Equine CranioSacral Therapy
by Eve Lucia, LMT
LIC. # MA0029464
A Brief History
CranioSacral Work, which originated from the work of osteopath Dr. William Sutherland, in the early 1900’s was originally called ‘craniopathy’ and was derived from osteopathy. It was later called ‘CranioSacral Therapy’ by Dr. John Upledger, from the Upledger Institute. Now the work is being done in the equine world with much success.
The Equine CranioSacral System
The CranioSacral system of the horse is made up of several parts: the bones of the cranium or the head, the sacrum or tailbone, and the spinal column. CranioSacral work traditionally specialized in the head, spine, and sacrum, but it is not limited to those areas, nor is it limited to the physical. The work can benefit the horse on the mental, emotional, and energetic levels as well.
Equine CranioSacral Therapy (ECST) is a gentle, non-invasive type of advanced bodywork which facilitates self-healing. It allows the horse to become familiar with the practitioner’s touch and their intention. The light touch used in ECST is about 5 grams of pressure (or the weight of a nickel). Five grams of pressure does not overwhelm the body or threaten it. This light amount of pressure may seem subtle, but it is extremely powerful and produces a relaxation response which enables the release of holding patterns. ECST serves as the foundation for a relationship based on trust and understanding. It opens the door for integrating other massage modalities, when the time is right.
The ECST Practitioner
A solid foundation of anatomy, physiology, massage, and bodywork are essential to the ECST Practitioner. As a licensed massage therapist with natural abilities in animal bodywork and hands-on energy therapies, Eve decided to pursue advanced training in ECST. It has been her experience that animals (i.e., dogs, cats, and horses) are receptive and responsive to this light-touch bodywork. Once they understand her intention, they usually position themselves in such a way as to present the areas that need re-balancing. As an ECST practitioner, Eve can palpate body systems to identify restrictions, imbalances, and asymmetry. Then, attempt to mobilize the tissues, allowing the body’s natural tendency for self-correction to occur. Oftentimes with animals: Less is more.
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