Matt: Yes, plus other modalities. I use a variety of modalities that I have learned over the past nine years including Craniosacral therapy, Myofascial Release, Zero Balancing, Deep Tissue Massage and Trigger Point therapy, among others.
The Chedva Beat: How much do cranial rhythms play a role in treatment?
Matt: Just like a person’s heartbeat and breathing give us information about their health and wellbeing, the Cranial Rhythm also gives us information. The Cranial Rhythm, which is also called the Cranial Wave or Cranial Tide, flows from the central nervous system and, with sensitive hands, can be felt anywhere in the body.
We evaluate the Rhythm through SQAR – Symmetry, Quality, Amplitude and Rate. For example: Does the pulse feel the same on both sides of the body? What is the quality of the pulse? Is it full, rich and strong or small and weak? Amplitude: is the pulse big or is it constricted and small? The normal pulse rate is between 6-12 (some say 7-14) beats or waves per minute. A beat consists of a filling stage and an emptying stage, or an expansion and contraction. Using this is an evaluation, not a diagnosis. It tells us where a person needs to be treated by feeling where there’s a weakness in the pulse. There are also times when the pulse stops. There are two types of stoppage. One is called a still point, which is when the rhythm slowly stops and creates a peaceful healing space which allows for the healing and rejuvenation of the whole system. There is also a time when the pulse suddenly stops, like somebody turning the lights off. This is called a Significance Detector. It means something significant is happening and many times can lead to deep insight and clarity, bringing up issues that need to be processed and sometimes discussed through a therapeutic dialogue. Being aware of the Significance Detector along with carefully following and paying attention to the tissues and their release is very important. We know that we are finished when we feel the tissues under our hands release.
The Chedva Beat: To what degree do rhythms and pulses affect the quality of a couple’s relationship?
Matt: King Solomon says “there is a season/time for everything.” He refers to the rhythms of the world and our rhythms as people. Everything has its time, and the rhythm/pulse or wave is what brings us to these times. We ride the wave up and down; the pulse expands and contracts. When we ride the wave, things are a lot smoother – we’re not riding against the current. People have these same waves or pulses physically as well as emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. So do relationships. Nothing is static; there is always movement, both for each individual in a relationship and for the relationship as a unit. The individual pulse of a person affects the whole unit, and the pulse of the whole affects each individual part. Being in touch with someone’s pulse is essentially the same as being on the same wave length as them. To read or feel a pulse, one must be very sensitive and open to flow with it. If a person is too focused on his/her ego, they will not be able to feel the pulse. The pulse is still there, but the other person has no idea what it’s doing or saying and therefore could end up going against it. Many times in a relationship, a spouse says or does something, and the other spouse says to herself, “Where did that come from?” They weren’t listening; they weren’t focused on where their spouse is at. Focusing and riding the rhythm of a spouse is about being aware of and respecting where they are and supporting it. Are they in an expansive movement or a contractive movement – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? Our physical pulses and rhythms in the body are a very down-to-earth and grounded place to start to learn how to listen better and be more sensitive. It is a way of breaking down the barriers of our ego and joining as one.
The Chedva Beat: How does your background in massage therapy translate into craniosacral therapy?
Matt: It was a stepping stone, but is also an integration of different types of touch and different intentions for working with various tissues in the body and issues that arise.