Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy


CSES Biodynamic Cranialsacral Therapy training leads to BCST (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist) and/or RCST® (Registered Craniosacral Therapist) practitioner status. The training consists of ten modules of five days each, held roughly nine weeks apart. Certification is for 700 hours of training, 350 in-class and 350 in supervised independent study. This format was developed by Franklyn Sills, RCST, of the Karuna Institute in Devon, England.

About Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

“Biodynamic” refers to a branch of craniosacral therapy that is less manipulative than other forms. Instead of trying to figure out the client’s problem and move tissues toward a hypothetical ideal symmetry, the practitioner creates a supportive environment so that the client’s system generates therapeutic change from within.

“Craniosacral” refers to a gentle therapy based on the ca. 1920 discovery of a micro-motion in the body. Through extensive experimentation, early osteopathic physicians determined that when this motion has full expression, many conditions improve. “Craniosacral” specifically indicates the importance of the central structures of the body including cranium, spine and sacrum.

A skilled craniosacral practitioner listens to the subtle pulsations of the system as the body tells its story. The body speaks through its rhythms, micro-movements and especially through its experience-managing patterns of physical shaping. With deep listening the practitioner encourages revitalization of the inherent healing potential of the system, and facilitates the release of resistance patterns. This approach emphasizes hearing the health of the system and encouraging its expression.

Craniosacral Therapy involves gentle hands-on work that honors the client’s own self-healing process. The intention is not to fix problems, but rather to encourage the emergence of new levels of order in mind and body. Practitioners know how to recognize the presence of the Breath of Life in many levels and locations of the body, and use appropriate methods to support and nurture its natural expression.

A Brief History

Franklyn Sills

Franklyn Sills

Rollin Becker

Rollin Becker

William Sutherland

William Sutherland

In the early 1900s, William Garner Sutherland, DO (1873-1954) discovered a previously-unidentified, very subtle movement in the body. This movement was perceived to have a tide-like quality (welling up and receding) that is polyrhythmic (various pacings embedded in one another). It seems to exist in all levels (bones, soft tissue, fluid) of the system. Despite repeated measurement and extensive study, the cause of the movement has not been definitively determined.

Sutherland and his colleagues experimented with palpating and interacting with this movement, and found remarkable benefits for their clients. Subsequent osteopaths, particularly Rollin Becker, DO (1918-1994), expanded the applications, and in the early 1970s John Upledger, DO, introduced the concepts outside the osteopathic world. Today, Craniosacral Therapy has been called the fastest-growing touch therapy modality (Massage Magazine).

Our approach derives from Franklyn Sills, RCST, of the Karuna Institute in Devon, England. The term Biodynamic is not exclusive to Sills’ work, but we use it here based on its presence in the title of Sills’ book, Foundations in Craniosacral Biodynamics.

For a more in-depth description of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy theory and applications see Biodynamic Craniosacral Overview (11-page article).

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