Trusting the Holds | Sophie Rieu, RCST

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This blog travels deep into the rarely discussed terrain of handholds in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Here the long-standing traditions of teaching particular holds in Biodynamic trainings have a place, as do new innovations that met the circumstances of the moment.  Rieu weaves in personal and meaningful stories from her own journey with holds, deepening the conversation and widening its reach. She also includes the perspectives and insights of other teachers and practitioners – Margaret Rosenau, Tanya Desfontaines, Andrew Cook, Michael Shea and Scott Zamurut.

Exploring the role and impact of holds and holding, the very hallmark in many ways of our beautiful craniosacral practice, became a necessity following a road accident and a workshop with BCST and author Michael Shea.

My body remembers being held wholly under the sacrum and the brainstem in a way it craved to be held, in a way it had never been held before under the circumstances that pervaded the field at the time.

The fourth biodynamic craniosacral session at the end of a three-day workshop at the Elmfield Institute broke me open. It laid me down truly at the feet of surrender, grief; to release the final waves of shock still in my tissues. These ripples resonated with my birth trauma and sorrow that felt buried deep in my inner well sprung out like a blessing, like an “aaaaah at last I am set free”!

Three days before, I was steadily driving on the motorway, elated after a few days of foraging, walking, and swimming in the gorgeous wilds of Donegal, in the North West of Ireland, when someone bashed into the side of my camper van. I saw her in my rearview mirror and panic set within me as she was clearly ‘aiming’ for me. My fight or flight response soared into full throttle, my eyes went from the metallic fence in the middle of the road to her fast-approaching, menacing car. When the shock took place, the van and I rattled, but I was relieved I could continue to drive, I did not crash in the middle fence and kept stern at the ‘helm’ of my ship until I pulled to the side of the road.

Every part of me was like jelly when I got out to talk to the other driver. I was a fascial mass uncontrollably shaking, livid and senseless. My first question was “how could you not see me?” but I did not get a chance to even ask as she promptly and forcefully accused me of hitting her. I could feel my legs going from under me when I heard my inner wild animal roar back at her. She did not back down, she kept to her story so I took a picture of her registration plate and left.

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