What to Expect in a CST Session

For a Craniosacral session you can expect subtle changes, a sense of calmness, and hopefully a state of relaxed alertness afterwards. Each of us is a complex, dynamic being with a unique history. Sometimes  things come up in a session that we didn’t think would be related to the original complaint. This can include other injuries, emotions, energetic releases, new self-awareness or understanding, and more. Sometimes something just needs to be unwound, balanced, or just relaxing deeply will be what’s needed. Each session is unique.

In a Craniosacral Session, you will stay dressed. Generally (unless it’s uncomfortable) you will lie face up on the massage table. There are blankets and pillows available as needed for comfort.

Once you’re comfortable, the therapist makes gentle contact in one place, usually your feet, but the session can start any where you have a preference. Your practitioner may move to one or more areas during your session, or stay in one place the whole time. The contact is gentle, and there is no rubbing of the tissue, like in a massage. 

Throughout the session, your practitioner will be checking in with you: asking you what you notice, or what you’re experiencing.Whatever is present in the moment: a body sensation, a mental image, a song in your head, a thought or idea, or even that you don’t notice anything at all is all useful information for your practitioner. Sometimes being together in silence is the most therapeutic course of treatment, and space can be made for that as needed.

This process of checking in about what you’re aware of / noticing in your experience in the moment helps in two ways: 1) it helps your practitioner track what they’re feeling in their hands, and 2) it helps you to stay present in your body during your session. It can feel tempting to drift off and sometimes you might feel powerfully sleepy. Sometimes that’s constructive, sometimes not. Generally you will get much more out of your sessions when you’re more alert and present to the sensations and changes as they occur. This also serves as an education about your body and how it processes experiences and information. But sometimes deep rest is the pathway to your best benefit in that particular session. Your therapist will shepherd the process with you, and support whatever seems in your best interest in the moment.