Today’s guest blogger is Kate Mackinnon, who supports people and animals in creating comfort and ease in their bodies. A Physical Therapist for more than twenty years, Kate has found Craniosacral therapy to be the key to her patients’ speedy, complete, and long- lasting recoveries, while also making the other treatments and techniques they receive more effective. She is the author of From my Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy, published by Hay House in 2013. She lives, works, and swims in Livermore, California. Find out more at Kate’s site. You can connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Kate has generously offered to gift an autographed copy of her book to one lucky person! To participate, be sure to scroll down to the Rafflecopter entry and follow the directions there. Leave a comment regarding you or your animal’s experience with craniosacral therapy on this post between now and Tuesday, October 8 – you can also tweet the post for extra points. If you haven’t experienced craniosacral therapy, leave a comment about how you think a session would help you. Once the comment is approved, your name is automatically entered in the drawing. One winner will be randomly selected and the winner will be contacted by email and announced on Tuesday’s episode of Talk2theAnimalsRadio. Good luck!
“……..and now, stripped of all i once defined myself by, it takes only a moment to realize, i have always been whole.”
~ from a poem written by nancy levin after receiving Craniosacral therapy
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) supports your own ability to heal from the inside out. Practitioners are trained in anatomy and physiology, and learn skills to track physical and energetic changes so they can feel into the source of your problem. They then help you access the healing mechanism that resides inside you, so you discover how to find health and balance in your body again. And all of this is also true for animals.
CST is not diagnosis driven, meaning that treatment isn’t planned based on a diagnosis. CS therapists pay attention to the craniosacral rhythm, produced by changes in the volume of fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, so they feel directly where the body is struggling to run efficiently and can address problems at their source. When your body’s able to function efficiently, it has more internal resources to heal.
Over the twelve years that I have been practicing CST, I’ve noticed a rapid increase in the number of people who have heard about the therapy but are not sure what it is. Even people who receive CST aren’t sure how to explain it to their friends! This is why I wrote my book: From my Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy.
Dr. John Upledger, the founder of this work, stated that that we “put love into those hands” when doing CST. One reason I am so passionate about CST is because it’s accessible to everyone. We can all learn the basics of CST to support our friends and loved ones, including our pets. In the final chapter of my book I describe some simple techniques that you can do at home, and they can easily be adapted for your animal loved ones.
In that final chapter I also talk about how to be grounded and neutral before putting your hands on. Most people can relate to the fact that we don’t like being told what to do, and we certainly don’t like to be judged or misunderstood. We are also very aware of when somebody has an agenda for us. When we feel these things, we are recognizing that the person in front of us is not grounded and neutral.
As I’m sure you know, animals are very good judges of these states. I imagine you can think of time when you have walked into a room feeling completely out of sorts and your beloved pet makes sure they are well away from you! Or how they seem to have a sixth sense that you are about to take them to the vet! Because animals have such a high level of sensitivity, I always make sure to take a moment or two to check that I am grounded and neutral before I place my hands on them.
I tell a story in my book of working with a big furry golden retriever/labrador mix called Gator. He was nearing the end of his life and Donna, his owner, just wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. He came into my office displaying a lot of anxiety: his tongue was hanging out, he was panting, and his heart was racing. He was arthritic, having had a triple pelvic osteotomy on the right hip at five months old and a left-hip replacement when he was three years old.
After carrying out my usual evaluation I placed my hands in the middle of his spine, at the junction of the lumbar and thoracic spines. I worked on his hips and shoulders, placing my hands around them and sending in energy. Donna mentioned that she was surprised he let me touch his hips, as he was usually very sensitive in that area. By the end of our first session, Gator was a lot less anxious and quietly dozing away. His stiff hips made it a bit of struggle to get up, but he happily walked out wagging his tail. For the last four months of this dog’s life, he happily walked in with Donna every two weeks for his 30 minutes of treatment. Then he would lie down in his favorite spot in the room and sleep while Donna got her own treatment.
I have worked with a variety of different animals and witnessed amazing changes. Many therapists work with domestic animals, and some specialize in working with horses, as CST has been shown to make significant changes in their health and wellbeing. I hope you have already been able to access this powerful work, or have an opportunity to do so soon. To find a local practitioner close to you go to ‘find a practitioner’ at www.upledger.com.
I send love from my hands and heart to yours.