Kim Sherlock: My name is Kim Sherlock. I’m a licensed massage therapist, and I specialize in craniosacral fascial therapy in the West Chester, Pennsylvania, area. I’m also an instructor for craniosacral fascial therapy, also known as CFT. I teach along with Holly Steflik throughout the United States and internationally.
Holly Steflik: I’m Holly Steflik. I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I’m also a licensed massage therapist and practicing CFT, craniosacral fascial therapy. Kim and I are both Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy instructors, and we teach all over the world.
Craniosacral fascial therapy, which we call CFT for short, is the work of Dr. Barry Gillespie who founded this modality some 30 years ago. And it’s a very gentle hands-on modality that combines two different therapies: craniosacral therapy and myofascial release. The whole fascial system, it’s a web, it’s all the connective tissue in the body that wraps around the brain and the spinal cord and it goes all the way down to the feet. So what we’re doing in craniosacral fascial therapy is we are finding the fascial strain within the body and how it relates to the craniosacral system which is the cranial bones, the sacrum, the spine, the craniosacral fluid and how that fascial strain pulls into that system and affects cranial dental strain and nervous system, cranial nerves, brain function.
So a lot of the work that we do is not only affecting the structural body, the physical system, the fascial system, making things loose, but it’s also affecting the nervous system and brain and all of the cranial nerves that run through the brain and cranial structures.
How we get fascial strain is from fetal life forward. So infants in fetal life are in a tight restricted position, and when they come out they are very tight, so as infants we see a lot of fascial strain. And that’s with a regular, normal, happy birth. Now we compound some of those issues of fascial strain with tethered oral ties, and that means tongue ties, lip ties and other oral restrictions within the cranial dental system. And then we also have to remember that as those infants grow older they accumulate fascial strain through accidents, injuries and surgeries.
So our interest is really helping the infant and young children resolve that fascial strain early in life so that we don’t see the older clients in our office with all kinds of symptoms: migraines, headaches, sleep apnea, airway issues, allergies, asthma—all kinds of conditions that go along with this fascial strain that happens from fetal life forward.
Kim Sherlock: Some of the conditions that benefit from craniosacral fascial therapy begin in infancy with breastfeeding issues, reflux, colic. Moving into childhood issues we’ve seen benefit with learning disorders, behavioral issues, ADHD, asthma, allergies. Moving into teenagers and adults we may see things improve as far as concussions, migraines, headaches, depression, anxiety, airway issues. The list goes on and on. And, over the years, we have both treated many different conditions and there have been benefit, because, if there is a relationship between the fascial strain and the condition and we’re able to release the fascial strain, we’re able to release the craniosacral system so that it can move through the spinal fluid more effectively through the body, and the body will behave in a more optimal way.
So we want you to join us for our class. We teach two classes. The first one is our foundation class; it’s a three-day class. Here’s the beauty of this class: Anyone can take the class. We teach from a very beginner’s mindset. We teach parents who have, maybe, a brain-injured child or a child who has issues so that they can learn Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy and work on their child very consistently all the way up to medical doctors, chiropractors and orthodontists. We have massage therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, the dental professions and myofunctional therapists. So anyone can take this class, and we teach it from a beginner’s mindset.
You’re going to learn about Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, and you’re going to learn about the system. We’re going to teach about the anatomy, we’re going to teach about the history of craniosacral fascial therapy, we’re going to teach you how to assess, teach you about the brain cycle, how to feel into the fascia. And that is the most unique piece of our class: that we’re really going to teach you how to feel the fascia with sensory exercises, a lot of hands-on time.
Over the three days, you’re going to exchange this work with each other, so you’ll also be receiving a lot of Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, you will be giving a lot of CFT. And, at the end of the three days, you’re going to be able to go back to your home, go back to your practice and start practicing.
Holly Steflik: A lot of times, people are worried that they don’t have the anatomy and physiology and the background to be able to learn this, but we can assure you that you can because it’s a very right-brain, hands-on class. So it doesn’t matter if you know the names of the cranial bones; you’re still going to be able to feel the fascial strain within the body, and you’re going to be able to unwind it. And so we really encourage parents to learn this for their kids and for their families because you really don’t have to be up on all the anatomy and physiology. There’s so much information out there that you can go study on your own if you really want to become an expert in that.
Kim Sherlock: Holly and I are right there at the tables with you, teaching you as we go along. And that, to me, is always where the real learning occurs. So it’s super-experiential.
Holly Steflik: You’re going to receive it in your body and know what it feels like to receive it. Which, then, makes it possible for you to be able to go and practice on somebody else.
Kim Sherlock: And we have a lot of fun. We have a lot of fun.
So once you’ve taken the foundation class, if you want to further study the infant work, the foundation course is a prerequisite. The infant class is another three days, and it is a lot of fun. We’ll spend the first day, first morning, really diving into infant conditions, discussing birth trauma, how do we work and engage the parents in the sessions. And then we get into actually working on babies. So Holly and I demonstrate the techniques, and then we will bring babies in, round robin, for the three days. There’s lots of babies, there’s lots of practice sessions, and the students get a lot of hands-on time. We don’t know of any other class that does that.
What happens over those three days is these babies start to make remarkable transformations. The parents are so happy with what’s happening for their baby over the three days, and the students get to actually experience that, and they leave so inspired to go out and to start working with babies. And it’s like the week after class we already start getting emails with messages of the difference that our students are making in the lives of the baby, the mom, the dad, the entire family. And, so, that is so hugely rewarding for us, to be spreading and teaching this work in that way. So please join us. It will change your life, and it will change the lives of so many people.
Holly Steflik: You can read more about Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy and our training schedule on CraniosacralFascialTherapy.com. You can also go to Dr. Gillespie’s website: GillespieApproach.com. Everybody’s on Facebook and social media. We’re CFT Global Team on Facebook and @CFTGillespieApproach on Instagram. We usually teach about four to six foundation trainings a year and probably two to three infant trainings a year.
Kim Sherlock: And there are limited spots in our classes, so if you are thinking about taking a class we really encourage you to sign up right away.
Holly Steflik: Also, Dr. Gillespie has hundreds of articles that he’s written on his website and on his Facebook page [plus, you can join the Gillespie Approach: Therapist Requests and Public Questions Facebook group]. There is really a lot of information for parents and practitioners to be able to read through.
Kim Sherlock: My personal practice website is KimSherlock.com, and Holly’s is HollySteflik.com. If you want to reach us, again, I’m in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and Holly is in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Holly Steflik: And our teaching website is CraniosacralFascialTherapy.com.
Kim Sherlock: That’s where you could go to read more about the classes, get more details, look at the classes that are posted and register.