Back in 1996 I was teaching for the National Institute of Craniosacral Studies and having weekly study groups with one of the other teachers, Greg. We were trying to think of a better name for this therapy. We batted ideas around for a while as we worked on each other. Greg talked about the word “Integrative.” I talked about the word “CranioSomatic.” Dallas Hancock called his work CranioSomatics. “Integrative” stuck with me.
Integrative Therapy doesn’t just fix the symptomatic problems.
It is the catalyst that causes the body to start integrating itself.
I love this idea. Let’s talk about an example.
There is a trigger point in the peroneus longus that creates pain around the back of the ankle and instability. I talk about it in this post. It is part of a much larger pattern in the body: a lateral strain pattern. Here’s how it works.
The problem that is reported is the Pain/Referral in the ankle, which makes it painful and weak. It is the referral pattern of the Trigger Point.That trigger point is governed, or activated by a problem in a Local Joint. The central nervous system uses proprioceptors to read that the joint between the tibia and fibuar properly aligned. It activates trigger points in muscles that cross that joint when it is a little out of place. The tibia/fibula joint will consistently shift this way when the body is weight-bearing and the Pelvis is anteriorly sheared. It’s getting technical at this point so let me say that the pelvic shift is predicated on a shift in Atlanto-occipital joint and that is predicated on a Craniosacral pattern called Lateral Strain. When the craniosacral problemis addressed, the problem in the neck, pelvis, local joint and muscle are not perpetuated by the underlying pattern. The body has a chance to self-correct.
Symptomatic approaches focus on fixing the problems closer to the complaint.
Integrative approaches focus on fixing problems closer to the cause so that the body can self-correct.
This is why I call those cranial restrictions The Godfather of Organized Pain. Pain is much more organized than one would imagine. Trigger Points have a short life unless they serve a purpose in the Pain Organization. Once we take care of their boss, they go away or can be quickly released. I release this pattern frequently. In fact, I worked on it today. The client was amazed the first time that she got up to find that her hip and ankle problem were gone when I only worked on her cranium.
Once I’ve played the Neuromuscular Assessment Game, I simply have to track the problem back through the chain of command to the craniosacral system. Here’s a post where I release trigger points that restrict stretch in the leg by releasing a craniosacral restriction.
I am still stuck on “Integrative.” Why?
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients.
He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.