Churning deep within our hearts is the tension between who we were born to be and what our various decisions and experiences have turned us into. Our bodies call out in complaint at the disconnect as they try to reconcile what they are with what they ‘should’ be. Craniosacral therapist and coach Penelope van Maasdyk has learnt the art of using what is exterior to heal what is on the inside.
THE WHY BEFORE THE WHO
Our minds hold a complicated world of emotions and encounters that we carry with us until we actively visit and reframe them. We learn to journey back to the dark outlines of events to splash them with colour in order to resolve what was left unsettled. These extraordinary organs have the innate ability to mend themselves, but there are times when our painful experiences and broken dreams are forced to fade so far into the recesses of our memory that we could use a little bit of help coaxing them back to the fore.
As the subconscious mind is restored, it gives the nervous system permission to relax. The erratic signals it once sent to set the endocrine system into fight or flight mode cease, slowing the cortisol and adrenaline pumping through our bodies. Having been soothed to a state of rest, the body is less susceptible to inflammation and disease.
THE WHO BEFORE THE WHAT
Penelope Van Maasdyk is a lifelong student of multiple disciplines. After studying developmental psychology in her twenties, she went on to explore craniosacral therapy in her forties. In between, she worked in investment banking, human resources, consulting, grief counselling, social development, social entrepreneurship, mentoring, writing… the list goes on! All through these decades of academic study and learning through life experience, she learned to tune into the tundra of her inner world.
This ever-seeking soul landed on the desire to facilitate health. In a fusion of multiple disciplines including nutrition, personal development, mythology, pathology, psychology, quantum physics and anatomy, Van Maasdyk brings a holistic approach to the healing journey. She uses her 50 years of life experience, academia, travel, career changes, pain and healing to guide her clients along similar landscapes of trauma and wellbeing.
Your journey is your own, but Van Maasdyk creates a safe space free of judgement to wander into the gloom that burdens you until you see the light on the other side of it. With mutual respect and trust, you will find the courage and freedom to express the deepest states of your being, and in doing so, find yourself again.
THE WHAT THAT HEALS THE WORLD
Without further adieu - the ‘what’. Craniosacral therapy works with your body and mind in combination with your heart and sense of self to reach a state of emotional and physical release. This light-touch, anatomically-based healing modality uses your central nervous system as a guide to get a sense of where the congestion lies so as to encourage the body out of its state of injury. By retraining your body to embrace a parasympathetic state, it settles and relaxes - allowing its natural processes to take place.
The anatomical process of light-touch palpation and perception techniques allow the therapist to get a sense of the subtle rhythms and patterns of the body in order to guide it out of any state of unease. These conditions may be the product of your past, wounds, or even your lifestyle, and this therapy seeks to re-establish the communication between your body and its inherent health. You may not be able to change what inflicted the wound, but you have it within your power to carry its load differently.
Furthermore, Craniosacral Therapy, also known as CST, is a powerful preventive therapy. It can be applied from as young as infancy through to adulthood as a treatment for underlying imbalances of which one is not even aware to improve the body’s vitality and resilience at the threat of an ailment.
That said, we need to remember that we do not exist in isolation. We form part of a collective that is shaping us as individuals as much as we are shaping others. Together, we culminate into what is broadly known as humanity. Our unresolved pain has the ability to impact the people around us just as much as our strength and healing do. In order for us to operate more wholesomely as a collective, we need to learn to deal with what lies in our subconscious as individuals.
We no longer need to crack, twist, manipulate and tweak to achieve fleeting relief from an underlying problem that will soon rear its ugly head again. Craniosacral therapy is the gentle and non-invasive healing practice that works from the inside out to bring our minds, bodies and emotions back into balance and provide lasting and holistic healing.