CranioSacral Therapy. It helped my headaches. How will it benefit you? An interview with our own Ash
4-5 years ago I started getting BAD headaches. Headaches like I have never in my life experienced. Twice I ended up at urgent care, where they sent me off to the hospital. I had scans, drugs and every therapy you can imagine. Nothing helped, not even massage. Traditional deep tissue massage + chiropractic made them worse. These headaches weren’t migraines. They’d last about 5-7 days. The first few days I’d be in bed, in the dark, just miserable. Usually about the 3rd or 4th day I'd venture back out into the world. Half functioning, but still there. I have discs in my neck that slide forward + hit my spinal cord. That's what one of my chiropractors finally figured out. I've had lots of beach related accidents that created some cervical damage. (read: Hit head on ocean floor + tossed around like seaweed) One day, I was on about my 3rd day of the headache. I was sitting in my office, in the dark feeling miserable. I had canceled all my massage appointments for the day, again. I just didn’t know what to do anymore. Then I heard Ashlee coming out of her treatment room with one of her clients. They were laughing lightly. Her client felt good. I was jealous. (gasp) Then the thought occurred to me, I haven’t tried a session with Ashlee yet! We spoke about the headache and she got me in the next morning. Within 24 hours of my first session the headache was just a memory. I had about 3 weekly sessions with Ashlee + the (severe) headaches are a thing of the past. I occasionally still get the headaches, but they only last a couple of days (at most), and they don’t send me to the ER. Generally a session with Ashlee, some home treatment (ice), and they self correct. I’m grateful for Ashlee and her gift of CST. Now I get my full body massages for body aches + pains from Jeri. For massage, I like a deeper therapy. I keep the headaches away with Ashlee. It’s a perfect little health care regimen. Both amazing. They both keep me happy + working. Every person is different. Every person’s pain is different. Everyone seeks bodywork for different reasons. Below you will find a little Q + A session I had with Ashlee so you can learn all about CST + how it just may be your missing link to pain relief.
Kim: Why do people seek out CranioSacral Therapy (CST)? Ashlee: There are many reasons people seek out CranioSacral Therapy (CST). The most common I see are people who deal with chronic migraines and headaches, children who have an attention disorder or autism, people who have inner ear problems, and concussion victims. However, the list of issues that CST can address is endless. Any type of brain or spinal cord injury or nerve pain is on that list. Kim: How is CST different than, let's say deep tissue massage for muscular pain relief? Ashlee: CST is super gentle. Working with such a delicate system as the nervous system needs a gentle approach therapy. Often times when clients come in with so much pain they need a light touch. The results that come from CST can be similar to those of deep tissue massage but happen without forcing the muscles to relax. It’s more of inviting relaxation of the entire body. Kim: How does CST work? Ashlee: CST works to calm the central nervous system. It works by improving the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. By doing this we can feel where restrictions are through the system. Say you slipped on ice and landed on your tailbone. The impact of that fall created a slight injury or inflammation around the low back and tailbone, which created swelling and maybe scar tissue build up. The fluid movement through the low back and tailbone is now restricted from freely moving through the area. CST works by finding that restriction and correcting it. Kim: Tell us about a few of your most memorable client outcomes. Ashlee: A client came in with a headache that she had been suffering from for 3 years. She reported that she never felt relief from it. I had the pleasure of having this lady on my table for the next hour and a half. I did some massage therapy on her neck and shoulders and treated her whole spine and cranium with CranioScaral Therapy. I found that she had many restrictions in the cranium that were inhibiting the fluid movement. I spent a lot of time helping her body work through these restrictions. When we were finished she no longer had the headache! This one session broke the 3 year pain cycle she had been in. Kim: What can a client expect from their first session with you? Ashlee: On our first session I spend as much time as needed getting a clear idea of your medical history. Often times a person had an injury that happened 20 years ago that is contributing to the pain they experience today. So it is very important to get a full picture of the person. We then start by doing CST from head to toe. This allows me to get a full picture of what is happening on the inside of the body. Generally this treatment is extremely relaxing. On the first session you can expect to feel much more at ease and considerably less pain. As our treatments continue we will work into deeper layers and more specifically on your problem areas. Kim: What are a few things you'd like someone who has never heard of CST to know? Ashlee: Try it simply to experience a state of relaxation and comfort. Try it to feel more balanced, to clear your mind. Afterward you may be able to think more clearly, sleep more soundly, make decisions more easily, and enjoy your life more fully. Kim: Why did you choose to practice CST? Ashlee: I learned CST level 1 while attending the Self Health Institute in Dayton, Ohio. I used it in my massage therapy practice occasionally for 5 years. When I moved to the east coast I began seeing clients who sought me out specifically for CST. I quickly began to strengthen my skills as a CST therapist. Then I had to have more knowledge for it! I went back to learn CST level 2. I was so excited to learn more about what was going on in my clients body, and to be able to take their healing to the next level. However, what I learned took me by surprise. I learned to stop trying to put an anatomical textbook term on everything. I learned to let my hands do the listening, not my brain. So the answer to your question is, CST chose me, rather than I chose CST! My clients wanted it and I had the skill to do it. Kim: How long have you been in practice? Ashlee: I have been practicing for 10 years as a cranioscaral therapist and medical massage therapist. That may sound like a long time to some people, however, I am reminded of the word “practice.” What I do is called a “practice,” because I will never be finished learning and developing my skills. Kim: Tell us a few fun, interesting facts about you. Ashlee: Well to start with, I am married to the most amazing man on this earth! My husband Jason is my home. I am a gardener, beekeeper, and currently mother of 10 little pigglets! We have the great honor of tending a beautiful 10 acre farm in Bakerton, West Virginia. In the spring I love going mushroom hunting in our woods, in the summer swimming in our cool quarry lake, in autumn hiking through the mountains, and in the winter sledding down the steep ravines. As you can see by reading about CST it’s pretty awesome + so is Ashlee.
Have you tried CST? Tell us about it in the comments below. To make an appointment with Ashlee Young LMT, CST click right here.
Have a GREAT day friends.
Peace and Blessings,
Kimberly Huneycutt NTP, LMT