Convention Class – Introduction to CranioSacral Therapy

Required Supplies and Equipment

Massage table

Classroom – Garden Room 101

Class begins promptly at 9:00 am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Class Description

Kimberly Painter

Kimberly Painter, PT, LMT, CST-Dhas been working in healthcare for almost 30 years. She earned a degree in Physical Therapy at Northwestern University in 1986. There, she gained a foundational understanding of how the human body works and its amazing capacity to grow and heal. It was also there that she was introduced to CranioSacral Therapy (CST) for the first time. She knew at that time that she wanted to learn more about such a gentle and effective approach to healing. She has continued to learn and specialized in CST for the last 15 years. As passionate as she is about CST, there are many effective modalities that facilitate healing and she has continued to add new ‘tools’ to her knowledge and skill base. These include: Thai massage, manual lymphatic drainage, MFR, Gua sha, EFT, essential oils and homeopathic remedies. Ultimately, she loves teaching and feels very blessed to be able to share this work with clients on an individual level and with students in a class setting.

Course Description and Objectives: Introduction to CranioSacral Therapy

This introductory workshop is a combination of two introductory classes for 18 hours in CST. Six hours will be on the benefits of using CST for the childbearing population and basic techniques to use specifically during the childbearing year. 12 hours will be on details of the physiology and anatomy of the craniosacral system, its function in health and its relationship to disease process. Participants will learn hands-on, fascial-release techniques to evaluate and affect pain and dysfunction.  It includes lecture, demonstration, and practice for each technique presented.

Course Highlights:

  • Explore the anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system and its relationship to conception, pregnancy and birth.
  • Explore the anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system and its relationship to illness, pain and dysfunction.
  • Develop and refine light-touch palpation skills to access subtle restrictions in the body by focusing on the cranium, sacrum, craniosacral rhythm and related soft tissue including transverse diaphragms.
  • Learn and practice palpating the “listening stations” key body locations where the craniosacral motion can best be evaluated.
  • Learn and practice tissue release techniques for the pelvic and respiratory diaphragms and thoracic inlet.
  • Build the foundation to understand craniosacral system and study techniques to effect change.

Craniosacral Therapy for Conception, Pregnancy and Birth

(An example of how Craniosacral Therapy can benefit your clients. For more information on convention class, see course description below.)


Conception, pregnancy, and birth are miraculous events that are part of each of our experience, whether we think in terms of our own births, preparing to give birth, or supporting someone going through it. Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a wonderful complementary therapy to support the entire process.

With CST, any structural and/or emotional restrictions that might be an obstacle to conception can be released. For example, if the uterus is rotated due to a shortened or tight broad ligament on one side of the pelvis, releasing the strain pattern in the broad ligament may allow the uterus to move back in to a more neutral alignment. This, in turn, optimizes potential for conception to occur. Emotional strains can also make conception more difficult. Fear, stress, and other low frequency emotions all have an impact on normal physiological function of the whole body, including conception. SomatoEmotional Release (an adjunct of CST) can facilitate integration of these emotions, allowing more efficient function in each of the systems of the body.

Extensive changes that occur in a woman’s body during nine months of pregnancy can lead to uncomfortable symptoms arising. These include back pain as the center of gravity moves anteriorly increasing lordosis, swelling of the arms and legs due to increased fluid volume in the body, joint pain—particularly in the pelvis/hips—as hormonal influences soften the ligaments in preparation for birth, among many others. There can be restrictions in the uterus and its associated structures that impact the fetus’s ability to move or be comfortable within the uterus. All of these can be supported in self-correction using Craniosacral Therapy.

While not structural, a significant benefit of CST during pregnancy is the facilitation of internal communication between mother and baby. This can have a huge impact during the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, but it also enhances the quality of their communication in the long term. I’ve had mothers of multiple children who received CST throughout their last pregnancy tell me that they know what that baby needs, and can soothe that baby more easily than they could with their older children.

Labor and delivery are processes that are hardwired into both mother’s and baby’s systems and, as such, have strong input from the autonomic nervous system, particularly the parasympathetic system. CST is effective in managing the stress of the process and facilitating optimal progression of the process. Clinical data shows that CST decreases the need for medical intervention to initiate and/or augment labor progress, lowers rates of epidurals administered, and lowers the number of Cesarean births.

Following delivery, both mom and baby benefit from CST supporting their recovery after this arduous event. If baby is having any challenges with latching on to the breast or has significant, persistent head molding, CST facilitates improved cranial alignment and function for baby.

Craniosacral therapy is a modality suited for working in the obstetrical setting, benefitting mom and baby with its gentle touch, promotion of self-correction, and facilitation of communication that extends beyond pregnancy.