Lisa Schneider’s Specialties

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) originates from a concept explored in the 1900’s by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland that the bones of the cranium move amongst each other and can create pressure on the brain. With his research, he developed Cranial Osteopathy. In the 1970’s, American Dr. John Upledger noticed the craniosacral rhythm while assisting a spinal surgery. This discovery piqued his interest and led to his study of Cranial Osteopathy and further research into the relationship of the structures between the cranium and sacrum. Dr. Upledger coined the term CranioSacral Therapy and developed the CST curriculum which is currently taught internationally.

CST can be difficult to explain, so here it is broken down into several aspects:

Cranio refers to the cranium, which houses the brain. Sacral refers to the sacrum, also known as your tailbone, and marks the end of your spinal column. CranioSacral therapy involves the evaluation and treatment of the physiological forces and structures between these two points.

The CranioSacral rhythm is essentially the pulse of the brain and spinal cord and is created by the movement of cerebrospinal fluid between the two structures. Like the rhythm of the breath or the pulse of blood from and to the heart, the CS rhythm can be felt throughout the body by anyone taught to tap into the frequency.  By evaluating this rhythm, a CST practitioner can identify restrictions in the body.

The body loves to be in motion. Every cell, tissue, and organ needs to be able to move freely in order to function correctly.  With physical or emotional trauma / injury, adhesions and structural deformities can develop which lead to restricted motion of the tissues involved, affecting increasingly over the years, the adjacent structures and ultimately the entire body.

The role of a CST practitioner is not to forcibly correct the body, but rather to encourage the body to correct itself, which leads to a more fundamental change and often disappearance of chronic symptoms. The idea is that if the systems of the body are balanced, then it has the ability to heal itself.

Because of the direct connection with the brain and spinal cord, CST also has an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System, often causing a feeling of deep calm or groundedness during and after the treatment. Treatment of this system enables the body to respond to stress and challenges better and can help improve a patient’s energy level.

A CST treatment can be considered effective if releases are present during or after treatment. A release can be in terms of physical release of adhered structures or emotional release involving thoughts and feelings surrounding an event of trauma or injury.

Conditions treated by CST include, but are not limited to:

Migraine or chronic headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, colic, autism, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, infantile disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, fibromyalgia, connective-tissue disorders, jaw dysfunction, immune disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-surgical dysfunction, digestive disorders and fertility impairments.

Visceral Manipulation

Visceral manipulation has been around since prerecorded times and refers to the manipulation of the organs (viscera) of the body. Gentle and intuitive, this type of treatment is very effective in releasing chronic restrictions.

A modern form of visceral work was developed by a French Osteopath / Physical Therapist Jean-Pierre Barral, who became interested in the implications of manipulating the viscera through his experience in a hospital specializing in lung disease treatment and his experience treating spinal restrictions by treating the organs. He is responsible for a method of assessment that follows a line of tension in the body to locate the primary restriction or the main cause of dysfunction. This type of assessment enables the practitioner to determine more accurately the root of the problem rather than just treating the areas of symptoms.

As a Massage Therapist, my training was heavily focused on the external structures of the body: the muscles, bones, joints and external fascia, which is only part of the picture. We are also filled with organs and deeper layers of fascia that can have a huge impact on the external structures.

Our bodies have their own normal state and when you experience injuries or traumas (emotional or physical) the damage can cause restrictions, adhesions and scar tissue around the organs in order to protect and prevent further injury.

Our organs are very vulnerable structures and the muscles and external frame will go to many lengths to prevent injury or ‘baby’ an area that is injured or adhered. As the body tries to compensate, it can cause a snowball effect and lead to pain, reduced range of motion or problems with the efficiency of the organs themselves. Releasing these restrictions and addressing the injury of the internal structures will allow the muscles and frame to readjust to their normal position, reducing the strain on not only the organs themselves, but also the muscles, bones and joints that have compensated to protect the vulnerable area.

Conditions treated by Visceral Manipulation include, but are not limited to:

Acute disorders such as whiplash, chest or abdominal sports injuries and surgeries; digestive disorders like bloating and constipation, nausea and acid reflux, GERD; women’s and men’s health issues including chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, fibroids and cysts, dysmenorrhea, bladder incontinence, prostate dysfunction, effects of menopause; mental health challenges like anxiety and depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

SomatoEmotional Release

Defined by Dr. John Upledger, the founder of CranioSacral Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release is the expression of emotion that, for reasons deemed appropriate by some part of the patient’s or client’s nonconscious, has been retained, suppressed and isolated within the soma.

I.e. if we have an experience that could be defined as physically or emotionally traumatic (from mild all the way to severe), and we don’t know how to process or release it, we can unwittingly hold onto the emotion/energy of said experience in our tissues, as part of a restriction.

SomatoEmotional Release is a form of manual bodywork that initiates an intuitive conversation between the CranioSacral Therapist and your body in order to facilitate the release of physical restrictions, stored emotions, energies and traumas.

Your body is the authority on how it got to where it is now, and what it needs to heal itself- it knows its history, and it’s the best guide to letting go of what it has been storing. Using gentle manual techniques, sometimes paired with visualization and verbal dialogue, the therapist’s role is to facilitate your release of these physical restrictions and emotions.

Because the emotion or trauma is leaving the storage place in your body, without analysis- rather than revisiting it over again in your mind- the release happens at a deeper level. Often, when the emotion or trauma has left the body, the past experience no longer has the same charge as it used to, and while history doesn’t get erased, it’s no longer as painful as it once was. As these restrictions are released, the body is free to return to its optimal level of function.

Fees for Registered Massage Therapy Sessions:

90 Minute Initial or Follow-up Registered Massage Therapy Session- $200 + HST

  • Includes Registered Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, and/or Visceral Manipulation.

75 Minute Initial or Follow-up Registered Massage Therapy Session- $165 + HST

  • Includes Registered Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, and/or Visceral Manipulation.

60 Minute Initial or Follow-up Registered Massage Therapy Session- $120 + HST

  • Includes Registered Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, and/or Visceral Manipulation.

45 Minute Follow-Up Registered Massage Therapy Session- $100 + HST

  • Includes Registered Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy, and/or Visceral Manipulation.

Fees for Somatic Bodywork Sessions:

60 Minute Somatic Bodywork Session- $120 + HST*

  • Includes SomatoEmotional Release, CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, and/or Spiritual Coaching.

*Not an RMT Billable Service