I have been following biodynamic craniosacral therapy sessions with Peter Engmark, and the results were surprisingly good – not to say wonderful! I did not know anything about this therapy, but Peter explained me its mechanics very clearly. Very serious and efficient. I strongly recommend him!
If there is one thing which keeps me sane and fit and away from all the gibberish inside my body and my head, his holistic approach to things has always amazed me; how awesome I feel after a session with Peter.
He has not only aligned and helped my body but mentally helped me at so many levels. I highly recommend Peter for all who need some peace and alignment in their life and body 🙂
Peter combines profound understanding and practice of several modalities, making him an excellent choice for treatment of traumas, whether they be physical or emotional or – as is often the case – a combination of these. He is calm, confident and confidence inspiring. (via Facebook)
By Ralph Kruger
You know the old saying attributed to Confucius, “Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.” I met Peter in 2013 and for approximately two months he treated me a dozen or so times. As we progressed Peter asked me if I was willing to try Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy. I have always been open to a treatment, new or ancient and I was only interested in results so I readily agreed having no clue what it was anyways.
In 2013 I was in my mid 50’s and had had a lifetime of pain and discomfort, enough to remove me from my first job as a USAF fighter pilot and ultimately caused a Long Term Disability status at American Airlines were I was a Captain on B767/757’s. So what’s the problem? Well, for 40 years I really had no exact idea what the problem was, precisely. What I did know was I partially dislocated my right hip as a result of a hit in the lower back playing American High School football, 1975. In 1976 I had a car accident and exited the vehicle through the windshield with my head leading the charge, that didn’t help. But at the time I was playing college basketball and, well, I was bullet proof amongst other things like leaping tall buildings with a single bound. Lastly in 1974 I had a cyst removed on my lower spine that built up from the use of a weight machine. That’s a whole other story but in removing the cyst, a four inch surgical cut sliced across my spine and, if you believe in things like that as I do, across a couple of major meridians disrupting the flow of, well chi, I guess. Like I said, I am open to whatever produces results even if it sounds odd to an average westerner.
But here’s the thing. With these three major traumatic physical events, back in the 70’s, in upstate New York, in a very small town of 2800 people, one did not get physical therapy. Not only didn’t one get PT, I didn’t even know PT was a thing. I was on crutches for 5 days and then simply went back to playing football and basketball. Life was simple back then in small town America. But as we know, if there is trauma and it is not treated, it stays in your body. Not only does the trauma reside but if severe enough the body will begin to build supporting scaffolding to protect the injured area. The longer the time, the greater the trauma, the more scaffolding the body builds to protect itself. Ultimately these protective measure can result in some impressive (not in a good way) results. In my case because of the instability and structural misalignment of my spine (by the way this is not a doctor’s opinion, but it’s my body and I spent 40 years going to doctors to try to treat my chronic pain without results, nuff said.) but the time I was in my early 50’s osteophytes that were described as very impressive had been built all along my cervical and thoracic spine. Impressive enough to put a 90 degree turn in my esophagus requiring an operation to remove the bone growths. Not to mention auto fusing of my vertebrae from my neck to mid back resulting in a lot of chronic pain. I found all this to be true not because someone told me, but because I experienced this myself. If this description conforms to current western medical thought fine, if it doesn’t, well, western medicine needs to catch up.
I will add one more concept to this entire saga. From start to finish, for decades and decades I never stopped exercising, running, playing basketball. I still exercise daily. To me, in my story, this is critical to a successful outcome. If I did not continue to exercise I have no idea where I would be today physically, but I am convinced it would not be in a better place. Of course it was at times painful, especially in later years on longer runs, but it was a constant that provided invaluable body feedback as well as generally increasing my ability to handle the pain plus keeping other important parts of my body in shape, like the heart.
So throughout the years I went about trying to find the solution and regularly had messages, chiropractic adjustments/alignments, acupuncture, and even some more esoteric treatments with magnets, zero balancing, plus others. Fast forward to 2013 and I am now spending a lot of time in Dubai and as per normal procedure I find a chiropractor and masseuse. And there I met Peter, as I mentioned in October of 2013. After a few chiropractic treatments Peter suggested we try Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy. This really is just a technical name for the idea that your body is connected and it’s very much connect along your spinal meridians. My words no one else’s. These pathways can be tapped into and used to cathartically reduce or eliminate a body’s structural problems. Sounds like a bunch of horse pucky doesn’t it. Yeah, I know it does but the reality is it worked for me.
So Peter darkened the room and simply placed his hands underneath and around my skull. My body immediately reacted, started to undulate and I could feel immediate relief. Now I have felt immediate relief after a skillful message as well, and after an adjustment, as well as after acupuncture. But this relief was on another level. So what happen that is critical to the story is that my body, after searching for decades to find a way to relieve my chronic pain, now found a way. I saw Peter for some more sessions of Biodynamic Cranio-Sacral Therapy and then I moved to Mauritius. Humm, you might say, end of story. Once in Mauritius, so desperate was my body for relief, that if I placed my own hands on my skull, I could essentially do the same thing. And I did. I was then able to find relief by placing my hands on my hip, my back, and most everywhere. I found the solution. It has been five and half years of an hour or two daily releasing my hip, neck and back, that I can report that for all practical purposes I have cured my physical issues that plagued me for decades. And it was because Dr. Peter Engmark taught me how to fish.
What was surprising was along with all the physical pain there were memories, emotions, and all kinds of life trapped in this pathology. That’s first. Secondly after so many decades of compensation, it was surprising that so many layers and layers of compensation needed to be peeled back. Five and half years of an hour or two daily. It was certainly not a chore because the process provided instantaneous and therapeutic relief. And lastly the sensation of releasing my right shoulder and my left hip begins to release as well. Or my forehead releases along with my right hip. (There was a heck of a lot of stored pain in my head and neck from the car accident.). It took a long time and it will never be completely over, but I can say that I have peeled back all the layers to where my body was in 1975. Yes it is still in a now 60 year old body, but it’s the body I should have without trauma.
Over the decades I saw a lot of doctors. I saw a lot of practitioners, masseuses and chiropractors, but one, and only one doctor taught me how to fish and I will always be grateful to Peter for this. I have recently regained my pilot physical and will be returning to flying at American Airlines.
Thank you Peter,
CBT is a very hands-on psychological approach to the stresses in life. Whether in the form of more serious issues like depression, anxiety disorders, fatigue syndromes, eating disorders and so on it also focuses on the everyday struggles with relationship and work issues.
You work with the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes up our personality and zeroes in on the ones not working out for us at the moment. Experimenting with changes in thoughts, emotions and behaviors enables you to create a new platform to work from. There will most probably be some homework to be done in order to create the changes.
One of the important aspects of CBT is Mindfulness, or the art of being present, here and now. We so easily get stuck in what was and what’s going to happen. Meditation is a key to achieve a conscious present.
Craniosacral therapy is a perfect complementary treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Craniosacral therapy helps to improve the fluid circulation throughout the body and brain. Further it reduces stress and can help to unlock traumas. Together with a healthy diet, meditation and physical activity, craniosacral therapy also has great benefits in prevention of Alzheimer’s.
Why is craniosacral therapy a very effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease?
During a treatment the therapist makes contact with the cerebrospinal fluid which flows along the spine from sacrum until the cranium (skull). In the brain the brain fluid with a lot of waste is drained into the cerebrospinal fluid system. This waste includes these beta amyloid proteins, which aggregates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
With aging the daily turnover of cerebrospinal fluid reduces significant. For people with Alzheimer’s disease it reduces with 75% (see link). This not only causes that more waste stays in the brain. It also means less important nutrients and vitamins enter the brain. Craniosacral therapy causes a better circulation of the cerebrospinal fluids and gives more space. So you can imagine that the waste can be better removed from the brain and more nutrients will be fed to the brain. This on its own already should have a big impact in prevention or treating of Alzheimer’s disease.
In an interview about craniosacral therapy and dementia on the website Psychology Today Michael Morgan of the Upledger Institute gives a few reasons why craniosacral therapy helps to combat dementia. The first reason is that it helps to reduce stress. As I have shown earlier, stress has a negative influence on Alzheimer’s. Further he states that craniosacral therapy reduces inflammation throughout the brain and body. Inflammation of brain tissue is a characteristic of Alzheimer’s. Craniosacral therapy can help to strengthen the immune system and combat these inflammations.
There has been done scientific research about the effect of craniosacral therapy on dementia. This research showed that there was a significant improvement on seniors with dementia. The nursing staff and family also noted these improvements. Clients started to recognize people again. One woman even began to talk complete sentences again and could feed herself again.
Alternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s
Physical activities reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, walking, gardening or dancing, moving is good for the brain. It also has been shown that is never too late to start to become active. Next to physical activity also activities that stimulate the brain like board games, crossword puzzles, playing music or social interactivity reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Meditation also has been proven to have benefits for Alzheimer patients. There are also different alternative therapies that can help Alzheimer’s patients or work preventively.
Diet is another major factor that can reduce the risk to get Alzheimer’s. Red meat, not good for the heart, is also not good for the brain. Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, and eel) on the other hand have been shown to be good against Alzheimer. This is likely to be caused by the high level of fatty omega-3 acids in fatty fish. These fats are also contained in seeds and nuts. Especially walnuts are very healthy for brain and heart. Further cacao, curcuma and coffee have been claimed to be good for brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Current Treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Current treatment for Alzheimer patients can’t cure the underlying cause. There is medication that can soften or temporarily improve the symptoms. Such as medication that improves the signals of neurons, which improves memory. There are a lot of, mainly pharmaceutical, treatments investigated at the moment in different clinical trials. Some try to stop the making of the proteins that form the plaques. Other medication aims to improve the functioning of the immune system.
Pregnancy, Mothers, Babies and Children
A time of great change, BCST can help to the mother’s body to adjust as the pregnancy progresses and to approach labor with strength, confidence and vitality. Childbirth can be a traumatic experience for both mother and baby if it’s unduly slow, very fast or other complications such as the need for forceps/suction of cord issues. All this can lead to feeding difficulties, colic/reflux, regurgitation, agitation, disturbed sleep and so on. Plagiocephaly is not uncommon. The gentle approach of BCST can be especially healing under above circumstances.
Chiropractic care combined with BCST usually brings about a “wow”-feeling from clients. It’s a very calm, subtle and profoundly healing form of treatment, which assists the body’s natural capacity for balance, self-repair and innate wisdom in moving forward towards homeostasis.
As being such a gentle therapy, it’s highly suitable for newborn/babies, children, the elderly, people with determination and those with delicate, degenerative or painful conditions.
Benefits of BCST are in improvements of symptoms of dis-ese, vitality, mental clarity and calmness to name a few.
It is especially useful for traumatic experiences like birth issues, accidents, TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries), illnesses and psychological stress from physical or mental/emotional trauma, when shock are held deep in the body’s brain/central nervous system. Ask for special folder on BCST.
What is Craniosacral Therapy?
BCST is an advanced body/mind therapy that combines a Western scientific understanding of the body with mindfulness skills, a unique type of touch and an appreciation of the body’s ability to heal itself.
This is a totally non-invasive and at the same time one of the most powerful treatments to be found as it works from inside-out of the body. It is a wonderful and peaceful therapy for infants and adults alike, with traumatic background or not, for pain management and/or chronic illnesses.
The simplicity of the treatment is its beauty. The practitioner takes a position of being neutral and allows the process of the treatment to unfold. The practitioner is interested in facilitating the body towards deep intrinsic re-organization across the body’s tissues, its fluid matrix and its emotional layers, so that there is a holistic movement towards greater health. The therapy creates a safe space for traumatic experiences to emerge and resolve smoothly, without being overwhelming or re-stimulating.
The practitioner is highly skillful at listening to the body’s inherent health mechanism through touch and looks for and encourages the forces of health to set the priorities of the session. This brings about natural adjustments from within the body’s own resources. The therapy works so well because of the therapist’s ability to perceive through touch the state of the body’s anatomy and physiology.
Focus On Health
A core principal of BCST is that health is always present in every body. Sometimes when the focus has been on illness, pain or pathology, it is possible to lose a connection with the underlying feelings of health, comfort and ease. BCST can help you reconnect to the health and vitality inside you.
The therapy has its roots in the discoveries made by Osteopath Dr. William Garner Sutherland in the late 1800s. He developed an approach to Osteopathy known as “the Cranial Concept”. These original concepts have been refined and extended to become the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy of today.
Biodynamic touch is a particular type of touch. It is light and reverential. There is never any pressure, manipulation or force. Your therapist is trained to create a calm, still and embodied presence. This type of touch and presence enables you to feel safe, supported and held. This sense of safety allows your brain to switch from flight or fight to rest and repair. It is in this state that healing and change can begin to take place.
What Makes BCST Unique?
- BCST is gentle, non-invasive and no force or manipulations are used in the treatment
- The therapy is client led, the treatment pace is set by you and the requirements of your body
- BCST acknowledges the whole person and that emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health are all interconnected
- The understanding of the body’s intelligence to heal and facilitate self-repair is central to the therapy
- Clients report feeling deeply listened to on all levels
- BCST is a progressive therapy that embraces the latest findings in medical science and the wisdom of traditional healing arts
- Biodynamic touch is a powerful tool to stimulate the brain to make new connections
It’s the largest, non-medical system of diagnosis and treatments in the world that emphasizes the structural integrity of the body and its movements.
Chiropractors use a number of very specific manual procedures to enhance natural mobility, from a mechanical, functional and postural standpoint, applied for the special need of the individual client.
What does a Chiropractor treat?
Chiropractors are widely known for treating clients suffering from:
- Back pain
- Sciatica & Coccydynia
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Peripheral joint disorders (elbow, wrist, knee, ankle)
- Pain after injury (sports, trauma, work related)
- Jaw pain/Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder