Healing Arts

The Power of Compassionate Touch

The body accumulates excessive stress and trauma throughout a lifetime.  These various hands on techniques are excellent healing and strengthening modalities, designed to clear and energize your system to its optimal level of functioning!

Craniosacral Therapy

Healing from the inside out, CST uses a gentle touch. Restrictions in the soft tissues that surround the central nervous system are released. This technique is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and it’s effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction.T

The brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system and they are heavily influenced by the craniosacral system, the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord.

Every day the body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. A therapist evaluates the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Various gentle techniques are then used to release restrictions in all tissues.

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions, from chronic pain and sports injuries to stroke and neurological impairment.

More info at:  https://www.upledger.com

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing®” (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine. SE employs the awareness of body sensation to help people ”renegotiate” and heal their traumas rather than relive them. With appropriate guidance with the body’s instinctive ”felt sense,” individuals are able to access their own built-in immunity to trauma, allowing the highly aroused survival energies to be safely and gradually discharged. When these energies are discharged, people frequently experience a dramatic reduction in or disappearance of their traumatic symptoms.

Because traumatic events often involve encounters with death, they evoke extraordinary responses. The transformation process can allow people to deepen their sense of self and others. The healing journey can be an ”awakening” to untapped resources and feelings of empowerment. With the help of these new allies, people can open portals to rebirth and achieve an increased sense of aliveness and flow. The experience can be a genuine spiritual awakening, one that allows people to re-connect with the world.

Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the dangerous event itself. They arise when residual energy from the event is not discharged from the body. This energy remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds.

Somatic Experiencing is a safe, gradual way to help trauma survivors develop their own natural ability to resolve the excess energy caused by overwhelming events.

More info at:  https://traumahealing.org


Myofascial Release

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a holistic, therapeutic approach to manual therapy, popularized by John Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB. MFR offers a comprehensive approach for the evaluation and treatment of the myofascial system, the system of tissues and muscles in the body.

This technique is designed to release restrictions such a trigger points, muscle tightness, and dysfunctions in soft tissue that may cause pain and limit motion in all parts of the body. It has shown success in decreasing pain and increasing mobility.

The main tissue that MFR focuses on for release in the myofascial system is the fascia. Fascia is a fine tissue that surrounds all structures in the body including muscles, nerves, vessels, and bones. MFR allows the therapist to evaluate, identify, and treat fascial restrictions. These restrictions can be caused by numerous factors, such as trauma, musculoskeletal conditions, repetitive stress syndrome, and poor posture.

By applying gentle, hands-on techniques to the whole body, positive structural changes may occur, such as increased range of motion, decreased pain, and, most importantly, increased fascial mobility. (2) In combination with traditional physical therapy, MFR can help patients return to their daily and recreational activities.

More info: https://www.myofascialrelease.com


Strain Counterstrain

Strain Counterstrain is a gentle indirect technique. Indirect techniques do not directly engage barriers of motion. It was developed by the osteopathic physician Lawrence Jones in 1955 who said it was a “lucky accident” that led to his discovery.  While perplexed with how to help a young patient, who had suffered for 4 months of severe back pain, he tried to help the patient find a comfortable position for sleeping.  He then left the patient in that contorted position while he attended to another patient. When he returned and the man slowly stood up, the debilitating pain was almost completely gone.  From there Dr. Jones began investigating how to find a “position of comfort” for his other patients that quite often turned into their treatments.

Treatment involves slackening the tissue,  causing a relaxation of the “spasm” which, in turn, allows local areas of inflammation, trapped within the painful tissue to dissipate.  The tenderpoint is thought to be related to a reflex arch and by shortening the muscle, the clinician has removed the aberrant sensory signals that are part of the reflex arc that has not allowed the muscle to relax and has disturbed normal lymphatic drainage from the region. Impeded lymphatic drainage causes an acidic environment that also irritates the nervous system perpetuating the “spasm”.

A successful treatment is signified by an immediate reduction of tension and tenderness in the involved tissue.  SCS is a treatment used to combat myriad musculoskeletal conditions such as: sciatica, headaches, myofascial pain, tendinitis, and chronic back and neck pain.

This all seems logical and simple. By shortening the muscle, you decrease the nervous impulses that are entering the spinal segment.  This greatly decreases the incoming messages of a protective reflex arc that is maintaining a hypertonic (“spasm”) state. Interrupt the protective reflex and tone and circulation normalizes.

More info: https://www.jicounterstrain.com



Cupping is the term applied to a technique that uses small glass cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation and congestion by drawing congested blood, energy or other humors to the surface.

Once the suction has occurred, the cups can be gently moved across the skin (often referred to as “gliding cupping). Medical massage oils are sometimes applied to improve movement of the glass cups along the skin. The suction in the cups causes the skin and superficial muscle layer to be lightly drawn into the cup. Cupping is much like the inverse of massage – rather than applying pressure to muscles, it uses gentle pressure to pull them upward. For most patients, this is a particularly relaxing and relieving sensation. Once suctioned, the cups are generally left in place for about ten minutes while the patient relaxes. 

“Where there’s stagnation, there will be pain. Remove the stagnation, and you remove the pain.”

The old Chinese medical maxim holds that pain results from the congestion, stagnation, and blockage of Qi, or vital energy, vital fluids, lymph, phlegm, and blood. If pain is the essence of disease, then suffering is a result of obstructed or irregular flow in the body. Chinese cupping is therefore a method of breaking up the blockage to restore the body’s natural flow of energy.

Recommended Publications


  • Waking the Tiger, Peter Levine
  • Healing Trauma, Peter Levine
  • Your Inner Physician and You: Craniosacral Therapy and Somatoemotional Release, John Upledger
  • Myofascial Release, Healing Ancient Wounds: The Renegade’s Wisdom, John Barnes
  • Jones Strain-Counterstrain, Lawrence H. Jones



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