Bridgette Ponto, RCST


CranioSacral Therapy

Bridgette’s passion for movement as a Yoga Instructor led her to the exploration of subtle energy through CranioSacral Therapy and was able to finally find balance for her scientific mind. After completing The Condensed Version of the Osteopathy Program at the College of London; Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology, she is now certified in CranioSacral Therapy, with the Upledger Institute in both Level 1 & 2- taking a keen interest towards Post-Concussion treatments & Sports Injuries.

How does CranioSacral Therapy work?

Few structures have as much influence over the body’s ability to function properly as the brain and spinal cord that make up the central nervous system. And, the central nervous system is heavily influenced by the Craniosacral system – the membranes and fluid that surround, protect and nourish the brain and spinal cord. 

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the Craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

Fortunately, such restrictions can be detected and corrected using simple methods of touch. With a light touch, the CST practitioner uses his or her hands to evaluate the Craniosacral system by gently feeling various locations of the body to test for the ease of motion and rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid pulsing around the brain and spinal cord. Soft-touch techniques are then used to release restrictions in any tissues influencing the Craniosacral system. 

By normalizing the environment around the brain and spinal cord and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, Craniosacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety dysfunctions.

Benefits of CranioSacral Therapy

CST may be effective in treating a variety of conditions including:

Headaches & Migraines, Neck & Jaw Tension (TMJ) / Dysfunction, Sinus Congestion, Snoring, Breathing Restrictions, Visual Disturbances, Whiplash & Head Injuries, Concussions, Sports Injuries, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Tinnitus, Vertigo, Emotional Stress Disorders, Anxiety, Insomnia, Mental Fog & Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Post Surgery Pain, Vision/Hearing Issues, Old Injuries, Trauma (Childhood / adulthood).

Once a tension lifts, especially if it has been carried by the body for a long period of time, it’s like a new world opens up and we begin to see the real possibilities of living in truth and harmony instead of the imposed limitations that chronic stress or the after-effects that unprocessed trauma often bring.

Craniosacral Therapy for Athletes

Athletes undergo intense training every single day. Their diet and lifestyle revolves around their sport. As a result, their bodies go through a lot. Their muscles are pushed to its max in a short amount of time to make them into high-performance athletes.

CST is a regular part of an athlete’s regimen. It helps them stay focused and reduces the pressure on their back, neck, and brain.

Athletes generally have a higher awareness of their bodies than the average person. Craniosacral Therapy sessions can be a key part of overall maintenance and healing.

How can this help?

Since Craniosacral therapy reduces compression in the head, neck, and back, it has been used for sports-related injuries. Athletes facing back problems have this therapy done as a form of rehabilitation and to reduce pain. This therapy has also been known to help those suffering from concussions. Athletes who have been knocked out during a game can get this therapy done to restore plate, suture, and membrane mobility to allow cerebral spinal fluid flow.

Craniosacral Therapy for the Everyday Human

Stress is unavoidable in today’s busy world and our bodies are designed to manage a certain amount of this stimulation. Sometimes though, we can become overwhelmed and unable to cope with life’s demands.

Extended periods of stress can start to produce symptoms which have an impact on our day to day life and ultimately may lead to serious illness. CST is a natural way of helping our bodies to rest and recover. CST is unique in its ability to treat the source of symptoms on every level, whether mental, physical or emotional.

Common Questions

What Can I Expect From A CranioSacral Therapy Session?

A typical CranioSacral Therapy session lasts from 1hr to 1.5hrs, and takes place in a quiet, private setting. As a client you remain fully clothed as you recline on a massage or treatment table. The practitioner will stand or sit positioned at various points of your head, torso or feet. At times your practitioner may also support your limbs and spine while helping your body release accumulated tension.

What you experience during a CST session is highly individual. Some people say they feel deeply relaxed, while others describe feeling unwinding sensations as the body releases tension. You may even recall circumstances surrounding a past trauma or injury that caused your body stress. While it doesn’t occur in every session, this aspect of the process – called SomatoEmotional Release® – is perfectly normal, and helps the body reverse dysfunction and restore optimal levels of mobility.

Because each individual response to CST is unique, the number of sessions needed to resolve any particular condition varies widely. While one session may give you the relief you need, your situation may require more therapy before it is completely alleviated. Your therapist can best advise you in this area.

What do I wear? 

Patients should wear clothing that is stretchy like yoga wear if possible. Please avoid thick or uneven materials like sweaters, shirts with buttons, or jeans. There is no need to remove clothing. Please no large or heavy jewelry pieces on the body, especially ears and neck.  Also, no restrictive or fragile hairdos. If you have any meditation or spiritual aids like crystals for example, or anything else that you feel will aid you in your treatment, you are welcome to bring them along.

Is the treatment painful?

No. It is one of the most gentle and non invasive physical therapy techniques available. Most patients would say it is the opposite of painful, since it is the release of pain. There is usually a noticeable sense of relief and relaxation after a treatment

What Will I Experience After A Session?

Just as each individual experiences CranioSacral Therapy (CST) sessions differently, the results can be diverse as well. You may leave in such a relaxed state that you feel like sleeping for hours. Or you may leave full of boundless energy. You may feel a decrease in pain or an increase in function immediately after the session, or the effects may develop gradually over the next few days.

Since CST helps the body resume its natural healing processes, it’s common for your improvements to continue weeks after the session. You may also experience a reorganization phase as your body releases previously held patterns and adapts to a new state of wellness.

Before and After Treatment: Tips
Before:

CST has a profound impact on the nervous system, therefore it is recommended that patients only consume minimal or no caffeine if possible before a treatment, as it artificially stimulates the nervous system. This can interfere with the release of stress from the body because caffeine creates an environment of stress in the body and mind.

After:

In the hours after a treatment it is recommended to keep things slow and introspective. Drink water. Baths with epsom or dead sea salts or thyme are also recommended as they aid in the continued release of negative energies from the body. It can take several days for the body/mind complex to integrate the results of releasing deeply anchored energies.

It is recommended to continue to notice any shifts and changes in feelings and sensations on all levels, physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, etc. These will be more noticeable if you refrain from or at least reduce consuming stimulants like sugar, white flour products, caffeine, alcohol.