Four reasons to know the cranial rhythm

Posted 02/23/16 by Malcolm Hiort and filed under:

1 Moves body parts
Even when resting, the body is not quiescent and static. Actually, it is constantly and subtly moving, expanding and contracting in a slow rhythmic cycle that involves connective tissues called fascia. Although most authorities quote faster rates, the author believes an average rate of the CRI to be about 5 cpm, or 0.075 Hz.
Bodyworkers usually try to improve the mobility of their clients. If the body has its own automatic inbuilt ‘motor’ of movement, and it can be used for both assessment and treatment, doesn’t it make sense for therapists to use the cranial rhythm, or at least be aware of its existence?


2 Tactile sensitivity
The quality of tactile awareness by the therapist of the client’s body tissues is enhanced. Palpating the rhythm is a gateway to sensitivity. The subtle motions that can be palpated are reduced if restrictions in the client’s body impede those inherent movements.
These patterns of mobility and restriction are more detailed and finely felt by a therapist using the cranial rhythm. Employing cranial awareness is like switching from a black and white and to a colour version of a movie.


3 Precise engagement
The hands and fingers of the therapist can be applied, like gears, to the body structures being moved by the motor force of the rhythm. Techniques and tactics become more precisely tailored to the needs of the client.


4 Research tool
The cranial rhythm can be used before and after any ‘intervention’ by the therapist (such as massage, acupuncture, stretching, cranial technique etc) to gauge the level of mobility improvement that the intervention created ,or failed to create. The cranial rhythm can thus be a pre/post treatment research tool.