Once every four years, the Upledger Institute holds a conference called Beyond the Dura. The conference was held virtually this year, so my friend and local colleague, Meghan McGrath, and I settled into my office with cozy bean bags to watch the conference.
I get so much joy from hearing the latest developments and insights in the field of CranioSacral Therapy! The conference began with a keynote talk from Dr. Stephen Porges, a world-renowned scientist, and researcher who developed the Polyvagal Theory. This theory is very helpful in understanding what pathways within the body are involved when we feel certain feelings, like being overwhelmed or calm. We heard about techniques to use during treatments to help the vagus nerve, a key structure of the polyvagal theory. Since using this technique with clients, I’ve seen some great results. One client said to me, “Wow, I can feel tingling happening from my head to my toes!”
On the second day, we learned about how fluids move within our bodies. Tad Wanveer, a CranioSacral instructor, gave a riveting presentation called Echoes From the Field, where he explored how our fluids function in harmony.
He said: “There are ever-changing inner and outer conditions that require a continuous adaptation and synchronization of physiological processes. Each body particle making up all the various substances of the body’s 100 trillion cells, extracellular matrix, and fluids must function in continuous harmony. If there is a breakdown of an element of the system, chaos can arise, and that leads to conditions for ill health.”
His talk shared so many concepts and fascinating pieces of information that I will be studying what he shared for years to come!
Another keynote speaker was Gerald Pollack, a Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. He presented on the recently discovered fourth phase of water, in which molecules are organized in a liquid crystalline phase. The three other phases of water are solid, liquid, and vapor. He explained the nature and role of this fourth phase of water, including how it exists within our cells. If you are curious about this topic, you can check out his book called The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor. Pollack, G. (2013).
There were two presentations on recent research measuring the rhythms we pay attention to in CST and how the therapist's presence can be physiologically measured and compared to a client's physiological measurements. We see and hear every day the amazing results that CST has. This research provides a way to measure the changes we feel in our hands and deepen our knowledge and understanding of how CST works.
If you would like to come and learn from me I’ll be teaching a live workshop called The Heart of Courage in Livermore on Sunday, May 21 from 1-4 pm. In the time we spend together, we will create a safe environment to listen to our hearts. Opening ourselves to compassionately explore ways to overcome limitations as they reveal themselves through movement, journaling, and group partnership. Through collaboration with others, we have support to find the courage and resources we need to move forwards with our heart's desire. You can find out more here. I’d love to see you there!