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In my mind, it was summer and I was floating on a raft in the ocean. Utter relaxation urged my eyes to close and the sun soaked into my skin. The only thing missing was a cold, fruity drink with an umbrella straw. In reality, I was at a YMCA. I was gliding across the surface of a pool with the guidance of two Balance practitioners while the sun seeped through a wall of windows. This was my first experience with CranioSacral Water Therapy and the best part about it was feeling like I was on a beach vacation.
As loyal readers, you’ve heard of CranioSacral therapy before but you’ve only known it to be offered as a tabletop treatment. Well, hold on to your bathing suits because your favorite mind-body service just made a big splash. CranioSacral Water Therapy is still just that, CranioSacral Therapy. It boasts the same neurological and physiological benefits, the same gentle touch technique, and the same release of dysfunction. The obvious difference? It is all done in water.
“So, how does this work?” you ask. Well, you start by floating on your back. In my case, one practitioner, Aimee, supported my head and shoulders while Trish held my legs and sacrum. Again, the touch is very gentle, to the point you can easily forget that anyone else is there. Next, I was instructed to close my eyes and I gradually let myself ease into the water until only my face was exposed. If you are leery of the water, this is nothing to fear. You may actually be surprised at how comfortable you become in this scenario; like a baby being cradled by her mother. You are in a 4 feet deep, warm water therapy pool surrounded by caring professionals who would accommodate any concerns you might have. And yes, there is a lifeguard on duty.
Once the treatment starts, it’s really your body running the show. Considering I’ve had multiple surgeries and physical therapy done to my right shoulder and neck, I found it interesting that I unintentionally kept drifting to that side. And Trish and Aimee let me. They walked me the length of the pool, back and forth, side to side (I only know this because I peaked). Whichever way my craniosacral system prompted me to move, we went. At one point, we even did barrel rolls (keep in mind, this may not be the case for everyone), which made me feel like a little kid at a pool party. But mostly, with my hearing muffled by the water, I felt like I was lying still, in a dream like state. The temperature of the pool and the air were so similar I even started to believe my legs and hands were no longer immersed. I had to move my fingers and toes to discover the truth. As you move through the pool weightlessly, it is a genuine melding of body and mind. At the heart of this treatment, that is what allows you a deeper level of healing than you may notice in a tabletop treatment.
I’ll be honest though; especially if you’re a skeptic, the first time you try this service (or the tabletop therapy for that matter) you may wonder if it is actually doing anything. Unlike massage, its effects are not as overt and tangible. Sure, it’s tranquil and soothing but what is floating in water for thirty minutes accomplishing? Well, a lot. It’s like a system reset on your smartphone. When I went home that day, I realized my posture was better, the range of motion in my neck was improved, and the tightness in my hips from sitting at a desk all week was lessened. You see, the gentle manipulation is sending nearly imperceptible signals that prompt change in the rhythm of craniosacral fluid. This allows your body to self-correct, which encourages maintained healing that other treatments simply cannot provide.
The moral of the story is to give CranioSacral Water Therapy a try. Experience it yourself. That is the only way to really understand how valuable this service is. So, choose to feel better. Choose to feel rejuvenated. After all, the worst part about this treatment is that it doesn’t last long enough.
Treatments are limited. Typically sessions are available on one Sunday a month from 1-3pm. Call (773) 774-5610 for a complete list of upcoming dates.