I have a very personal connection to CST. I had my first experience in 2007 after breaking my leg for the second time. I had an interesting experience and didn’t think much more about it at the time, as I was a new mom at the time. Little did I know that CST would revolutionize my life. Nearly 3 years later I gave birth to my second daughter, Ila (Gaelic for rocky river). She was born with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and required surgery within the first 24 hours. Ila had another surgery at three days old, which caused a third brain injury. This injury was the most devastating and it eventually took her life at just four and a half years old. For the duration of Ila’s life I was her primary care-giver 24/7. I lived in a remote area of northern Pennsylvania and, even when insurance would pay, was often unable to secure competent medical care. I learned techniques and took on tasks that are typically only administered by a nurse or physician. Often, due to the remote area, doctors would train me to do the necessary procedures. Throughout her life, Ila suffered immense pain and trauma and her only relief and reversal of some TBI symptoms was from CST.
After a whirlwind of the first five months of life, she was re-given a test I knew she would fail. The radiologist came to me with a classical osteopath name. I called. My daughter was dying and she screamed in agony 20 hours a day in tremendous pain. There was nothing that traditional medicine could do. After one CST treatment I noticed a difference. After three, she slept a bit. During her first few treatments I was able to identify the craniosacral rhythm. Her doctor began to teach me the hands-on skills to regulate cerebral spinal fluid, break down scar tissue, and adjust the skull to alleviate intracranial pressure. CST at this point allowed Ila to eat and sleep a minimal amount. At nine months of age I signed a DNR for Ila. She continued a downward spiral due to affects from pharmaceuticals. She lost a third of her body weight and could no longer blink.
When Ila was one and a half years old, I found a local Chiropractor who referred me to another Cranial Sacral Therapist who was two and a half hours away. Joseph Schmidlin, DO, became my mentor and teacher and treated Ila weekly until her transition 3 years later. More than any of the previous medical practitioners, Schmidlin recognized the necessity of my learning the CST techniques to relieve Ila’s pain and he began to teach me how to practice CST.
The wondrous world of CST brought Ila a quality of life she would otherwise not have had. I was an eager student of Schmidlin and was able to treat my daughter daily. Ten months later I found myself at my first CST class with the Upledger institute. My personal healing journey with CST had begun. Learning CranioSacral Therapy to treat my daughter was the catalyst that lead me to the work I do today. Experiencing CST as both a client and a practitioner resulted in my own transformational change and, of course, I continue on my healing journey. It is my passion to bring the personal and professional learning I’ve experienced to my work with helping others. I use CST to offer clients relief from physical and emotional pain as each of us follows our own unique path toward a more fully realized, satisfying and joyful life.