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Massage Today
February, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 02

Derailing an Accident’s Effects

By John Upledger, DO, OMM

One of the most impressive characteristics of CranioSacral Therapy is the extent to which this gentle modality can help resolve even the most horrendous injuries and traumas. This was brought to mind when I read the following account of a showdown between a train and a car - and the woman who was caught in between - Judy Gray, LMT, a CranioSacral Therapist since 1992.

"Since having a profound personal experience in my first CranioSacral Therapy class more than 10 years ago, this work has been my love and passion," Judy said. "I've had many gratifying experiences that I could write about. However, I've chosen the story of my client Caroline to share with you. She is a miracle. I prefer that you read this primarily in her own words."

On June 15, 2002, while driving to my cabin on the farm where I'd had my office for 15 years, I began to cross the unmarked railroad tracks, well covered by the summer's outburst of overhanging trees. Only in brief flashbacks do I recall the barreling nose of the freight train that bored into my car on the passenger side at 45 miles per hour.

The force crushed my 1982 Mercedes Benz bit by bit under its iron wheels, coming within a fraction of my elbows as it pushed me 1,000 feet down the track. The windshield imploded into my body. Though I was in an altered state and had sustained multiple fractures, I managed to release the seat belt, frog-kick myself out through the open windshield, and land in the gravel just before the train devoured the remains of my vehicle. I was helicoptered to the hospital, and my story was featured on the 11 o'clock news and the front page of the local newspaper. Those who knew me gave me up for dead, or at least permanently disabled.

At my insistence, Judy agreed to take me on as a client within a week of my accident. I had watched the work this group did with my infant grandson two weeks after he suffered compression and trauma during delivery. He was completely healed.

"When Caroline came to me, I was reluctant to work on her because it was so soon after such a massive trauma. She was insistent, and I finally agreed to put my hands on her for an evaluation. I told her that she must have some huge angels who wanted her to stay here on Earth. It felt like the treatment room was filled to capacity. I was moved and surprised to feel the trauma in her nervous system while feeling the amazing calm in her at the same time. She went into such a relaxed state that her body had no resistance to the therapy," Judy said.

As a clinical social worker in private practice for 30 years, I have a great deal of experience dealing with the inner healing of traumatic memories, anxiety, depression and related areas. In all those years I had never seen such a dramatic shift from release work.

My internist, a distinguished graduate of Johns Hopkins University, warned me against using such alternative methods. He continued to send me to orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons for my closed-head injury. He also continued to medicate the pain I was experiencing from the blow to my spinal column (caused by more than 400 tons of weight crashing into me). I had no use of either arm for months. My cranium and jaw were compressed and TMJ had developed. I was receiving round-the-clock care.

Judy's work often left me in a trancelike state, which always felt relieving. It somehow helped me bypass the expected development of serious depression, frequent flashbacks and nightmares. The energy in my body began to work synergistically to heal not only current wounds but past wounds and traumatic memories as well. It was a prayer answered as knots began to unravel and energy was unbound so that physical wounds could resolve.

This has not only amazed me from the standpoint of my psychiatric training, but it has bewildered my medical doctors and associates. Instead of thinking that I'm special, I'm directing them to believe that CranioSacral Therapy is valid and must be covered by medical insurance. If others can have access to this healing, it can speed recovery immeasurably and reduce suffering for all who are blocked and need the doors reopened. Is this not the goal of the medical arts and healing?

Today, two years later, I am the essence of a medical and spiritual miracle. I primarily thank God, my loved ones, an intense will to live and CranioSacral Therapy for my strong recovery.

"I've seen Caroline every week for two years now. It took almost a year for her energetic and physical bodies to come into alignment," Judy said. "At present, she needs consistent tune-ups to keep her aligned. She continues to have some difficulty with short-term memory, yet she is fully functional in her work and her life. Caroline has been a joy and inspiration for me. Her spirit is full of light and acceptance."


  1. Working Wonders, Changing Lives with CranioSacral Therapy, North Atlantic Books and UI Enterprises, 2005.

Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.


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