One of the greatest privileges of writing about health-related things is being asked to try things out and to write about them.
And thanks to a little help from the timing of the Universe, one such offer came my way, right when I needed it most.
I’m talking cranio-sacral therapy, administered by the most natural and prolific healer I know: my friend and body waxer extraordinaire, Priti Coles.
Priti has been practising this up and coming therapy since 2012, and I remember having a treatment when she first qualified. It was pretty awesome then. But ever since, Priti’s natural aptitude has grown and blossomed beyond all recognition.
Post-session, I can safely say that I have never had a treatment which has left me feeling the way I did on Monday afternoon. And believe me, I’ve experienced more than my fair share in the line of journalistic duty.
So, what is it, exactly?
Not an easy one to describe, actually. Particularly if a few of you are already channelling your best Doubting Thomas.
If you want a straight-up clinical definition, I refer you to the words of Wikipedia:
“a form of bodywork or alternative therapy focused primarily on the concept of “primary respiration” and regulating the flow of cerebrospinal fluid by using therapeutic touch to manipulate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. To do this, a practitioner will apply light touches to a patient’s skull, face, spine and pelvis.”
Any clearer? No, me neither. But as an aside, it’s pretty popular with new mothers and their offspring in the wake of a traumatic birth too.
As with so many treatments of this nature, depending on the therapist carrying it out, the experience can be as spiritual and emotional as it is physical.
Given how shattered I was feeling on Monday, it was more than fine by me that I didn’t have to do anything other than lay there and relax. And all without having to remove a stitch of clothing.
But for Priti, there was so much more going on than that. The spiritual definition of cranio-sacral therapy explains that the therapist’s hands are actually listening to your body, mind and spirit, much as a counsellor listens to your words.
“You’re very depleted, physically, mentally and emotionally”, she explained.
Nothing particularly outstanding about that, you might think, if that wasn’t fpr the fact that she had used the very same word I had been using to describe myself in my thoughts for the last month or two. And it’s not a word I use very often.George Dryden, Copywriter
Usually, I could talk the hind legs off the entire Blackpool donkey population, not least when I am having some kind of treatment. But at this point, I just shut down and let go.I have no idea where I went. I cried a bit. But then, who knows? I wasn’t asleep. I wasn’t awake. But I certainly wasn’t compiling my next shopping list in my head or making a mental note to remember to put the rubbish out.
Within minutes, I knew I wouldn’t be going to my usual two hours of tennis afterwards.
It’s one of those things that you just have to try for yourself. But apart from feeling even more exhausted at the end of it all, I felt a sensation of surrender and calm engulfing me.
That night, as I sat there watching TV, I felt more at peace with myself than I have done in eons, followed by the kind of slumber that perhaps only Rip Van Winkle could empathise with.
Slowly but surely, my mojo is stirring. It’s in no way back with a vengeance, but I cannot tell you how much further on that session has brought me.
So I’ve decided to add one session of cranio-sacral therapy to my monthly “look-after-me” repertoire from now on.