Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

What is Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy?

BCST is a healing art that works with the forces that create and maintain health in the human system. While not a manipulative therapy, it has its roots in osteopathy and has evolved to include influences from advances in neuroscience, human development, pre and perinatal psychology, and trauma resolution. Practitioners use an educated gentle, non-invasive touch to listen for and to engage with the expressions of health in the system. BCST supports nervous system regulation and allows the resolution of conditions resulting from stress and trauma.


The following short video is a basic overview of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy that was made by another practitioner. Although it isn’t exactly how I would describe my practice, I think it’s a good starting point for anyone who wants to learn more about how BCST works.

Why Seek Out a Session?

For health, physical vitality, emotional well-being, a sense of purpose, and a capacity to enjoy life!  BCST’s strength is in its ability to access an inherent vitality within the body that helps to restore health in all dimensions of well-being. BCST is specifically oriented to support the way our vitality meets the conditions underlying the causes of dis-ease, particularly the experiences of stress and overwhelm that interfere with our body’s natural ability to heal. Clients frequently report feeling less discomfort, more energy, resilience, and mental clarity. As feelings of well-being begin to arise, clients often notice a sustainable improvement in their symptoms. 

What is a Session Like?

An RCST® (registered biodynamic craniosacral therapist) is extensively trained in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy to offer sessions of the highest standard. RCSTs are trained to develop skills to be able to listen and to work with primary life forces in each client to support just the right conditions for these forces to find balance.   Session length varies but is usually between thirty to sixty minutes. During a session, the client rests fully clothed on a massage table. A level of safety is created for the client as the practitioner and client negotiate the space and contact between them. The session proceeds as the practitioner listens with a light non-invasive touch to the deep and ever present expressions of health within the client’s system. The BCST process comes from within the client, not from the outside. There is no attempt to manipulate the client’s system toward a theoretical ideal state. The session is guided by listening to an inherent expression of health within the client as it meets the conditions presenting as pain and discomfort. The whole system is engaged in a re-patterning toward health in an order of priorities and a natural progression initiated by the client’s own body. BCST sessions are resourcing; the mind and body feel rested and health is experienced as more accessible and embodied.

Who Might BCST Help?

As a gentle safe healing art, BCST is suitable for people of all ages and physical conditions. BCST can be particularly helpful in relieving the effects of stress and overwhelm often expressed in the following conditions:

+ Acute/Chronic Pain: Injuries, Surgeries, Chronic Inflammation, Headaches, Backaches, Sciatica, Structural Misalignment The functioning of the nervous system plays a key role in how we heal from injury and how we experience and perceive pain over time. An activated nervous system creates a condition that slows the healing of tissues, contributes to inflammation, and sometimes generates a despairing mental orientation to pain. BCST can support the nervous system to return to a less activated state. Clients frequently experience pain relief from the softening and realignment of tissues.

+ Auto-immune disorders: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Skin disorders The effects of an overactive nervous system can challenge the immune system, compromising its ability to recognize real threats to the body’s health, while actually mistaking the body’s own tissue as an invader.  BCST supports the immune system to function more efficiently and intelligently by helping to restore healthy nervous system balance.

+ Pregnancy and Birth Related Issues: Colic, Excessive Crying and/or Irritability, Sleeping Difficulties, Nursing, Attachment, and Bonding Challenges. BCST can help parent(s) and baby build resources during and following the pregnancy. Reducing prenatal stress has been proven to improve baby’s brain development and other gestational and developmental outcomes. Following birth, BCST can help resolve the effects of a challenging delivery on both mom and baby, including those related to nursing, bonding and attachment. 

+ Trauma and Nervous System Dysregulation: PTSD/CPTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Difficulties Sleeping BCST is particularly effective in working with the effects of shock and trauma. Nervous system overwhelm, called the “freeze response,” can result in long standing feelings of helplessness, patterns of behaving that recapitulate the trauma, or the inability to move forward in a creative empowered way with one’s life. When the nervous system can be supported to discharge shock and trauma, while at the same time experiencing inner resource and the ability to access one’s Inherent Health, personal strength, wisdom and resiliency may be enhanced. 

What is an RCST?

A Biodynamic Craniosacral Practitioner who has been certified and approved by the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA) is permitted to use the registered trademark RCST®, Registered Craniosacral Therapist.  An RCST® has successfully completed a 700 hour Foundation Training. He or she is a member of BCTA/NA and has agreed to abide by the Association’s ethical guidelines and to complete all requirements for renewal of membership, including ongoing learning and personal growth. RCSTs are listed on the Association’s website, www.craniosacraltherapy.org