Biodynamic craniosacral therapy

biodynamic craniosacral therapy

 Certification Course – Training Overview

The certificate program in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a course of study designed for current and future healing arts practitioners who wish to embody the biodynamic foundation in their work. The program ensures an in-depth experience of biodynamic principles, and an experiential understanding of how to apply those principles while working with the anatomical terrain of the primary respiratory system. The current curriculum is the result of a 20-year evolutionary process of design and implementation, affording participants a proven pathway to confidence as practitioners of this subtle and effective healing art.

Completion of this training affords graduates the opportunity to earn the Registered Craniosacral Therapist (RCST) status through the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA). Graduates who choose to join BCTA/NA, having completed the training requirements with an approved teacher, will join the professional ranks of practitioners whose training reflects the depth of study deemed necessary for registered practitioner status.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (BCST) has its roots in the osteopathic work of William G. Sutherland, DO, who developed cranial work beginning in 1899.  Rollin Becker, DO, Sutherland’s student and colleague, was the first osteopathic doctor to articulate the principles and phenomenology of biodynamic craniosacral therapy in the mid-1960’s. Dr. Becker’s teachings were brought to non-Osteopathic practitioners in the U.S. by Franklyn Sills of Devon, England, beginning in the early 1990’s. I was a student, teacher trainee and teaching assistant with Franklyn Sills for 10 years beginning in 1992, and have been teaching this work since 1994.

BCST is a practice that works in relationship to the bioenergy system of the human body, which is the fundamental source of health, and the agency of inherent healing activity within human physiology. Dr. Sutherland developed cranial osteopathy as a means of interacting with a phenomenon he referred to as ‘primary respiration,’ which is nothing less than an energetic breath that creates, sustains and transforms the state of health in the human system. Dr. Becker took Dr. Sutherland’s observations forward by describing the energetic process by which the human system will heal itself and restore balance in relationship to illness and trauma. Dr. Becker also articulated the manner in which a practitioner can evoke, through right relationship, the inherent healing capacity of the body in real time, which is the basis for the clinical practice of biodynamic craniosacral therapy.

Practitioners need a depth of training and experience to be able to initiate the inherent healing process, recognize and support its evolution, and allow for closure of the healing process within a session. The cultivation of perceptual skills is linked to an understanding of the phenomenology of the healing process.  As the training progresses, students develop the versatility and ground needed to practice with a variety of complicated conditions found in clinical practice. A thorough experiential understanding of the primary respiratory system (the organizing forces in the body), and specific anatomy clarifies the application of principles to the whole of the human body.

The significant objectives of this biodynamic craniosacral certification curriculum are:

  • Become grounded in a clear understanding of the bioenergetic dynamics of health.
  • Recognize and experience the inherent healing activity of the bioenergy system.
  • Support practical explorations of anatomy and its connection with the bioenergy system.
  • Undergo a personal transformation process receiving healing through the experience of biodynamic craniosacral therapy.

The certificate program is taught in a modular format consisting of 10 seminars, each seminar being 5 days in length. Students are required to commit to the entire training, as each seminar builds upon the skills and knowledge of the preceding sections. The total course provides 350 hours of classroom instruction. This is supplemented by another 350 hours of work done outside of the classroom, including:

  • Practice performing sessions on unpaid clients,
  • Receive 10 sessions from qualified practitioners,
  • Complete home study (reading and home exercises),
  • Accomplish an independent study project and
  • Pass a final written take-home exam.

The schedule would space the seminars at three-month intervals, providing ample study and practice time, as well as time for personal integration.  The training would be completed in just less than 2.5 calendar years. The total training is a comprehensive 700 hour program in biodynamic craniosacral therapy.

The basic teaching methodology of the course links the conceptual theory and anatomical learning to a direct experiential exploration of the specific area of study. For example- the introduction of the phenomena of primary respiration is followed by a session demonstration by the teacher, then a

session exchange by the students in which they can experience these phenomena both as a student practitioner and within their own system as a student client.

Each aspect of anatomy is taught in the same manner- review of an anatomical feature (which the students have studied prior to class in their home study), a demonstration of how the principles are applied clinically in relationship to that anatomical feature, followed by a student session exchange. In this way the students slowly build an experiential understanding of the physical and energetic anatomy of the human system, while continually reviewing the clinical principles of biodynamic craniosacral therapy through serial repetition.

Interwoven into the whole curriculum are related skills and tools for clinical practice, including:

  • Verbal communication skills to support the client through the experience and integration of their healing process.
  • Shock/Trauma resolution theory and clinical skills via BCST and verbal interventions.
  • Basic birth dynamics and their impact on the primary respiratory system.
  • Recognition of when other healing interventions are required/more appropriate for a particular client.

Seminar Overview:

I – Primary Respiration and the Foundation of Health

  • History of craniosacral therapy and the place of biodynamics in the history.
  • Skills of practitioner relationship to self and to clients.
  • Experiential perception of primary respiration and ‘tidal’ phenomena.
  • Anatomical overview of the primary respiratory system.
  • Theory of biodynamics including self-optimizing activity of the bioenergy system.

II – The Inherent Treatment Plan

  • “The Inherent Treatment Plan”- self-optimizing activity of the bioenergy system, deepening the concept and experiential exploration.
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid- relationship of life energy to the fluid system.
  • CNS- creation of CSF in the ventricles (choroid plexi).
  • Perceptual skills- tracking layers and differentiation of tissues.
  • Midline phenomena- the organizing axis of the system.
  • The sensing of one’s own primary respiration.

III – Craniosacral Explorations

  • Venous Sinus System.
  • Pelvic dynamics- sacrum, ilia, coccyx and their joints, patterns of compensation.
  • Osseous layer of the cranium- motility of the cranial bones and suture dynamics.
  • Core link- dural tube dynamics, meningeal layers.

IV – The Midline, Spine and Cranial Base

  • Sacrum- review the foundation of the spine.
  • Vertebral dynamics.
  • Cranial base dynamics.
  • Occipital triad.

V – Dynamics of the Face and TMJ

  • Ethmoid and frontal bone dynamics.
  • Maxilla dynamics.
  • Speed reducers- vomer and palatines.
  • TMJ dynamics.
  • Hyoid dynamics.

VI – Whole Patterns of Health

  • Axial Midlines.
  • Joint dynamics.
  • Connective tissue dynamics.
  • Peripheral Nerves.
  • Transverse Diaphragms.

VII – Visceral Biodynamics 1

  • Organs and connective tissue structures of the thorax.
  • Organs of the upper abdomen.
  • Related nerve plexi and neurological connections.
  • Emotional dimension of the organs.

VIII – Visceral Biodynamics 2

  • Organs and connective tissue structures of the abdomen.
  • Organs and connective tissue structures of the pelvis.
  • Related nerve plexi and neurological connections.
  • Emotional dimension of the organs.

IX – Original Matrix

  • Energetic patterns of organization.
  • Interface of the energetic blueprint with physical anatomy and physiology.
  • Etheric energy patterns- 3 dimensions.
  • Structural energy patterns.
  • Patterns of energetic integration.

X – Chakra Biodynamics, Closure and Integration

  • Exploration of the chakra system using the principles of biodynamics.
  • Relationship of the chakra system to material anatomy and physiology.
  • Emotional dimensions of the chakra system.
  • Course completion and graduation.

Questions?  Contact us by e-mail ( or phone Wendy at 503.200.5995.

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