We begin life and develop our adult form in the fluid environment of the womb. Science tells us that 70% or more of the adult body is fluid. Yet, when we touch our clients, we primarily relate to the bones, muscles and organs which make up the other 30%. The EiW curriculum will teach you the importance of direct interaction with the 70% which we call the “Fluid Body”. It will guide you through the necessary and proven steps (which can be easily integrated into your current mode of practice) to contact and work with the fascia, fluid system and the inherent healing function of your clients.
These skills will improve your success in deepening your healing interventions.
The curriculum is based on the cranial concept developed by Dr. William Sutherland, DO. He began exploring the inherent motions of the bones in the cranium. He then sensed that the movements he felt were being driven by FLUID forces. Through decades of study his sensitivity and skills were honed to perceive very subtle sensations which evolved into perceptions of continuous and unchanging forces inside and outside the body, which were creating these ordering, subtle movements.
In these seminars, we will teach you how these formative movements and forces are present in the embryo and influence the genes to become active (epigenetics). They also create order, integrity, ease and flow in the body throughout life.
The EiW curriculum is comprised of six sequential modules that flow from anatomy, to fascia, to fluids, to the tidal body and the bioenergetic body:
The content of this beginning Module teaches the fundamentals for every Module that follows.
Much of this Module will be oriented toward exploring the felt sense of “presence” and how it can expand your perceptions. This will allow the body's Inherent Healing and self organization to reveal itself. As we learn to support and stay out of the way of the healing wisdom of the body, our work will become more systemic.
The science and the foundational concepts of Wholeness will be introduced and experienced using hands-on explorations.
Fascia, as a component of the Fluid Body, and it's fluidic nature is the medium for these explorations.
Much of what has been taught, traditionally, about fascia and fascial manipulation has been shown, scientifically and experientially, to be inaccurate and incomplete.
Recent studies have shown that fascia has no divisions or structures. For example, "Myofascia" is not separate from the rest of the fascial complex. Myofascial release then is a limited, reductionist practice, as the concept of "muscle-fascia" is flawed in it's suggestion that fascia can be separated into pieces and worked separately from the Whole of the fascial system.
You will be introduced to the process necessary for balancing fascia as a whole, through what is called Balanced Membranous Tension. Instead of having a conceptual understanding of fascial continuity, you will experience it.
- Presence, Inclusive Attention and neutral
- The autonomic nervous system and the therapeutic relationship
- 3 models of cranial sacral therapy and their whole – body expressions
- “Listening Hands”- doing hands vs receiving hands
- Balanced Membranous Tension - Finding states of balance in the fascia
- Introduction to Wholeness and Primary Respiration
- Embryology of Wholeness
Having had time in your own practice to work with presence and perception, Module 2 is focused on becoming much more familiar with fluid qualities of fascia. In this module you will continue to progress from anatomical thinking to a more comprehensive perception of the body as a fluid whole. You will learn to balance fascial tension and learn more about the body’s response to trauma and normalizing the nervous system. The hands on work will address joint structures in the appendages of the upper and lower body. We will begin to consider the bones as surprisingly fluid tissue and learn to decompress and untwist them.
- Arms and shoulder girdle, legs and pelvic girdle
- Fascial anatomy
- Balanced membranous tension
- 1 hand working / 1 hand listening
- Introduction to the fluid body – 2 hands listening
- Joint midlines
- Bones – interosseous and intraosseous relationships
- CRIAAR – the body’s response to trauma
In Modules 1 and 2 we used the fascia and the fluid body to learn about the 3 models of Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) and the basic skills and principles needed to interface with the subtle signals and motions they express. In this module we will deepen our understanding of these three models exploring their inherent polyrhythmic expressions in the cranium and spine. We will learn, in detail, about the biomechanics of the spine and sacrum and how to easily normalize spinal dysfunctions. We will learn to balance the diaphragms to optimize their influences on order in the spine.
- Anatomy of the cranium and spine
- The biomechanics of the spine and normalizing dysfunctions
- The inherent motions of the cranium and spine
- Balancing the sacrum
- Beginning to work directly with the cranium
Module 4 will focus entirely on Inherent Motion as an expression of Wholeness. This class will expand on working with the legs, arms and torso. As you continue to develop your abilities to choose at what level you interact with your clients' systems, we will move on to learning how to recognize the inherent healing activity that continuously functions in your clients. We will continue the transition from relating to dysfunctions (lesions) to synchronizing with the self ordering and organizing aspects of Inherent Health. In this Module we will learn how to evaluate our client’s system on subtly significant levels. We will also learn to relate to and balance the fluid expressions of Wholeness, which will inform our interventions and integrate our work at a systemic level.
- 2 hands listening
- Balanced fluid tension
- False fulcrums
- States of Balance – homeostasis / ease / still points / stillness
- Fluids as assessment and integrative tools
By now you will find that your choices and abilities in interacting with your clients has become much more diverse. Though the mechanics of this work seems simple, maintaining the presence and awareness to work at whichever level you wish is not easy. The hands-on explorations in this module will emphasize the cranial sacral complex. You will learn to address the functional aspect of the central nervous system, trusting and allowing the Inherent Health of your clients system to be your guide.
- The axial complex and cranial sacral therapy
- Deepening into the Functional model of cranial sacral therapy
- Wholeness as a palpable experience
- Primary midline
- Longitudinal and Lateral fluctuations
Module 6 is an introduction to the Tidal and bioenergetic body. The Tidal body is the most subtle of our physicality. Our ability to synchronize with this aspect of our client’s system can allow and enhance the most profound shifts in our client’s whole being. This requires our ability to hold a very broad and attentive awareness of the client/practitioner field and the presence of Primary Respiration. In Module 6 you will experience synchronizing with Primary Respiration, in yourself and in your client, while witnessing its dramatic ordering effects. This will require that we learn about transparent or disappearing hands.
- Transparent / disappearing hands
- Long tide
- Primary respiration in self and client
- Embryological Seams
- Integrating all 6 Modules into a session
Dr. Sutherland's perceptual journey lead him to describe 3 models of cranial sacral therapy and their whole body responses.
These models are:
- biomechanic (the manipulation of bones and membranes)
- functional (interaction with the rhythmic movement of fluids)
- biodynamic (alliance with the inherent health of the body, guided by what is called Primary Respiration)
Most practitioners learn the biomechanical model and don't continue their studies to learn and integrate the other 2 models into their skill set. This leads to a limited understanding of the potential of subtle work in one's practice. We will learn how to shift between these 3 models and applying them to the whole body, not only the cranium.
Fascia is the most abundant tissue in the body. The fascial skills taught in many schools are rudimentary, though a good beginning. Learning the skills necessary to work with all components of fascia is the beginning step to interacting with the Fluid Body and Inherent Motion. We can not interact with the Fluid Body and other inherent ordering functions by working in the usual ways we are taught to work with muscles and fascia in our initial schooling.
Much of what is taught in all manual therapy trainings is to use our hands for "doing". To be able to work with more subtle aspects of your client's system you must learn to DO less and BE in a state of quiet curiosity to develop listening hands. The entire EiW curriculum will focus on many different aspects of listening with your hands, so you will be able to shift between the 3 cranial sacral models.
Detecting the fluid body surrounding and permeating the physical body requires both discipline and the cultivation of a listening and receptive contact.
Developing listening hands requires a shift in our consciousness and a progressive letting go of self. This will allow you to experience the inherent healing aspect of the “Fluid Body” and understand how to work with and support it’s ordering and integrating functions. It is an afferent, or allowing, hand that senses the subtle shifts and movements within the fluid body.
For a more detailed explanation of these models and the foundations of the development of this curriculum, read the article: Bones to Fluids - A Path to Understanding Wholeness
The soul of man with all the streams of pure living water seems to dwell in the fascia of the body. Thus a knowledge of the universal extent of the fascia is almost imperative and is one of the greatest aids to person who seeks cause disease.