June, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 06
Changing Hearts and Minds for 20 Years
By John Upledger, DO, OMM
When I established The Upledger Institute in 1985, my intention was to share with as many people as possible the positive health benefits of CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and other forms of complementary care.
Two decades and 80,000 trained practitioners later, I continue to come back to the conviction that what is most important in clinical practice is how the patient fares in response to what we do as therapists. We should feel proud that the work we perform and the care we provide improves the lives of people in need – many of whom had given up hope of ever finding relief or any measure of quality of life.
I was reminded of that recently by more than a hundred therapists in a new book called Working Wonders: Changing Lives With CranioSacral Therapy. In it they share the patient stories and turning points that so vividly demonstrated to them the power and depth of the work we do.
One such account is from Rich Kamasinski Sol, LMT. A CST practitioner since 2002, he shared his experience in the following story, called “A Change of Heart:”
“I have been practicing CranioSacral Therapy almost exclusively for more than two years at the community health center where I work with AIDS and HIV-positive individuals. In that time I have had several experiences that touched my heart and rekindled my spirit for this work.
“One instance involved an HIV-positive man in his fifties who had taken a leave of absence from work for health reasons. He was scared, anxious, and depressed. He was unable to get himself out of bed and was surprised that he had made it in to see me that morning.
“He told me that he had been feeling lethargic, tired, unmotivated, and full of pain. He said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life; I want to go back to work.’ It was the first time in his adult life that he was not working and felt so ill.
“When he came to see me, the man was expecting a regular massage. When I told him about CranioSacral Therapy and its benefits, he said that he’d like to try it.
“After our first session, the pain-stricken client felt some improvement in levels of general body aches, and significant improvement in complaints of headaches. I encouraged him to come back in a week.
“Upon coming for the second session, the man asked me, ‘What was it you called this work? I don’t know what you did, but I felt really good this week.’ His pain had remained low for the rest of the week, and his spirits were starting to rise.
“He continued to improve physically and emotionally. At our third session, he told me of all he had accomplished the previous week: working in his garden, fixing up the exterior of his house, and spending time with friends. He no longer looked or felt tired, nor did he have significant pain in his body.
“Our fourth and final session was key for me. My client told me that he’d be returning to work the following week, something that he originally was hoping he could accomplish. Now his dilemma was no longer ‘How can I go back to work?’ but ‘How do I sustain the joy of not working?’
“In a matter of four sessions, my client had made a one-hundred-eighty-degree turn. He felt better about life and himself, and he no longer complained of body aches and pains.”
This story beautifully illustrates why we should continue to believe our own eyes over scientific studies. As therapists specializing in complementary care, we must have the courage to step beyond the bounds of conventional wisdom and trust the positive outcomes we are seeing. For more information about Working Wonders: Changing Lives With CranioSacral Therapy, visit www.upledger.com.