Z Life: Handsy for Healing

Do you know the Alt-J song, Left Hand Free? The chorus goes like this:

 Well, your left hand’s free
And your right’s in a grip
With another left hand
Watch his right hand slip…

 There’s a little more to it. The song is heavy, a bit random but super catchy and recently played on repeat in my mind upon reading about craniosacral therapy for the first time. The alternative, hands-on technique performed by therapists worldwide is said to encourage the calming of the nervous system and promote healing. According to practitioners, craniosacral therapy heals from the inside out through gentle touching and manipulation of a patient’s cranium, spine, and pelvis.

I know, a bit random as well, so I sought out an expert in the field to tell me more about the non-invasive handsy form of therapy that came about in the 70s.

Sari Lewis, is an occupational and craniosacral therapist based in Scottsdale and explained the ‘G’ rated therapy like this: craniosacral therapy works by improving the fluid nutrition of the brain and spine, leading to improvements in overall health. Therapists place their hands on various parts of a patient’s body to encourage the cerebral fluid to fall into its natural rhythm. Yes, there is such a thing. When the rhythm is on point, a body can better heal itself. The therapy is used to treat aliments such as: stress, anxiety, ADHD, sleep issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, growing pains, diminished energy levels, and the list goes on. From newborn babes to the elderly, Sari has been treating patients for more than 20 years.

With Left Hand lyrics still rattling my cranium, I decided to give the therapy a go and get in touch with my cerebral fluid. Here’s what went down during my experience:

Upon entering Sari’s clinic, she explained what to expect during the approximately 50-minute session. She asked me about my health history and had me fill out some paperwork. Soon after, we entered Sari’s super Zen treatment room as she preceded to tell me that her hands are the tool she uses the most in all areas of practice, particularly craniosacral therapy. I quickly threw up my jazz hands in camaraderie and settled into position on her treatment table while donning my fave yoga attire—remember, G rated all the way.

I took a few deep breaths and Sari went to work. She placed her left hand (which wasn’t free) and her right on opposing sides of my pelvis as we began. I felt the slight movement of her fingers while she simply kept her hands in place and then felt a sense of calm wash over me. Sari eventually cradled my head (noticing a misalignment in my neck) and then worked the other side of my pelvis and my feet. The room was quiet and dark. The lyrics in my head hit pause and I could feel myself drifting off into a deep, lovely relaxed state of consciousness.

Sari worked her way around my body to tap into the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid. I couldn’t feel anything internally however, I did feel my muscles release and enjoyed the still and calmness through the duration of the treatment. I shared a video of my one-with-cerebral-fluid experience on Inspired Media 360’s weekly talk show, In the Moment. You can see a snapshot of what went down during my session HERE.

Sari has been practicing craniosacral therapy on people of all ages for more than 20 years and completed a three-year program on the treatment’s benefits, technique and more. She often trains others in her field on the practice, and believes whole heartedly that by embracing ‘still and calm’ we can ease physical and mental issues that take hold in our fast paced world.

While researching craniosacral therapy I uncovered waves of skepticism. Meanwhile, the history of the therapy tracks to osteopathic physician, John E. Upledger’s quest to scientifically confirm the existence of cranial bone movement resulting in the practice itself. I say turn up some Alt-J and pick a side.

Pricing for sessions vary, beginning typically at $125 for the first with packages available offering a bit of a cost savings. Mention Z Life/Inspired Media 360 and Sari will give my faithful readers a 20% discount if you are a new patient. As for the number of treatments necessary, that depends on your ailment. Sari did explain that often times insurance will cover treatments as ‘out of network occupational therapy’ if there is a proper diagnosis.

My craniosacral treatment with Sari Lewis was one the most relaxing experiences I’ve encountered in a long time. Is my cerebral fluid in rhythmic flow? I’m not sure however, as I bid Sari adieu, I definitely felt reset and balanced from my left hand to my right. I’m a fan of this alternative random therapy. I have a feeling the Alt-J crew would dig it too.