Cranio-Sacral-Therapy-45e78702

CRANIO-SACRAL THERAPY: A LIGHT TOUCH

Cranio-sacral therapy – what’s it all about? How does it work? What does it do? The Resident heads for The Little Escape in Crystal Palace to try it out

Words: Trish Lesslie

Cranio-sacral therapy; it’s a tricky one. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the benefits of this holistic therapy, but scientific proof is pretty scant.

Advocates claim the treatment, which mainly involves the light holding of the skull and sacrum, supports the body’s ability to heal itself. It’s billed as a natural, safe and effective alternative therapy intended to relieve pain and tension. The gentle manipulations of the skull are said to rebalance the circulatory rhythm of the fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord. It’s even claimed it can release ‘memories of trauma’ held in the body.

At the Little Escape in Crystal Palace, a light-filled oasis of tranquillity tucked away in a mews off Westow Street, the treatment is offered by Gabrielle McNaughton, a yoga teacher and former dancer with tons of qualifications and years of experience in CST.

Following an in-depth consultation (which felt a little like a counselling session – in a good way), I popped myself on a massage couch in the spacious treatment room and simply relaxed for an hour while Gabrielle ‘tuned in’, applying light touches to my feet, shoulders, neck, head and sacrum.

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I was rather surprised to feel tingling waves coursing up my legs to the crown of my head – energy release, according to Gabrielle. I also felt surges of cold, as if my blood had suddenly been chilled. Most remarkably, I started seeing kaleidoscopic bursts of colour under my closed eyelids and felt a throbbing on the side of my head – exactly in the spot where I’d suffered a traumatic head injury a couple of years ago.

Whether these were signs of my body healing itself or simply my brain working overtime I couldn’t say, but I certainly found it a soothing experience. There’s a lot to be said for taking time out in an otherwise busy day to lie on a couch for an hour, but Gabrielle’s light touches under my shoulders, neck and temples felt pleasantly nurturing. If anyone has the gift of healing, I’d put my money on softly-spoken Gabrielle, whose very presence oozes caring and kindness.

I felt wiped out and a little discombobulated when I got off the couch; spacey but positive. Areas where I usually experience aches and pains felt worse for a few days following the session, before feeling better than they had for a very long time. That could easily be written off as some kind of placebo affect, but thanks to Gabrielle, this cynic could become a believer…

4 Paxton Mews, Off Westow Street, Crystal Palace SE19 3RW; 020 3384 0509; thelittleescape.com

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