London is a stressful city to live in. You only have to look at the ridiculous walking pace of the average Londoner to get a good idea of just how busy we all are. We could probably all benefit from a week-long countryside retreat to recharge body and mind twice a year.
But who has enough time or money for that?
Good news: there’s a treatment that lies closer to home and can help to relieve stress, eliminate aches and pains, and restore mind-body harmony: cranio-sacral therapy.
This treatment was something I first came across a couple of years ago. I’d been suffering from foot pain (it was actually a case of plantar fasciitis) for over a year and casually mentioned it to a cranio-sacral therapy practitioner who offered me a taster session.
Surprisingly, the foot pain got better and disappeared within two weeks of the session.
Was it just coincidence, the power of positive thinking or was it the therapy itself? Who knows? But after months of feeling pretty run-down, I decided to try cranio-sacral therapy again.
This time round I went to the Centre for Cranio-Sacral Therapy in Primrose Hill. The centre is a training college for budding practitioners that also offers cranio-sacral therapy sessions at a fraction of the usual cost. The therapy is a light-touch-based treatment that involves little effort from the ‘patient’.
All I had to do was tell the practitioner Thomas (who is also the founder of the centre) a little about my lifestyle, injuries and illnesses, and then lie down and close my eyes.
There’s no stripping off involved either – I only had to take off my shoes.
It’s quite tricky to describe the treatment itself. I simply had an awareness of the practitioner lightly resting his hands on my head, back and feet, while I grew increasingly relaxed.
The theory is that the practitioner can identify any tensions in the body that have arisen from illness, injuries and stress. By using a light-touch technique, he or she can realign the body’s energy flow and restore normal function.
I tried to probe Thomas further on this mysterious energy flow – did he mean physical body realignment, blood flow, or lymphatics? Apparently not. Cranio-sacral therapy is all about assessing the flow of the fluid that covers the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid or CSF). Normal CSF flow can be affected by stress and illness, so restoring this flow can help to return the body to normal functioning.
To be honest, I didn’t really understand how hovering over my body for 45 minutes could realign my CSF flow. But I did leave my session feeling refreshed and lighter on my feet, so there must be something to it. And as the effects are said to accumulate over time, especially with repeated treatments, I’m eager to see if I’ll feel even better in a couple of weeks.
Cranio-Sacral therapy sessions at the Centre for Cranio-Sacral Therapy start from £15 at:
9 St George’s Mews
Tel: 0207 483 0120