Overview: Barefoot Cranio is a gentle form of hands on therapy which encourages the body to move beyond patterns of discomfort, overwhelm and trauma. It is beneficial for babies, toddlers, children, teenagers and adults.
Potential: It is a bodywork therapy designed to enhance the functioning of the tissues, fluids and inherent potential deeply seated at the core of everyones body.
The therapy acknowledges the inherent potential of the body, the intelligence that heals from the inside. This intelligence can sometimes get caught in patterns of stress, overwhelm and trauma and can require help to re-establish it’s nature of expressing health.
In other words, patterns of resistance can interfere with the expression of this intelligence, causing imbalance and even altered cell formation, which in time can create physiologic disorder.
Fortunately there is usually potential to re-establish this innate organising force.
The Barefoot Cranio therapy approach promotes the ‘digestion’ of life’s undigested experiences by facilitating the body’s natural fluid expressions and adjustments to take place.
These are the same expressions of health which keep the heart beating and help the autonomic physiology of the body to be in tune and function optimally.
It is an approach, therefore, which gently facilitates body reintegration.
‘Under the weight of a heavy snowfall, pine branches break off. But by bending, the willow can drop its burden and spring up again’ Chuang Tzu
The therapy incorporates a method of working with trauma processes. The embodied experience, touch and presence the therapist are key components in creating a relational field which generates a deep sense of safety and a capacity to heal from within, in a client led and paced approach.
Animate physiology thrives in a relational field which provides the body with the sense that it is okay to let go of protective holding patterns and move beyond previous habits of dissociation.
Progression: When a clients body has reclaimed balance the renewed vitality and presence is ready to be optimally conjoined with day to day life interactions and rest.
Occasionally, however, after receiving treatment in sessions a client might feel a volition to learn more about this therapy and in order to obtain skills to share with others. In that instance we offer periodic training. These are associated trainings called Cranioga and Body Intelligence.
See under the stone platform image for more information.
As a therapist refining biodynamic touch and perception skills requires an awareness of our own health interfacing with the felt-sense appreciation of ‘dynamic stillness’. To achieve this requires the practitioner to let go of the familiar so that the body can truly unfold without containment from the practitioners subtle intentions.
As therapists we are also often caught up in our conditioning and that leads us to narrow the health possibilities for the client. By understanding the fact that our habitual use of intention (doing) derives from our patterns of accumulated experience provides us with great insight. This insight is to ’feel’ beyond the limitations which are familiar to us and illuminate the nature of the unknown.
Access platforms: That said, an appropriate initial attention/focus is required to act as a platform to catalyse our felt-sense and keep the mind relevantly occupied. The peculiarity of this launch pad is that its nature and application enhance body awareness whilst relinquishing surreptitious intention. So, the reliance upon the platform dissolves as the treatment unfolds, like a bridge to another shore evaporates as we walk over it.
Therefore, the type of platform used to enhance relational touch is an important consideration due to it’s preparatory effect for letting go of intention. Another way of looking at it is to consider the chosen platform/technique as a relevant attention leading to a relational expression of ‘engaged non-doing’ (END).
So, the right priming focus leads to the actual therapy but is not the essence of the therapy. Therapeutically engaged non-doing (TEND) is the essence of this therapy…and perhaps all therapies which promote the expression of health.
Pranayama: Here is an example, from the field of Yoga Therapy. It illustrates the pre-requisite specificity of the platform-technique needed to enable and enhance biodynamic inquiry. It might also convey how we could unsuspectingly mix up the technique for being the essence of the treatment:
The word Pranayama derives from two Sanskrit words, prana and ayama. Whilst yama means intention based control, ayama means no intention based control. This can be confusing as many teachers and authors prefer to interpret Pranayama as intentionally controlling the breath (Clarke, 2011; Yin Yoga). So, the platform technique in this case would be breathing optimisation practice to free up the expression of physiology which leads to Pranayama i.e. awareness of subtle physiologic expression (‘prana’ or the felt-sense of arising & passing) free from intentional control.
Beath-work: Breath-work is the intentional control of the breath to gradually become more and more familiar to the breath which is natural and is not needing any control (pranayama, aka, kevala kumbhaka). When learning this aspect of the training the therapist will notice how conditioned the breath actually is, both the clients and our own.
Certain breathing techniques help to re-balance the CO2 and O2 ratio the blood and tissues in addition to the pH and optimal nitrous oxide levels for restoring the body’s physiology. Moreover, a physiologic environment is achieved which has the potential for promoting stem cell migration and felt-sense of embryonic potency cultivating the system.
Needless to say these breath-work techniques are invaluable incorporations for enhancing the potential of our clients physiology, as well as our own.
Yoga and doing to non-doing: This approach incorporates asana (postures) & breath rhythm and retention techniques which are tailored to each unique individual. The particular specificity of these techniques are utilised to help regulate and open the perception of each individual system to the biodynamic paradigm. One might say that these techniques are ‘doing’ methods which enhance a non-doing process of felt-sent awareness and subsequentialy aligning our perception with the greater flow of life.
Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river. – Lao Tzu
Patterns of experience: So, a practitioner of this therapy allows the process of a treatment to unfold without manipulation or acting as a conduit for an external or internal force. In this manner, the practitioner is interested in encouraging the body towards intrinsic tissue and fluid re-organisation. As a result the physiologic patterns of experience and emotional layering find balance creating stillness, space and holistic momentum towards optimising health. This means the therapy also creates a safe space for intense and/or convoluted experiences to emerge and resolve smoothly without being overwhelming or re-stimulating.
Anatomy and Physiology: Cranioga places emphasis on understanding the feel of different tissues making up the body. This means that a student learning this work becomes very familiar with anatomy and physiology at both the image and felt-sense level of perception. Felt-sense anatomy is living anatomy. The depth of this understanding continues when a student continues to the two year Body Intelligence Diploma course associated with Cranioga trainings.