The Art of Listening - CranioSacral Therapy


CranioSacral Therapy, developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger,  is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.

Using a light but focused touch, the therapy works deeply to release restrictions in the tissues that effect the nervous system and encourage the body’s natural capacity for self-repair. By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CranioSacral Therapy is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including headaches, chronic neck and back pain and central nervous system disorders. CranioSacral Therapy can be also be helpful for emotional and stress-related problems and beneficial around the effects of shock and trauma held in the body.

CranioSacral Therapy involves the therapist ‘listening’ to your body in an attentive, non-judgmental way.  Using a supportive touch, the therapist feels the craniosacral rhythm and senses any disturbances in the rate, amplitude, symmetry and quality of the flow. This leads the therapist to identify the sources of restrictions which are affecting the craniosacral system.  Areas of restriction lead to decreased nerve transmission and circulation, then to symptoms of discomfort and pain.  By using gentle manual techniques, the therapist relieves these restrictions and balances the flow of the CranioSacral rhythm to encourage the body’s natural healing responses.

Despite this gentleness, powerful changes can ensue, often in surprising ways.  CranioSacral Therapy gives space for body wisdom to be heard. Significant changes and discoveries can be made in a quiet and attentive atmosphere of listening. One of the benefits of listening carefully, without agenda, is that the client gains the opportunity to connect with their body wisdom.  Inside all of us there is a ‘wise knowing’ just waiting to be heard. Sensitive touch simply provides the mirror through which to see it more clearly.

What this means practically is that during a session held patterns of tension in the body start to unravel and from this may arise memories, insights and emotions which allow a greater sense of meaning and understanding. This body wisdom can be a vital ally on any healing journey.


“There is a voice that doesn’t use words, listen.”  Rumi



Palma Puzzuoli, is a Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist and a CranioSacral Practitioner who has received training through the Upledger Institute. She serves her clients at Therapeutic Bodywork in Cotuit.