When I first met Julie Dotson at a yoga class in the Washington Healing Arts Center, I had no idea what CranioSacral Therapy was. After I experienced it the other day, I was amazed by the healing power of a gentle touch. Before I share all the details with you, let me tell you something more about Julie and what she does.
Julie Dotson is a nationally certified, licensed massage therapist. She offers an intuitive, holistic approach to healing and bodywork that honors the wisdom of the body. Julie provides an added dimension to her client’s bodywork session with her training as a Reiki master, Art Psychotherapist, Authentic Movement practitioner and certified InterPlay facilitator. Each of these expressive modalities can be explored individually or combined to meet the client’s specific needs and goals. She also offers ongoing classes and workshops to support her clients in their goal to maintain their health and wellness.
CranioSacral Therapy is a very gentle, light-touch treatment that releases tensions deep in the central nervous system, so that every other system in the body can relax and self-correct. Few body structures have more influence over our health and well-being than our central nervous system. And few body systems have more impact on our central nervous system than the craniosacral system – the soft tissues and fluid that protect the brain and the spinal cord. CranioSacral Therapy is extremely effective at identifying the underlying causes of both physical and emotional challenges, and it helps to naturally free the body of pain, stress and discomfort.
Now that you’ve met Julie and you know what CranioSacral Therapy is, let me tell you how it felt. I had an appointment with Julie at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. When I got there, she showed me in a quiet and cosy room and asked me if I had any special complaints, or certain areas of my body that we needed to address. I told her that I tend to carry a lot of tension in my shoulders, since I spent most of my time in front of the computer, editing photos or working on the blog (which I thoroughly enjoy, by the way, I am not complaining :-). Julie invited me to lie down and relax, fully clothed, on a comfortable, padded table. After that, she gently placed her hands on my ankles, trying to tap into the CranioSacral Rhythm. At first, I only felt warmth, but then my body slowly started to relax and sink into the table. When Julie placed her hand on my hips, I could feel the tension building up and releasing. Random memories began flooding my head. I recalled how one time, on the way home from school, I tried to kick a boy who was walking in front of me, but I slipped on a frozen puddle and fell on the ground. Julie said that this happens very often with her patients. Sometimes an emotional occurrence can manifest itself as a physical pain, or vise versa. Everything in the body is connected, and the CranioSacral Therapy works on different levels in an attempt to release the locked up pressure and establish a balanced energy flow. By carefully listening with her hands to locate areas of weak fluid flow or tissue motion, Julie is able to trace those areas of weakness through the body to the original source of dysfunction. If you have a migraine, it is not necessarily your head that is to blame for it. The connections in the body work in mysterious ways. For instance, when Julie slightly pressing my right shoulder, I felt my left knee tremble; while she gently touched my neck, I felt warmth and pulsing in my hips.
When we got near to the end of my CranioSacral session, my arms and legs felt so heavy, and my body had completely sunk into the table. I don’t think I have ever been that relaxed. A couple of times I was close to falling asleep, that’s how wonderful it felt. Coming back to reality was slow, gentle and unrushed. Julie, handing me a glass of water, asked me to remember the feeling of well-being I had after the therapy, and to go back to it whenever I experienced discomfort or stress. I gave her a big hug and left the Washington Healing Art Center with a bounce in my step, as if I had grown a pair of wings.
CranioSacral Therapy is for everyone, and it is also widely recommended as a treatment of choice for infants and children. What it essentially does, is to improve our body’s ability to take better care of us. If you are suffering from back, neck or shoulder pain, headaches, chronic fatigue, stress and tension-related disorders, fibromyalgia or arthritis, CranioSacral Therapy may be right for you.
“Many people have a belief that life is difficult and healing is painful. CranioSacral Therapy helps them let go of this belief. The healing process can be much more gentle and subtle.”S. Hollier, PT
You can find Julie Dotson every Wednesday at the Washington Healing Arts Center on 426 E. 5th Street. She also practices out of her home in Labadie, MO. To make an appointment, call 314.805.9544. Visit Julie’s website or Facebook page for more information on what she does. Read what people say about Julie and her healing therapy here.