Craniosacral Therapy

with Nicola Usher RMT

Please contact me at 519-949-3822 or 

email nicola@acalmretreat.com for more information or to set up an appointment.

Appointments are 30 minutes for $65, 45 minutes for $80 & 

1 hour session for $90 with a receipt given for extended health care benefits - HST is included

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy emerged from the lifelong work of William Garner Sutherland (1873-1954), an osteopathic physician. He discovered that the cranium, the sacrum and every cell of the body expresses a rhythm and a potency that is present in all of nature supporting movement and vitality.  


This feel of vitality and the freedom in the body to function with ease and express health, comes through 

5 components of what Sutherland called the 

Primary Respiratory Mechanism:

1. The Inherent Motility of the Brain & Spinal Cord

2. Fluctuation of the Cerebral Spinal Fluid

3. Mobility of the Intracranial & Intraspinal Membranes

4. Articular Mobility of the Cranial Bones

5. The Involuntary Mobility of the Sacrum 


During a Craniosacral Therapy treatment, my approach as a therapist is to gently support through a neutral or subtle pressure as the body resources and brings an ease to the soft tissues, joints & cranial sutures.  This allows for expansion and spaciousness to increase the range of motion;  support the circulatory system; lymph drainage; cerebral spinal fluid vitality, and aid in nervous system relaxation.

My personal experience with Craniosacral Therapy

Over 30 years ago when I studied Massage Therapy, I had a supervisor in my student clinic do a cranial hold supporting my head.  I noticed right away, the difference in the touch that he used - it was incredibly gentle, seemingly subtle, and I immediately felt an increased freedom in my neck.


Many years later I sought cranial work from an osteopath to deal with recurring neck spasms due to traumatic injury from 2 bicycle accidents that had occurred in my early 20's.  These traumas had included 2 concussions within a month of each other and then while receiving treatments over 3 years, I incurred another significant head trauma with acute symptoms that resolved quickly with the regular cranial work.


It was the relief from pain that started me on a journey of Craniosacral training that began in 2004.  I took many courses and I am grateful for my teacher's along the way:  Grace Chan of Sutherland-Chan School of Massage Therapy, Fred Mitchell Jr. DO (an elder in the field of Osteopathy) and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist Jan Pemberton who introduced me to the trauma work of Somatic Experiencing and the importance and skill of negotiating safe space with clients.  Jan also helped me to trust the pace & the inner wisdom of the body to lead and guide the practitioner.

Craniosacral Therapy Applications:

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Treatment of musculoskeletal and fascial pain & restrictions

In both acute and chronic conditions, craniosacral therapy can support the body to heal.  As our body compensates for physical and emotional stress, treatment helps the body to resource, adapt & integrate these daily challenges.  In my experience,  bodywork in general helps to support increased circulation, increased range of motion, and decreased pain & restriction.  When there is a feeling of safety and rapport with the therapist, this supports rest & relaxation physiology in the autonomic nervous system.

Promotes healing post trauma & pre/post surgery

Even a simple fall can strain our body – cranial work supports the body as it deeply resources to bring healing.  Our body is working 24/7 for us as it finds its way to maintain function, balance and adapt to change as best it can - in cranial work the therapist is joining the innate movement toward health that is always present.  In more extreme trauma, the body can be overwhelmed -  this gentle & slow-paced therapy can  reflect the person’s ability to receive and integrate treatment without further taxing the system.


In preparation for surgery, cranial work may help to bring a felt-sense of connection to this innate health before, and then post-surgery treatment helps the system adapt to changes from the procedure, again enhancing healing.

Helps youth & adults adjust to dental/orthodontic work

Braces, dentures, appliances, night/day guards, can take time to get used to at first or when adjusted - craniosacral treatments support the body in this process to adapt to these new forces on the cranial structures of the face, head & neck.  In my practice I have seen relief for people from headaches, speech impairments, and neck pain.   Sometimes just a few minutes of treatment may be enough to help balance the cranial system and bring relief.

Deepens contemplative & meditation practices

For beginners in meditation: the session facilitates a ‘felt-sense’ in our body of a meditative awareness, this experiential awareness then gives us a body memory for future practice.   

For experienced meditators: there is a knowing and pleasure in our body to receive treatment from a place of deep ‘being’ and stillness.  Treatment further supports the already known ‘peace of being’ and helps our body to make specific adjustments supporting health and postural balance.  

A portion of the treatment may be received in a seated position.

Use to support inner spiritual / psychological work

Bodywork provides the ability to access inner wisdom that comes through the body in the process of exploring our soul and psyche work.  Craniosacral work is particularly effective at helping to integrate growth and awareness deep into our entire being in a non-verbal way.  Supportive bodywork also helps to integrate the transformative process of inner work.