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How Craniosacral therapy can support family health; interview with Gary Peterson, RCST

Craniosacral therapy and how it can support family health: An interview with Gary Peterson, RCST

I’ve been studying craniosacral therapy for over a decade. I’ve completed a number of advanced trainings and am currently enrolled in a 3-year program to become a registered craniosacral therapist. Consistently, I’ve seen clients experience pain relief and increased well-being with this seemingly magical modality. It’s not magic though; there is a lot of science behind why it works and why it’s particularly helpful in working with babies, children and pregnancy. At a minimum, it’s a gentle, relaxing treatment and it can have profound results in supporting with breastfeeding, recovery and birth trauma.

Craniosacral Therapy, or CST as it is generally called, has its roots in nineteenth-century osteopathic medicine. Subsequent pioneers of technique developed cranial osteopathy which led to modern-day CST. Today CST has several different branches, including Upledger and Biodynamic Craniosacral. For this article, I’m focusing on Biodynamic Craniosacral. CST is a hands-on technique that is generally administered with the client fully clothed. Though some practitioners such as I, will integrate craniosacral with massage. When working with children, the child will remain fully clothed, and the parent is expected to stay in the room for the session.

CST during pregnancy can help relieve lower back pain, reduce stress, and create a more aligned, comfortable and positive experience for both the mother and child.

It was a joy to interview my teacher, mentor, and now friend Gary Peterson, RCST. I met Gary about ten years ago and know him to be a deeply inspiring, kind, knowledgeable person, and a gifted practitioner. Information on his workshops, trainings and practice can be found at

I asked Gary to describe why CST is so effective in the treatment and resolution of pain and associated trauma and he shared the following:

“Rather than over-focusing on clients’ symptoms, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy brings attention to the subtle but dynamic presence of Inherent Health in each person. In this revolutionary approach, we notice and palpate (touch, sense) each person’s Inherent Health as slow, rhythmic, whole-body movements of expansion and contraction, which we refer to as the Tide. We also follow the Tide as it goes into resting periods which we call Stillness. As we track (follow) the Tide in its movement throughout the body, patterns of pain, resistance and trauma are also revealed. We track the interaction of these patterns with the Inherent Health of the client’s system. This interaction of pain patterns and Inherent Health gives rise to a more concentrated level of Health, which we call the Inherent Treatment Plan. This deep intelligence, arising from within you, begins to gently and powerfully resolve the patterns, bringing improvement to a wide range of symptoms and conditions.

This gentle but powerful approach is particularly effective for resolving the effects of stress and trauma in babies, children and adults. As stress and trauma are resolved, people experience more vitality, stronger immune system response, more mobility in joints and soft tissue, and an overall increase in health and balance.”

CST is a beautiful, healing and effective alternative modality for family health and well being. A registered craniosacral therapist can be found on the Biodynamic Cranial Sacral Therapy Association of North America website, at

Next Month: Exploring childcare options in Sonoma County

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