me?

Inclusive and decolonial practice is at the centre of how I work. All bodies, genders and experiences are welcome. The spaces I create are queer and trans inclusive, fat-positive, and are suitable for disabled folks and those with chronic illnesses. I understand that many mainstream and alternative therapies do not feel inclusive, safe or accessible for many people.

You are welcome to contact me with any concerns and access needs that you may have, by booking a phone call or by e-mail.

Can I receive treatment in a community care setting?

If you or a loved one are in a hospital, hospice or other care setting and would like Craniosacral therapy, please get in touch and we can explore options.

TESTIMONIALS FOR CRANIOSACRAL WORK

“My experience with Jilna and Craniosacral Therapy is hard for me to fully describe. It was truly amazing. I felt reset and more centred. Jilna’s care and consideration was  incredibly nourishing and healing. I was able to process things that had felt stuck inside of me and I am truly grateful for this experience.”

– Shehryar Malik, Client

“Jilna made me feel very relaxed and at ease, before the treatment even began. She offered insight into how she practices and asked poignant questions. I found the treatments healing and rejuvenating, getting deeper each time and shedding more layers. I felt more connected and restored afterwards.  “

– James Gordon, Client, Service Manager of a Homeless Service

“I initially came to cranio-sacral when I felt I needed a body-based therapy in conjunction with talk-based therapy to address stress and trauma I carried in my body. I saw Jilna for some months and we co-created a sense of safety to allow the body to just be and to express and release. This has helped ease anxiety disorders, depression and physical pain and discomfort such as back pain and chest pain. I always breathe better after a session.”

– Laurèl Hadleigh, Client

“Jilna  intuitively gauged my needs and provided a comfortable environment. This was my first craniosacral session ever, during my second trimester of pregnancy. I found it to be a deep and subtle, gentle experience at the same time, releasing certain pelvic pain and calming my mind. I would highly recommend Jilna to anyone.”

– Charlotte Burdett, Client