Emily Bilodeau, LMT (207) 779-6671

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Coursework: Craniosacral Therapy II

I took the better part of a week off in August to attend a seminar in Craniosacral Therapy, put on by the Upledger Institute. It's been a couple weeks since I've returned to the office, and it's really taken me that long to reflect on the experience and share it with you.I did the Level I Craniosacral Therapy training in spring of 2008, only a few months before I relocated my practice to Farmington. Since then, I've been able to offer my clients a lovely holistic treatment to generally improve their wellness. Some folks especially loved a combination of massage therapy and craniosacral work. The gentle approach of CST has made it incredibly popular with my clients who live with chronic pain, and for whom traditional massage therapy can be too vigorous to be helpful.Lately, I've been hungry for more knowledge. The holistic approach that you learn in the early stages of Upledger's educational program is very valuable, but I've met more and more people with very specific needs that craniosacral therapy may be able to address. I have had a basic set of strategies, but needed to educate myself more in order to better serve these clients.Craniosacral II gave me exactly what I was looking for. This course builds on our initial skill set by giving us the tools to find and treat more specific restrictions or dysfunctions in the craniosacral system. There are specific, focused strategies for working on some of the most frustrating, delicate soft tissue problems that we massage therapists see daily. I've got more tools in the toolsbox now for working with migraines, fibromyalgia and TMJ disorder. I also have the ability to add variety into the sessions I do with clients who just love craniosacral therapy for its own sake.I worried that I'd taken too long since the first seminar to be successful in this new training, but now I think I timed it perfectly. I allowed myself plenty of experience before moving along in the curriculum, and it really allowed me to absorb the new information more quickly than my classmates who were still practicing some of the fundamentals of Level I. Besides, I love being in a classroom! Why did I think for even a minute that I wouldn't belong?!So what's next? At this point I can sit for a proficency exam with the Upledger Instutute, the passing of which would entitle me to add the title CST to my name. It has a nice ring to it, but the testing is an intensive process. Upledger doesn't test for basic proficiency: they test for mastery. This level of rigor is why I chose their course of study in the first place (the harder the training, the more worth my time and money), so it may be 6-18 months before I'm feeling ready to sit for the exam.In the meantime, I'm totally enamored with this new set of skills. If you've ever wondered if craniosacral may benefit you, give me a shout. it may be exactly what you've been looking for. At the very least, it's a lovely way to spend an hour on a table.

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