Here’s a self-care quickie that helps your entire body relax and feel better: a Still Point.
It comes from CranioSacral therapy founded by Dr. John E. Upledger.
You may have received this Still Point induction method from a CranioSacral therapist, massage therapist or chiropractor. It’s been in use for nearly a century.
It’s that moment when they place both hands underneath the base of the skull.
It feels soooo good. (Riiight?)
It makes your whole body melt.
It can bring deep inner peace within seconds.
(We’ll talk about why in a moment.)
Still Point induction has been known to relieve headaches, chronic musculoskeletal pain, fascia restrictions, and generalized stress.
It makes the immune system stronger.
It enhances the functioning of several structures in the brain.
It encourages the body’s self-healing ability and promotes a sense of well-being.
You can easily induce a Still Point on yourself.
You will need:
– two tennis balls in a stocking, knotted to keep them tight against each other (i.e., a homemade Still Point Inducer)
– a comfortable firm surface to lie down upon (floor, firm sofa, firm bed)
How to DIY a Still Point and feel better
• Lie on your back on a firm surface
• Put your fingertips at the base of your skull and slide them up to a bony ridge. Just above the ridge, feel a central bump/point called the occipital protuberance.
• Place the sheathed tennis balls underneath the bony ridge, with the occipital protuberance between the balls. (As shown in the photo, the top edge of the ball would be about in line with the top of the ear. But the protuberance is the most accurate landmark for placement.)
• Relax and let the weight of your head sink into the support of the balls. Breathe deeply and notice the effect unfolding.
• You may feel relief and balance within just a couple of minutes, or you might enjoy staying there for 5 or 10 minutes.
• If needed, you can do this a few times a day, up to 15 minutes at a time. Or simply use it when you’re stressed. It’s a great practice to drop stress at the end of the day, before bed.
A regular practice of Still Point can balance the autonomic nervous system in a beautiful way.
It brings the sympathetic and the parasympathetic into equilibrium.
Thus it has the potential to enhance good health by many varied routes, through the nervous system.
How does Still Point work?
Why does this gentle pressure on the occipital bones have such a beneficial effect?
CranioSacral therapists work with the craniosacral fluid (CSF) which flows through the skull, spinal cord, and sacrum. CSF circulates in a rhythmic flow that can be felt (with training).
The plates of the skull move gently and rhythmically with the fluid. (They slightly rotate: internal and external rotation.)
Holding light pressure on the occipital bones prevents external rotation. This creates a gentle barrier to the flow.
The fluid and the body respond by going into a Still Point, which can last a few seconds or a few minutes.
Still Point is thought to increase fluid movement within the entire craniosacral structure.
(However, researchers still debate the precise why and how of this mechanism.)
Over many decades now, practitioners observe that this method brings relief of tension and pain, as well as an upgrade in the body’s natural healing.
For me and tons of other people, the Still Point takes us into deep stillness and refreshment.
I know that it goes deep, deep into my body to dissolve long-held tensions and restrictions.
I melt into it.
I bet you will, too.
You can purchase a patented Still Point Inducer from Upledger.
(I find it a little too tall for me.)
Personally I have found it more comfortable to cut a tennis ball in half and use the two halves in a sock.
(I have also used an extra thick weighted eye pillow underneath my occiput.)
Do you already use this method?
What do you think?
Give it a try, and please let us know how it goes for you.
CAUTIONS for using a Still Point Inducer (ask your doctor first), in the following conditions:
trauma of the cranium, face, or spine / brain stem tumor / active stroke, bleeding, blood clots, thrombosis, blood obstructions or serious circulation restrictions / carotid stenosis / inflammatory conditions / cardiac conditions / pregnancy
More great ways to drop stress at the end of the day (or whenever):
Easy Self Care – Drop Chaos, Feel Better Now with this Calm Comfort e-Book
Diane Stallings RN does distance healing, EFT tapping, and/or Biofield Tuning on the phone, energy healing sessions, Chakra Balancing, and health coaching. She gives you practical ways to lift your wellbeing. Make an appointment in Phoenix or Fountain Hills or on the phone anywhere.
(We created this image of Still Point with tennis balls explained.)