Pat O'Rourke


Injury Treatment
Structural integration
Continuing Education

Detailed Overview of the Craniosacral Certification Program

When you are finished with this course you will have been presented a large amount of information on both an energetic and anatomical level. The content of the course has been developed specifically to give the practitioner the opportunity to be very competent in both perceiving more energetic phenomena and treating very specific conditions. I feel very strongly that I want my students to be able to have a practice using the work they learn. For that reason both the material that pushes the boundaries of normal perception and information that can be used with medical referral are included in this course.

The intent of this course is to blend the best of both worlds in the cranial perspective and combine the more mechanical aspects of cranial work with the whole body integrative work of the biodynamic model. Many schools will go in one direction or the other and lose the benefits of the approach of the other end of the spectrum. In my opinion the physical body and its energetic properties deserve attention. Many people can be helped by work at either end of the spectrum from energetic/spiritual to physical and, I think, even more by a combination of the physical and the energetic.

Module 1 – Introduction to Craniosacral

In this introductory class we will explore the history and principles of craniosacral work. We will look at the difference between biomechanical and biodynamic cranial work as well as practice some of the techniques fundamental to each. An in-depth discussion and practice of boundaries gives depth to perceptual skills. We also include and introduction to working with trauma since it is a fairly widespread phenomenon and we want students to be prepared for what may arise in a healing session.

Module 2 – The Cranial Bones and Nervous System

After getting the larger picture in the first module we will look at the specific bones of the neurocranium (brain box) such as the occiput, temporals, sphenoid, sacrum, frontal, and parietals. We will also look at the connective tissue structural support in the CNS, the dura or Reciprocal Tension Membrane. We follow with an in-depth look at the brain and head injuries. We will start to layer in various treatment techniques with and increase in palpation skills.

Module 3 – The Face

Now we will move on to the smaller and very interesting bones of the face. So much tension can be held in this area. It also houses many important functions such as sensory perception (seeing, hearing, tasting) and jaw function. We will work with these bony structures. An intraoral endorsement can be applied for following this class.

Module 4 – Whole Body Fascial Work

One of my specific passions is to use the same forces and movements we work with in the head and spine and to relate them to the whole body. In this module we will look at the body structurally and work to integrate the perception of movement into the fascial tissues of the entire body. This work can be integrated into a regular massage practice.

Module 5 – Embryology, Birth and Trauma Work

At this point in the curriculum we will go further into the biodynamic concepts of the forces of embryology that are seen to be the forces that are present within us in the present moment as healing and organizing forces. We will look at an overview of embryological development as well as the dynamics of birth. We will also go more in-depth into working with trauma: recognizing, supporting and treating it. The elements of embryological development, birth and our daily lives that have shaped us in ways that we may want to change can be explored.

Module 6 – Visceral Work

Here we will look at the larger context of the thoracic and pelvic cavities as well as the specific organs and how we can treat them using cranial style manipulation. The viscera are such a vital part of our vitality and function that having tools to treat them is of great benefit.

Module 7 – Treatment for Specific Conditions

Using all the techniques and specificity of palpation we will present some of the more common problems easily treated by cranial manipulation. We will look at TMD, Headaches, Sinus problems, Ear dysfunctions and Whiplash.

Module 8 – The Fluid Body and Neural Mobilization

In this last class we will return to the more biodynamic concept of the Fluid Body and the whole body reorganization possible with cranial work. We will further our skills in contacting and working with the subtle forces alive in our fluids. We will also look into working with peripheral nerves and their mobilization for better function and health.

Some of the texts that we use in the course are:
Craniosacral Biodynamics Volumes 1 and 2 by Franklyn Sills
The Heart of Listening Volume 2 by Hugh Milne

Many other useful texts exist. Feel free to ask me.

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