ForeWord Reviews

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Cranial Intelligence

A Practical Guide to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2010

In Cranial Intelligence, authors Ged Sumner and Steve Haines share decades of research and practical experience in the manual treatment of the human craniosacral system, guiding the reader on an in-depth journey into the body’s primal intelligence. Their descriptions include not only the physical anatomy with which the average reader might reasonably familiar, but also “relational fields” and “perceptual fields.” Knowledge of these fields can help the reader appreciate the importance of feeling, listening, and visualization to the body’s health. As the authors write, “When we are present with someone’s expressions of their life force, there’s a profound affect created that brings about healing. How relieving it is to be heard.”

The book’s organization explores complex systems within the human body—anatomy, physiology, and energy—and the relationship of each to the craniosacral system. The spine is presented as a unit of function and conductor of primary energies. The authors follow this with a look at the physiology of shock and trauma. Specifically, in response to trauma, the body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems may hold the victim in patterns which prevent the body from resuming its natural stillness, or achieving true healing. Illustrations and thorough explanations of both the superficial and deep fascial systems, the powerful transverse planes, visceral sheaths, and the cranio-pelvic girdle relationship take the reader deeper into the innerconnections within the central and autonomic nervous systems. At each chapter’s end, a step-by-step experiential and relational exercise is given to enhance therapeutic skills.

Co-authors Sumner and Haines practice, research, and teach bodywork and craniosacral therapy internationally. Sumner is author of You Are How You Move: Experiential Chi Kung, and directs Body Of Intelligence Training. Steve Haines’ career spans across the fields of chiropractic, shiatsu, and craniosacral bodywork.

The information they present is both accurate and highly informative, backed by the research and practice of many great researchers and physicians in the fields of osteopathic medicine and craniosacral therapy. This is a useful resource for bodyworkers in any manual therapy field. Though the contents include advanced anatomy and physiology, Cranial Intelligence will also be beneficial to potential clients of bodywork; it will educate and encourage clients to take an active role in their healing process.

Penny Bruce-Nelson