Module Overviews for the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Professional Practitioner Certification Training

MODULE 1 – The Relational Field: Biodynamic Interconnections

Renowned osteopath James Jealous said, “It’s none of my business how the process of healing is occurring”. What is our business, and our focus in Module One, is how to create the conditions that allow healing to occur.  A necessary condition for healing is a healthy relational field. In this module students learn about the relational field, the core components of the Biodynamic paradigm and begin to develop perceptual and palpation skills. Students are introduced to the anatomy and physiology of the Craniosacral system including the cerebrospinal fluid. It has been said that the whole training is touched in Module One because both the foundational skills of Biodynamics and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy are taught in this module, providing students with many tools to create the conditions for healing.

MODULE 2 – Fluid Dynamics

Ah, the fluids! In this module we dive into this essential realm that is a core component of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Students are introduced to and begin to recognize the fluid field and the expressions of the fluid tides with their distinct qualities and rhythms. This fluid field recognition will in turn support recognition of bony and tissue motion. We also explore potency and activation and discuss how to recognize the “absence” of fluids. Students will increase their perceptual and experiential skills of the inherent treatment plan, motility and formative forces.

MODULE 3 – Embryology, Epigenetics and Spinal Vertebrae: Deepening Relationship with the Health

In this module we return to our origins as we explore the vast and dynamic world of Embryology. Embryology is a profound and important life stage and a significant part of our anatomy study in our Craniosacral Professional Practitioner training. We didn’t just begin our human journey as embryos, these embryonic shapes and forces are still within us, and we can contact them. When we do, our therapeutic capacity and connection with the original intentions of our incarnation increase exponentially. Knowledge of embryology helps students and practitioners to relate to wholeness from the earliest moments of a human life. We will focus on the first two months of human development and specifically on the formation of the nervous system, vertebrae, and heart, and the developmental dynamics of folding and unfolding. We discuss conception and implantation and explore the imprints of these experiences. Students learn about the role of epigenetics and ancestral imprints. We also explore the fascial relationships between the cranial base, spine and pericardium.  The second and equal focus of this module will be the spine. Students will learn to work with cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae and deepen their ability to perceive layers of tissue, fluid and bone.

MODULE 4 – The Autonomic Nervous System: Skills of Conversation and Engagement

The orientation of Module Four is to the nervous system, both the central nervous system and the triune nature of the autonomic nervous system. Nervous system dysregulation is the underlying current in over 80% of health conditions. Students learn about the nature of trauma and the value of resource and how to recognize and support the expansion of the window of presence and resilience. We discuss the components of the orienting response. We will explore each branch of the Triune Nervous System (Stephen Porges) in depth. Students will deepen in their knowledge of their own nervous systems as well as gain concrete tools and knowledge for supporting others.

MODULE 5 – Tissues: Motility and Mobility

In this module we explore the vast interconnectedness of the tissue field including mesoderm, fascia, ligaments and muscle tone. Students will begin to weave together their knowledge of fluids and tissues and deepen their understanding of potency and mid tide. In the middle of this module, we begin to explore inertia and the imprints of unresolved experiences in the tissue field of the body while maintaining awareness of the larger field of health. Students learn to orient to the natural fulcrums of the body and the entire reciprocal tension membrane system. Students learn to recognize and palpate the movements and restrictions of the Dural membrane and the reciprocal tension membrane system. Lecture topics will include tensegrity, natural and inertia fulcrums, states of balance and balanced membranous tension.

MODULE 6 – The Cranial Bones, Brain and Sinuses: Out From the Core

Module Six involves a deepening exploration of the bones of the cranial base and vault as well as the brain tissue, ventricles, and venous sinuses. Students will expand skills of recognizing and working with shapes introduced in Module Five and learn to identify the nature of intrinsic and compromised bony motion more precisely. A meditation with William Sutherland’s tour of the minnow will facilitate a dive into ventricular relationships. Students will gain skills to recognize brain structures and will be introduced to the venous sinus system and learn how to support the drainage of the venous sinuses.

MODULE 7 – The Gut, The Face and Viscera

Module Seven explores the two seemingly disparate regions of the face and the gut, which are connected physically through the esophagus, and both intimately involved in emotional responses or defenses. We palpate a variety of facial bones and explore facial bone relationships. Sessions include working intraorally with the soft and hard palate. Students also palpate the esophagus and gut and increase their understanding of the Vagus Nerve and Vagal Tone. The final protocol of the module involves both facial bones and the pelvic floor. Lecture topics will include the latest information on the gut / brain connection and how to support people with a variety of gut-related illnesses.

MODULE 8 – The Face, TMJ and Stress

Module Eight explores the head, neck and shoulder region in depth, studying the bony structures of the mandible and hyoid, as well as revisiting the fascial connections from the cranial base to the pericardium. This module could also be called “Nervous System II” as we visit the relationship between trauma and pain and the role of neurotransmitters and fluid dynamics in the stress response. Students learn to disengage nociceptive facilitated segments. In this module we also re-visit and expand upon earlier explorations of joints including the shoulder and O/A joint, and then learn about the function and dysfunction of the Temporomandibular joint and external and intraoral protocols to support decrease and / or resolution of TMJ symptoms.

MODULE 9 – The Pelvis, Stages of Birth and Ignition: Reflections of the Whole

In Module Nine, we consider the cranium in the pelvis. We discuss the birth journey and explore the birth patterns that imprint the cranium of the baby and the pelvis of the mother during a vaginal birth process. In addition to birth stages, students will revisit intraosseous patterns and learn about the possible impacts of interventions including cesarean birth. Homework given before the module will provide students with a lens through which to understand and begin to differentiate from their own birth material.  Additionally, students have the opportunity to experience a supported birthing process as a client and to learn the practitioner skills needed to recognize and support a magnificent and potent expression of the breath of life known as ignition.

MODULE 10 – Integration, Completion and Graduation

In Module Ten we review the key components of the training, thread everything together and tie up loose ends. Students participate in both hands on and written assessments of their ability to perceive and facilitate shapes in the different layers, their knowledge of practitioner skills and their capacity to recognize and facilitate shifts in nervous system states. We revisit and deepen earlier teachings about the heart, the nervous system, the fluid and the fascia. We discuss in depth what it takes to build a successful practice in the field. Students engage in self-exploration around their goals and concerns and identify concrete action steps.