“How do I choose a healer and a healing form, when there are so many to choose from? “
There’s no substitute for doing your homework. That’s what brought you to this referral page, which includes a list of CRCI Certified Craniosacral Therapists. Reading/researching and talking with family, friends, and acquaintances can be invaluable. However, if you’re still unsure once you’ve done these things, it’s important to TRUST YOUR INTUITION. It’s an inner resource that, when cultivated, will serve you well. Please remember: just because a healer, a healing form, or a kind of treatment is right for someone else doesn’t mean that it will or won’t help you. (Even so-called scientific, modern medicine acknowledges this. Ten people with the same diagnosis can be given the same drug, and each of them will have a unique set of responses–including very personalized side effects.) You’re on a healing journey. I hope that you find it both interesting and growthful.
To illustrate all this, I’d like to share two stories with you. The first story was told to me during medical school, as I journeyed around the world, by my family medicine mentor in Israel, Dr. Shmuel Reis. The second story came from my own experience, early in my Craniosacral Therapy training.
The Long Road that’s Short
A pilgrim lost his way in the hills around Jerusalem. Under the shade of an acacia tree, he found a shepherd tending his goats. The pilgrim was relieved.
After exchanging greetings, the pilgrim asked the shepherd, “How do I get to Jerusalem? ”
“Well, – said the shepherd, “do you want the long road that’s short, or the short road that’s long? ”
The pilgrim was weary and impatient. “I want to get there as fast as possible. Tell me the shortest, most direct route. ”
“OK, ” said the shepherd. “Walk straight over these two small mountains. Don’t turn in any other direction, and you’ll arrive in Jerusalem. ”
The pilgrim thanked him and headed up the mountain.
Now, people unfamiliar with travel in this part of the world don’t realize that overgrazing by goats and the hot, dry, windy climate have eliminated most of the area’s vegetation. Only strong, thorny plants have survived. So, as the naive, overzealous pilgrim pushed his way up the mountain, the going became harder. The thorny bushes grew denser. Soon they were shredding his clothes and scratching him all over.
Tired and defeated, he turned around, and thrashed his way back down the mountain. Bloody, upset, and in pain, he found the shepherd relaxing under an old olive tree.
“I thought you said that was the shortest way to Jerusalem, ” he snapped.
“It IS the most direct and shortest route to Jerusalem, but as I told you, it’s the short road that’s long. ”
The pilgrim sighed and calmed down. “OK, then where’s the long road that’s short? ”
The shepherd smiled. “Follow the winding road on the far side of that hill. It passes through several valleys and villages, and it crosses three wadis, the dry river beds you see all over this country. After the third wadi, the road begins climbing. Just stay on the road, and you’ll get to Jerusalem. ”
The pilgrim took his advice and arrived in the holy city for a magnificent sunset.
My Own Story
Dr. John Upledger was one of the most influential teachers in my professional life. In the mid 1980s, when I studied with him, John was a charismatic, free-spirited teacher, and a powerful healer who had helped thousands of people. Everything about John was big–including his open heartedness and his impatience/temper, which, un-coincidentally, reminded me of my father.
Several months prior to my third training with John, I booked several healing sessions with him. Though I didn’t have anything pressing that needed healing, I figured that I was going to Florida anyway for the workshop and that I wanted to experience the master’s healing hands.
Two days before I was to leave for Florida, out of the blue I developed excruciating neck pain and muscle spasm. It was so bad that I stumbled into the office of a chiropractor who had just put up his shingle, groping for relief. His kind-heartedness and spinal manipulations took the edge off my pain. So I pulled myself together and flew to Florida.
Over the next two days, my treatments with John were dynamic and interesting. He tried many different approaches to help me– combining Craniosacral Therapy with visualizations, acupuncture, and conventional osteopathic manipulation. However after completing both treatments, my pain and spasm were essentially unchanged.
Then came our training, most of which focused on technical cranial maneuvers. Though I learned a lot, after three days my symptoms were unchanged.
On the final day John gave us an introductory lecture followed by a demonstration of the Somatoemotional Release process. After fielding questions, he had us pair off to attempt the work. My partner was a petite woman whose only experience working with people had been in an introductory CST workshop. She confided in me that she didn’t know what she was doing.
Any concern I had over her technical proficiency quickly passed, as I lay on the massage table, and she began tractioning my head and neck. Her hands were soft and warm, and her gentle touch felt soothing. I felt very safe with her, and I quickly let down my guard and melted into a vulnerable state, like a young child being held by a patient and caring mother. Heat released from my neck in a calm, peaceful way and the spasm dissolved. By the end of the session, my neck felt fine.
Another paradox; another essential lesson. It’s a great mystery who can help us with what problem. Much more important than going to the “best” doctor or healer is finding one with the qualities that match what we truly need, and learning to trust our intuitions.
GRCI Certified Craniosacral Therapists
Beth Millstein Wish
Advanced Craniosacral Therapy/ Somatoemotional Release practitioner specializing in traumatic brain injuries and trauma relief.
Manhattan and Rockland, NY
Mary Beth White, NP
Advanced practice holistic nurse
CranioSacral therapist and Nurse practitioner specializing in women’s/adult health & gynecology, colposcopy & integrative care
Offices in Westbury, Huntington & Northport, Long Island, New York
Penelope Gay Sheely, M.D.
Holistic Pediatrics and Craniosacral Therapy
59 Main St
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Debra Hoffman, CMT, RM
Specializing in Craniosacral Therapy, Somatoemotional Release,
Reiki & Massage Therapy
Northern and central New Jersey
Jennifer Gebhard ANP.HNP
Advanced Holistic Nurse-Board Certified
Advanced Craniosacral practitioner, Reiki Master, Herbalist,
Massage therapist specializing in European and Oriental/AMMA style
Carol Douglass RN
Advanced Craniosacral Therapy and Somatoemotional Release Practitioner specializing in PTSD treatment and working with children
Sally Bisop RN
Barbara Brennan Energy Healer & Craniosacral Therapy
Lynne Barsalona-Cannisi L.Ac.
Partnering Acupuncture and Craniosacral Therapy to facilitate the balancing of body, mind, and spirit.
West Coast, FL
Roseanne Butler RN
Hands of Time Craniosacral Therapy
Pearl River, NY 10965
A New Day Therapeutic Massage and Craniosacral Therapy
Shiatsu Massage and Craniosacral Therapy
Advanced Massage and Craniosacral Therapy, Birth Doula
Craniosacral Therapist/Shamanic Practitioner and Energy Healer
Mount Kisco, NY
Victoria Moreno Cuttle, MD
Family and Integrative Medicine
The Morrison Center
461 Park Ave South, 12th floor
New York, NY 11205