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Massage Today
August, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 08

Coming Home To Her Own Cranial Rhythm

By Sharon Desjarlais, CC

Janet* was an up-and-coming young hairstylist when panic attacks derailed her career. They'd roll over her in waves of anxiety, leaving her frozen and unable to move. And then the headaches would hit.

Frightened, she finally withdrew. She fled the city, moved home with her parents and made a living styling hair out of their basement. She also started a rocky on-again, off-again relationship she knew, "wasn't good for her health." Janet didn't even recognize herself by the time she called Kerry Dontchos, PT, owner of the Dynamic Ease Wellness Center in Chicago, for help.

Kerry offers a seven-step integrative health program for women she calls out-of-control healers. "They're usually coming into their own after living for someone else," Kerry says. "Maybe they're doing everything their mother wants. Or they've morphed into what their boyfriend or husband wants. Or they're going along being a good employee, but they're not using their creative forces. They're not bringing their spirit to life." Ultimately, she says, they're letting everyone else pave their path for them. Until they wake up one day and say, "Hold on, that's not the path I want to take."

Discovering Her Energetic Boundaries

Kerry helps clients like Janet reclaim their self-worth and confidence by using holistic tools that get them in touch with their own bodies and energies, so they can discern "where they stop and where everyone else begins." She walks them through private retreats and programs that blend a range of modalities, from CranioSacral Therapy and Zero Balancing to meditation and clairvoyant energy healing.

"One of the big benefits they get out of our work is being able to clearly distinguish what a healthy, natural, balanced state feels like, and how that's different than what they're feeling on a daily basis," Kerry says. "Once they feel that difference and can understand it energetically and intellectually, they can start separating from all the pain, stress and worries they're dealing with. Then later, when the stress pops back up, they know that it's separate from who they are. And they can release it without taking it on as their own issue."

Kerry begins this sorting-out process by sitting down with her clients and talking about where they're struggling, what their concerns are and where they're stuck or in pain. "We also discuss which areas in their life they want to enhance. So we're always moving toward what they ultimately want." Once they determine the therapeutic goal, Kerry maps out a program of hands-on sessions and wellness coaching to help them get there. The program usually starts with a private retreat where she guides them through meditation and centering exercises to help them get clear on their priorities. Then they'll move to the table for some hands-on work.

Tuning Into Her Own Rhythm

When it comes to teaching women how to distinguish their energy from that of other people, one of Kerry's favorite tools is CranioSacral Therapy. Yet she uses it in a different way than most practitioners. "I teach them how to feel their own cranial rhythm as a significance detector," she says. When the pulsing rhythm of the craniosacral system suddenly stops, it indicates that something significant is happening in the body. The significance detector isn't hard to teach once they can feel the rhythm. But, feeling the rhythm is the challenge. So when they're on my table I'll place their hands on their body, then put my hands over theirs so I can accentuate the movement of the cranial rhythm as I point it out to them. Then I slowly take my hands away so they can keep feeling it."

When her clients are finally in tune with their own cranial rhythm, they're able to use it whenever they feel stuck and confused to reconnect to their own body and mind again. And make decisions that are true to themselves.

Coming Back Home to Herself

Not coincidentally, the last step of Kerry's 7-Step Dynamic Ease system is called "Coming Back Home to Yourself." After just a few sessions with Kerry, Janet's living on her own again and running a successful spa-party business hosting everything from bridal showers to mani-pedi parties for kids. She also became a yoga instructor. And she's in a new relationship. "She had to learn how to separate her energy from her mom's and her dad's and that old relationship to get what she wanted back into her life," Kerry says. "Then she brought all of that to her new relationship. Now she keeps telling me, 'I'm happy. And it's healthy!'"

*Name changed to respect privacy.

Click here for more information about Sharon Desjarlais, CC.


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