CST & Detox Response

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Blisss
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CST & Detox Response

Post by Blisss » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:43 pm

I recently received some Craniosacral work that was very beneficial, but also resulted in some uncomfortable after-effects that I'm still experiencing. I'm wondering if anyone can help me understand possible causes & how long the discomfort might last?

I received 2 CST sessions. The first was a 90 minute full-body balancing. The second focused on intra-oral & detailed cranial techniques. During the sessions, I felt wonderful. After session 1, I felt extremely relaxed, almost like I was in an altered state. That evening, I developed a severe headache as well as some bodywide aches & chills. That passed within 24 hours, but a mild headache came & went over the next few days. After session 2, I felt clear & energized. But then fatigue followed, as well as eye soreness. (A lot of the work focused on the bones surrounding the eye socket). I slept for 12 hours, and still would nap daily if work didn't prevent it. I feel better each day, but some eye soreness & mild headache remain. I guess I'm wanting reassurance that I'll feel "normal" again soon? I'm also wondering if this is simply my body adjusting to the changes, or if detoxification is a common side effect of CST? Any information/experiences would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

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Post by Timedess » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:55 pm

Blisss,

I don't know much about CST, but my dh experienced a similar response after an acupuncture session last summer. It scared us- his was all in the "guts", and we both thought that he was very, very sick, until I remembered that he'd had the acupuncture session a couple of days before. I wish I had an answer as to why and what you might be able to do about it, but I don't. I do hope you're feeling better soon!

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Re: CST & Detox Response

Post by maestra » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:31 pm

Blisss wrote: That evening, I developed a severe headache as well as some bodywide aches & chills. That passed within 24 hours, but a mild headache came & went over the next few days. Any information/experiences would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
I can tell you that I received a 60 min CST treatment from a co-worker of mine and it definitely left me with a whopper of a headache. I was so concerned about it I contacted one of my instructors from MT school who practiced CST to make sure it was "normal"!

In addition when practicing on each other @ JFB MFR1, when receiving the sacral release the first day, I experienced bad headaches too.

Possibly my dural tube is restricted... :undecided:
“Try to be like the turtle -- at ease in your own shell” - Bill Copeland

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Post by squash_blsm » Thu Sep 11, 2008 3:57 am

I would call the therapist if you are concerned.

But I have heard all of my CST instructors say that symptoms (especially in cases of headaches and migraines) can increase before they get better. Not that this is a common response - it's just a possibility. Also the effects of or changes resulting from a CST session can be experienced over a period of several days. What you look for is an overall improvement or lessening of symptoms over a period of weeks.

StressSolutions

Post by StressSolutions » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:44 pm

Yeah, sounds like what Barnes called a "healing crisis". I'd say it is probably normal, esp if the therapist did move a lot of your bones around...and it seems to me that it was mentioned to follow up with some sort of balancing and centering technique.

I think you'll be back to normal soon, whatever normal is for you! Hopeuflly there is some positive change from the treatment too.

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Post by Blisss » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:40 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies & reassurance. Since the symptoms felt similar to detox, I did some lymph drainage therapy on myself last night, to help cleanse my system. It worked! I woke up pain-free & much less tired. I didn't realize detox was a common side effect of CST, so it took me by surprise.

As for positive results, I sought CST to help with some emotional issues stored in my mouth & throat. The emotions are now released, and that area of my body is free & clear, and for that I'm very grateful.

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Post by cstbrian » Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:17 am

I've wanted to comment on this, but just haven't had the time I'd like to sit down and thoughtfully respond. I'm currently assisting a CranioSacral Therapy II class (started yesterday) so I've been on the go. I'll try to give my perspective as soon as possible. But I am glad to hear you are doing better.
Brian

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Post by cstbrian » Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:57 am

I'm back. Let me talk about this from my point of view ...

Let me start with one perspective of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) work.

We are walking around in a state of organized dysfunction. That is, our bodies are always protecting us and compensating for injury, illness, stress, trauma, etc. These compensations can go back to in utero (and some believe from genetics or past lives). Our bodies will do their best to organize in a way to minimize the dysfunction allowing us to remain upright and go through our days and our lives. To use a fairly common analogy, this is like the layers of the onion that get added to our bodies.

With CST we tune into the body's natural healing ability and support the body to dis-organize an area of organized dysfunction. By doing this we help the body to 'remove' the compensation. Then we support the body to re-organize in a more healthy way without the compensation. To use my previous analogy, we peel away a layer (or layers) of the onion. When this happens it sometimes takes the body 24-48 hours to re-organize in it's new, healthier way.

Sometimes what can happen is that as the compensating layers are 'peeled away' the old trauma, illness, or dysfunction can 're-surface' and create symptoms (soreness, pains, headaches, emotional issues, memories). It is a time when the body is looking at the 'issue' in the now, or in the present and deciding if it still needs the compensation or if the person/body is in a place where it can finally let it go (release it).

Not everyone experiences this. But when it does happen, I have to say "Good! Your body is making wonderful shifts to improve your health and well-being." While it may not feel comfortable for the client at the time, I help them to see that it really is their body making improvements for the better.

As your therapist, I would make notes of what you experienced and focus on some techniques in future sessions to help support more balancing and integration at the end of the session. I would also want to check in with the zygoma and hard palate again (esp the palatines because of the eye discomfort and headache).

As a side note to anyone who receives CST mouth work, the work should be very, very light and gentle. In CSTI we pass around nickels to 'calibrate' the lightness of the work. A nickel is about 5 grams. When doing mouth work, the therapist should work between 5-15 grams of force: VERY LIGHT. Working the palatines should be even less (around 1 gram). If a therapist is using too much force, he/she is working against the system and working against the body. Releases will not be effective and may create symptoms. Trust your body's inner wisdom. If it feels like too much force, ask the therapist to lighten up.

I tell clients that the work will continue to process for 24-48 hours and to just be aware of how they feel during that time. If they have questions they can contact me. If after 3 days he/she is experiencing discomfort I'll find out how 'bothersome' the discomfort is and figure out if he/she can wait until the next appt or if he/she should come in for a 5-10min balancing session. It is extremely rare (for me) that clients need to come in for a balancing. The vast majority feel fine after a couple of days.

Again, let me state that this does not happen for everyone. Most people receive a session and do not have big treatment reactions. But of course this is very individual.

I hope that helps explain things a little bit. I'm always open for any questions anyone might have. And remember to check out CranioSacral Therapy (CST) Threads Within BWOL. There is a lot of information about CST throughout those threads.

:grin:
Brian

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"When we try to control that which is out of our control, we become an incredibly anxiety prone society." Dr. John Upledger

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Post by Blisss » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:23 am

cstbrian wrote:As a side note to anyone who receives CST mouth work, the work should be very, very light and gentle. In CSTI we pass around nickels to 'calibrate' the lightness of the work. A nickel is about 5 grams. When doing mouth work, the therapist should work between 5-15 grams of force: VERY LIGHT.
Brian, what's the recommended pressure for CST work on other parts of the body, particularly the sacral bones & cranial bones?

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Post by Zoe » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:57 am

I don't wish to answer for Brian as he might have a different answer but I will add that throughout everything I've read and been taught regarding CST it is always suggested to use the absolute lightest touch possible with the weight of a nickel being the deepest touch used -- throughout the body.

As I was reading through this thread what came to my mind is the practitioner used a heavier hand than was necessary which may have forced the release rather than allowing your body to come to it more naturally.

I also tell my clients to allow themselves at least two days for the CST work to really settle in as it is very subtle work that can have very profound effects over time.

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Post by cstbrian » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:38 am

Blisss wrote:
cstbrian wrote:As a side note to anyone who receives CST mouth work, the work should be very, very light and gentle. In CSTI we pass around nickels to 'calibrate' the lightness of the work. A nickel is about 5 grams. When doing mouth work, the therapist should work between 5-15 grams of force: VERY LIGHT.
Brian, what's the recommended pressure for CST work on other parts of the body, particularly the sacral bones & cranial bones?
Ooops. :oops: For some reason I never saw this post when it was posted. But here I am now ....

As Zoe stated, CST is always about using the lightest force possible to access the tissues of the body. In CSTI this is 5 grams. In CSTII for mouth work, and some sphenoid work, this may be 5-15 grams. But the therapist always starts off at 0 grams and SLOWLY increases pressure one gram at a time until the tissue is engaged. That could be at 1 gram, 4 grams or 10 grams on the hard palate. But always the minimum.

As one progresses through the advanced work there is a little more debated and learned about the 5 grams. Work within the craniosacral system stays in the 5 gram realm. But fascial release in the body can start to vary a bit. As you slowly sink in monitoring and following the fascial of say, the pelvis, you may need to use 200 grams - which is still less than .5 pounds of pressure. The key here is that you match the resistance of the restriction with 5 grams. However, the restriction may be 200 grams into the tissue.

I hope that makes a little bit of sense. It's kind of hard to explain in words - it's a very kinesthetic feeling you get the more you do this work. But as a whole, lighter is always better. It is very rare that I need to go beyond 20-30 grams when working in the body and rare that I use more than 10 grams anywhere in the craniosacral system itself.

If someone is using pounds of pressure in the cs system, then it's not really CST work and it's something else. If it is CST tell them to back off or find yourself another therapist. Too much force in this work works too much against the body and is not in line with our paradigm.


(Disclaimer: I have only studied Upledger CranioSacral Therapy. Other forms of CST may vary.)
Brian

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Post by Blisss » Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:39 am

zoe wrote:...regarding CST it is always suggested to use the absolute lightest touch possible with the weight of a nickel being the deepest touch used -- throughout the body. As I was reading through this thread what came to my mind is the practitioner used a heavier hand than was necessary which may have forced the release rather than allowing your body to come to it more naturally.
Zoe, thanks so much for replying. That's exactly what I was wondering.

I did feel the cranio-sacral effects, so I know my therapist was in touch with the rhythm, but at times the pressure was stronger than I expected. It was never as strong as traditional massage, but on the exterior cranial bones, it did vacillate between 5 grams & maybe 25 grams. Since I'm not trained in CST, I didn't want to jump to the conclusion that it was too strong. However, it would explain the challenging after-effects of the treatment, similar to being sore for days after a regular massage that goes too deep.

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Post by Blisss » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:19 am

cstbrian wrote:As Zoe stated, CST is always about using the lightest force possible to access the tissues of the body. In CSTI this is 5 grams. In CSTII for mouth work, and some sphenoid work, this may be 5-15 grams. But the therapist always starts off at 0 grams and SLOWLY increases pressure one gram at a time until the tissue is engaged. That could be at 1 gram, 4 grams or 10 grams on the hard palate. But always the minimum.

<snip>If someone is using pounds of pressure in the cs system, then it's not really CST work and it's something else. If it is CST tell them to back off or find yourself another therapist.
Brian, thanks for this information. The strong work was surrounding my sphenoid bone & that is indeed where I felt the soreness for days afterward. To clarify, it wasn't pounds of pressure, but it was much more than 5 grams. I think it's difficult for some therapists to understand the power of light pressure. I know that's true in LDT, also. The lighter the work, the more effective it is. That can seem counter-intuitive, so some therapists push harder, thinking that's what's needed. (My therapist did feel restrictions surrounding my sphenoid bone).

Anyway, now I feel much more educated about the CST experience & better able to ask for what I need. I think it's difficult for new clients to know whether appropriate pressure is used during treatment, since there's no frame of reference until they experience the work. For me, all of the techniques were comfortable during the session, and since much of the work I received was within the right pressure range, I did receive the effect of almost an altered state level of relaxation. That was beautiful to experience. I didn't know until hours after the session, when the detox-like symptoms began to set in, that possibly too much pressure was used.

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Post by Blisss » Fri Oct 03, 2008 10:26 am

I had one more thought about this Craniosacral experience I wanted to share. For me, it was a perfect example of how a bodywork experience isn't always 100% positive or 100% negative, but rather a blend of the two. This therapist did excellent intra-oral work, which was my requested focus area. My mouth is an emotionally sensitive area for me, and she was gentle in this area (in presence, voice & touch.) The stronger pressure was applied to the bones of the exterior skull, which resulted in the uncomfortable after-effects. Looking back, I'm glad I had the appointments. The mouth work was very beneficial. At the same time, I probably wouldn't return to her for CST, seeking instead a therapist who is more consistent with light pressure.

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Post by Zoe » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:04 am

Bliss, have you let her know about the after-effects you experienced? As a CST practitioner I would want my client to talk with me about that so I could adjust my technique. It is very possible she does not realize that her pressure was more intense or stronger than necessary and your ability to address this with personal experience might be very helpful information for her.

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Another perspective

Post by originforces » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:42 am

Hi Everyone, popping on this conversation late... in my 10th year of practicing CST. The mouth is really the emotional center of your body, it is our center for expression, the top of our digestive tract, our smile, home of the 5th cranial nerve. Working on the mouth in a therapeutic way (massage, CST, or other wise) will almost always bring up emotion, history, levels of detox.

I tell my clients to expect it at this point that they will want to go really slow and easy. there are a lot of people who have scratched the surface of CST and really aren't sure what they are doing. this is OK, but for those practitioners I suggest they get more training in trauma and shock before working on the mouth, because they need to understand how deep this work can take people if they are to really support their clients in transformational growth.

I agree with Brian-- we need a total re-organization, re-orientation. Healing is a process.

Food for thought:-)
P.S. Sutherland, in 1930 said the "hands should be as light as a feather on the breathe of god"---way, way lighter than a nickel!
elizabeth
Origin Forces is a teaching center and private practice that uses Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Indigenous perspective to help families thrive.

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