Craniosacral Therapy: escaping the cycle of stress and insomnia

Craniosacral Therapy: escaping the cycle of stress and insomnia

Insomnia affects so many of us. At its root lies a simple problem: the inability to let go and relax at night. Yet the results of this lead to many complex problems in the lives of those who experience it.

The spiralling cycle of stress and sleep

Does this sound familiar to you? Here’s a typical pattern you may recognise:

• All the stresses of the day – from work and home, friends and family – refuse to stop spinning around in your head, so you just can’t switch off or wind down.
• The result is another night of interrupted sleep that leaves you feeling exhausted before the next day has even begun.
• Because of this you are unable to face the day’s challenges.
• And these continue to spin round in your head when you try to wind down at night.
• The cycle continues and further deepens.

Sleep can quickly become a stress in itself: as an unattainable goal the pressure of trying to reach it only feeds the negative cycle. You feel powerless, you feel lost, you feel trapped and you feel anxious.

The masking effect of sleeping pills

Perhaps, as a last resort, you even visit your GP and receive prescription sleeping pills in the hope of gaining that rest your body, mind and soul so desperately crave. The truth is, however, that sleeping pills only serve to mask the underlying issues. They cannot address the fact that your body is out of balance, and they may actually leave you experiencing a deeper sense of dislocation and disconnection.

There has to be a better way

This is where Craniosacral Therapy (CST) can make a profound difference. The most powerful, immediate affect that most people experience with craniosacral work is the ability to shut off the stress response that has kept them prisoner to issues like insomnia and anxiety.

CST works immediately on the nervous system, and it is this that has been affected by our reaction to the stress that has caused our insomnia.

Every time we experience stress our bodies operate through our sympathetic nervous system, producing the anxious reaction of fight or flight. If we do not allow ourselves sufficient down time, our bodies get used to existing in this heightened state of stress. It becomes second nature to us, but it is never long before we become depleted. Our endocrine system spirals into defence mode, sparking a chain reaction that leaves us drained of vital energy. In this state we are vulnerable to illness, depression and anxiety.

CST restores our natural state of balance

This natural state of balance is known as homeostasis. Your body naturally wants to seek an optimal balance between responding to stress and allowing itself time for relaxation, rejuvenation and healing to occur.

By tuning directly into your central nervous system, a craniosacral therapist can induce a state of calm and relaxation that allows you to find the escape your body needs to recover. This means you can gain relief from the effects of stress, such as sleeplessness, incessant thoughts, feeling on edge, anxiety and more.

The beauty of CST

The beauty of CST, in my experience, is that it can take just a couple of sessions for people to experience that longed-for full night’s sleep and attain a desperately needed sense of calm.

And this is only the beginning of their journey.

After five sessions many are able to calibrate their stress response effectively to cope once more with their day-to-day situation more easily. They are able to make lasting changes in their life and experience a liberating transformation as they escape the cycle that has held them prisoner to its relentless rhythms.

This escape from helplessness, negative thoughts and sleeplessness can feel like a veil being lifted as they feel able to see the world clearly for the first time in many years.

And so to bed.

By Alfredo Hunter