I received my first cranial sacral therapy treatment a week ago, and I have to admit that in some ways, I prefer it to massage. I also believe the benefits of this treatment (in terms of healing) will far outweigh what I could ever expect from a typical massage. In this article I describe my experience with cranial sacral therapy.
I went into my treatment knowing a little about cranial sacral therapy, mainly that the therapist works with your head and spine to gently ease blockages in your body caused by stress and trauma. I went in with the intention of clearing any such blockages, and to see if anything could be done to reduce the “Viking syndrome” (also known as Viking’s disease, or Dupuytren’s contracture) I have in my left hand, around the left ring finger. The medical profession does not know much about Viking syndrome, except that the connective tissue is affected, that there’s often trauma associated with the condition, and there is no treatment except for surgery (which is risky and does not heal the condition).
I can’t praise enough the gentle pressure my therapist applied on my head, neck and spine. It was incredibly relaxing, and I felt sparks of energy going all the way down to my feet, as if my nerves were being invigorated and channels were being opened up.
After working on my head, neck and spine, the therapist started to work on my left hand, again with gentle pressure. I noticed that’s when she started to take some deep breaths, and I knew something was up with that.
When the cranial sacral treatment was over, she asked whether it would be okay to share what she “saw” in her mind’s eye when she worked on my left hand. She explained that she saw a large black woman who lived on a plantation, whose job was to cook for the plantation owners. One day the son of this black woman escaped the plantation, and it was common in those days to punish slaves for any wrongdoings by cutting off part of their feet or hands or toes. This slowed them down and scared the rest. Because her son had escaped, the woman had the middle and ring finger of her left hand cut off as punishment. In her mind’s eye, the therapist saw the woman pleading with her owners: “But massa, if you cut mah fingers off how will I bake yo pies?” she begged.
The therapist further explained, “The energy in your fingers was not connected to the energy in your hand; something was blocking the flow. But it’s connected now… I’m not sure this has to do with a past life or with your ancestors.” (My therapist is not sure about the idea of reincarnation and past lives.) But I totally get that I’ve had past lives and that this incident had to do with my soul’s “ancestry,” not my blood ancestry. Besides, my ancestors are Polish, have lived in Poland for many generations past. (And, by the way, I have not had any trauma occur to either hand in this present lifetime.)
After the treatment I drove down the street to Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola and found myself gazing at the delicious-looking cherry pies, but I did not indulge. I am on a no dairy, no wheat regimen at present, so I just got some treats for my kids.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see what happens with my Viking’s disease. The syndrome had taken years to build up and it has been only a week since the cranial sacral therapy, but I am hoping for a relatively quick healing. In any case, I think about this black woman from time to time and I feel appreciation for her. My heart opens up further because of her, and I also know that deep down I have the experience and the resourcefulness of a black woman who lived on a plantation inside me, and that I can draw upon those inner resources whenever I need them.