Patients often say I am stretching their bodies or squeezing their necks in therapy. In reality I am just following their craniosacral fascial strain patterns. That “stretch” is traveling through their body and that neck “squeeze” is pulling into their face/head, each causing health issues.
Listening to the body is a major tenet of the Gillespie Approach. Since the body knows best how to heal itself, I am listening to the activity of the top layer of the traumatic onion. I need to revisit that trauma in space and time and help the craniosacral fascial system clear it physically and emotionally for authentic healing.
John Barnes P.T. correctly states that fascial release cannot happen through either stretching or exercise. When I follow the body to a still point, I wait for the craniosacral fascial system to release. The key to the Gillespie Approach is to feel this release.
After an injury, many therapists try to strengthen the damaged tissue through exercise—a no-pain, no-gain approach. I am not in that camp since this tissue still holds the traumatic memory of craniosacral fascial strain. I need to help the body release this strain first; otherwise, the body will continue its lifetime journey of adaptation/compensation.
I believe that as people age with untreated trauma to the craniosacral fascial system, their bodies can become tighter. This may be reflected clinically in unexplained aches/pains, arthritis, the need for joint replacements, canes, walkers, and finally wheelchairs.
The biggest issue is unresolved birth trauma, which can create a lifetime of cascading health issues. Our mission is for the world to see that every newborn needs to be checked and treated, if needed.