Craniosacral Therapy, witnessing the gentle giant of alternative therapies

Craniosacral Therapy

I remember the first time I felt the craniosacral rhythm. My craniosacral therapy instructor had us pair up to practice. We were to try to feel each other’s craniosacral rhythms. I was not sure what I was feeling. Was my mind playing tricks on me, or was what I was feeling the real deal? I came to the class with a healthy amount of skepticism. I knew I was feeling something, but it was so light and I had to keep very still and quiet to keep feeling it. I decided that if the instructor could feel what I felt, it might not just be me. I signaled for her help with a tip of my head. Once she came over, I asked her if she could take over and tell me what she was feeling in detail. When she told me exactly what I was feeling, I was hooked. I took the other 3 classes and started practicing on anyone willing to let me practice craniosacral therapy on them. It was hard to get my clients whom had grown accustomed to years of my firm pressure massage to try a therapy that used no more than the weight of a nickel on them. Some tried but most stuck with regular massage and that was ok, because that’s what was working for them. I would still practice on them whenever possible just not whole sessions. Slowly I got more and more people seeking specifically craniosacral therapy. These individuals almost always had spent a long time living with whatever condition brought them in, and many years seeking relief by trying a wide range of therapies from mainstream to alternative with no lasting results. Craniosacral therapy has given them what was missing from those other therapies. I still love all the therapies I provide and want to keep doing them all, but I’m so happy to have this subtle but powerful tool. I have given and received great healing from craniosacral therapy and will continue to take every opportunity to be present in its tremendous healing power.

Blog Video what’s new with us now with covid

Get Answers to all your questions. Email us with your Questions related to this Show about “COVID” . Email to: [email protected]

Hi, my name is Dr. Sarah Duke, and I’m a chiropractor at Austin Community Wellness. Our practice is primarily me and my husband. He is a massage therapist, I am also a therapist, but I mainly do chiropractic these days.


My husband and I have definitely had to make some shifts for this COVID-19 situation we’re dealing with. We see a lot of patients in our clinics, so we’ve had to space people out so they’re not all in the office at the same time. We’ve done a lot of things to implement safety in our practice, but one thing that we’ve been working on during this time, since we have so much free time and were forced to close for 90 days during this period of time, is our online profiles.


What we’re really focusing on and in need of grant money for is basically to create a system where people can go online to learn exercises that can help them heal themselves. This system would be helpful for times like this when people can’t get into the office for physical care, especially if they’re in high-risk categories or have autoimmune diseases. We want to provide systems for them to get care still online. We are also looking to implement our nutritional programs online. We’d like to start doing nutritional consults online, as well as exercise routines for people that are in chronic pain. We want to create shoulder protocols, autoimmune protocols, and other protocols. As far as nutrition goes, we want to create a system for people online as well. In order to do this, we would like to employ some professionals so that we can make really good videos.

Coping With Emotional Stresses


Get Answers to all your questions. Email us with your Questions related to this Show about “Emotional Stress”. Email to: [email protected]


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Hey guys, Dr. Sarah here. I just wanted to talk a little bit today about something that I’ve been doing recently that has really helped out with the emotional component of our daily lives. Dealing with emotional stresses on a daily basis is, for me, something that I’ve been doing in 2019 very consciously every day. I do a gratitude log at the end of my day.


In chiropractic we talk a lot about how there’s the physical body that has stresses, there’s emotional stresses, and there’s also chemical stresses, which are like nutrition and things like that. In chiropractic I can definitely help out with those physical ailments, but it is really up to the person to deal with those emotional triggers and nutritional factors that are playing a role in their pain syndromes.


For me, this gratitude log has just been a life-changing event. I have some days that are much easier than others. For instance, one day we went cycling with all the kids and that was really great to just have the entire day cycling. I was so grateful to be able to do that with them. But then there’s other days that are just a lot harder to come up with something I’m grateful for. One day in particular I spent an entire hour trying to figure out what on earth I was grateful for because it was such an awful day. There was just nothing good that happened that day, but at the end of it all I was able to actually come up with something. My husband and I had gone out for a drink and appetizers that night, and that was what I was grateful for, just to have that time with him.


So, writing these things down has really changed my perspective and helped a lot of the emotional stress that I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. I wanted to share this with you guys as a way of overcoming some of the emotional obstacles in our lives. I hope to share more tips for you later on, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube page and like us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Coffee Time – Ear Infections

Shane: Hi, welcome to Coffee Talk with Dr. Sarah and Shane. This is an Austin Community Wellness video production that we do from time to time, sorry it’s been a while. So, the topic today is how chiropractic helps with ear infections. We get that question a lot of times from our patients.


Dr. Sarah: Yeah, we get a lot of parents asking how it works. So, basically what chiropractic does is it helps to decrease the fluid buildup that happens in the ear.


Shane: Okay, what causes that fluid to build up? (Also View our Talk on Primitive Reflexes )


Dr. Sarah: There’s a number of things that can happen that cause a lot of fluid to build up in the ears, and a lot of it starts with lymph drainage that happens or rather is not happening in the lungs. As fluid builds up in the lungs, it can build up here [in the throat area], and then of course this area [the head] gets fluid buildup as well. So, there can be things like jaw dysfunction that’s happening, scalene muscle restriction, and there’s lymph nodes all in here that relate to the ears becoming backed up. Cranial fixations also have that going for them too. So, the idea is to get lower regions released, so you do adjustments and the thoracic and that helps release all that fluid. You do adjustments in the neck that helps release all that fluid so that everything can drain down and out and stay in flow rather than building up and becoming infected.


Shane: I do that with craniosacral therapy as well. Okay, I didn’t know you were doing that with chiropractic. Cool! What are the side effects?

Dr. Sarah: First of all, the biggest treatment that they use now in the medical community for ear infections that’s become quite ineffective is antibiotics. Really, it’s the overuse of antibiotics that’s quite a problem right now that everyone knows that antibiotics decrease your immune response with prolonged long-term use. Every now and then it’s fine to use for an infection, but chronic infections happen and the antibiotics have become not as great at treating this. So, the idea is to keep all of the fluid moving down and out of the body so that way it’s not building up and stagnating. But, some other side effects to just getting adjusted in general is improved mood, decreased pain in the ear area because we’re once again addressing the scalene muscle that attaches really right behind this ear. It also deals with these jaw dysfunctions that are all once again right around this ear area, so that really helps everything release and drain. Overall, prevention is what we’re looking for.


Shane: Well, that’s a pretty good explanation. I think I got it. So, we’d like for you guys to engage with us from time to time if you like. If you have any kind of stories about ear infections or any things that might have helped you other than chiropractic, we’d sure like to hear from you. Be sure to like and hit the bell if you want to get notifications whenever we’re doing this and thanks for listening!

Coffee Talk Parent – child stress

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Dr. Sarah: Hey guys, this is our version of this week’s coffee talk. We’re going to be discussing stress in parenting and kids and all of that kind of stuff. I’m going to be asking Shane a few questions on that topic, so here we go! Have you ever heard the phrase stressed-out parents raise stressed-out kids?


Shane: Yes, I have and I believe it, but only halfway. I don’t necessarily think that if you’re stressed out, you’re going to have stressed out kids all the time. I think there’s changes that you can make to your life to help this not happen. Children tend to soak up everything around them, that’s how they grow and how they develop. They look at their surroundings and they just absorb it like a sponge, so if you’re stressed out, they are going to pick up on it. They’re really closely tied and connected to us so they’re going to pick up on all of our stress.


Dr. Sarah: So, what strategies would you have for lowering your stress and keeping that from affecting your kids?


Shane: Well, a lot of the times that I’ve been successful with this is just keeping an eye on and being conscious of myself and being self-aware. Also, knowing your triggers, keeping yourself calm, and getting massages. The more you take care of your nervous system, the better you’re going to respond to stress around you. When I’m getting my massages on a regular basis, I’m usually handling my stress around me a lot better. Silence is really good for me, that helps me calm down and it just rejuvenates. I’ve read some studies lately that silence is rejuvenating to the nervous system.


Dr. Sarah: And we so rarely get that with three kids.


Shane: Yeah. Well, what I do is I’ll go and take a bath. I’ll get in the bathtub and I’ll drop my ears below the water, and I get this great like silence like you can’t hear anything. I’ll do that for about 15 or 20 seconds and it’s very refreshing. Sleep is great, whenever I’m getting enough rest, I’m usually handling most of my stress a lot better and all that translates into me having calmer kids. I have noticed that when I’m calm and when I’m not stressed (because I’m the stressed parent and in the family) that I’m not having stressed kids. It’s amazing, my kids are not running around all over the place and crazy. Yoga is also really good for me. I was always really calm when doing yoga. When I’m doing my bike rides too. You know, exercise! You’ve got to find your things to do.


Dr. Sarah: You know, one thing we started doing over the summer, but then of course it got too hot and we just haven’t gotten back into it, was riding as a family together. Bike riding together as a family was super fun and everybody, even if we were really stressed out that day, I found that a bike ride at night before bed was like so awesome! Because we all just chatted and had a leisurely stroll and it was really nice, we should really start that up again.


Shane: Yeah, totally!


Dr. Sarah: Well, cool! I’m glad you shared all that. We’ve been talking about coping with stress in our household, so we thought we would just share. Tell us what do you guys do in your household. Leave a comment and say how you fight the stress in your household. What strategies are you using to help keep yourself calm and your kids calm?


Shane: Yeah, we’d love to hear from you guys. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified of any other Coffee Talks. We’re going to try to do more in the future so we want you guys to know about it, and we want you guys to let us know your thoughts. We want to make it more of a conversation out there in the internet land as well so let’s all get connected. Alright guys, thanks!

Coffee Talk “Flu Season”

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Shane: Hi, everyone! This is Shane and Dr. Sarah Duke at Austin Community Wellness. Today is a cool coffee talk because we get to talk about the flu season. I’ve been wanting to ask Dr. Sarah about this for a little while now, so here we go. Dr. Sara, what are your thoughts on the flu season?


Dr. Sarah: So, the flu is not actually a season, flu virus is around all year round.


Shane: Yeah, that’s makes sense. Good point. Well, if there’s no season then why is there an increase of flu cases during this time of year?


Dr. Sarah: The flu season that they discuss and talk about on the news and everything, that is between October and February with the flu season really peaking in February. So, why is this happening? If we look at what we’re doing in between October and February, it’s pretty clear. In October we’ve got Halloween, we’re eating a lot more candy than we’re used to eating, a lot more sweets, partying a little bit more, drinking, that kind of thing. Then we’ve got Thanksgiving right afterwards doing the same thing, Christmas right after that doing the same thing, and then we’ve got New Year’s and Valentine’s Day. So, all these holidays that we have are increasing the amount of rich foods that we don’t normally eat. It’s also increasing the amount of sweets we’re eating and we’re drinking a lot. Not that these are bad things, but these are just the things that we’re doing this time of year and that kind of contributes to weakening our immune system. In kind of starts in October and then continues in November, December, January, and by February everybody’s immune systems are pretty taxed. It’s also really the darkest month of the year in most areas of the country, and it’s cold so all of that combined activity as well as the weather contributes to less vitamin D in people.


Shane: What can we do to sort of get ready for this time of year? Or throughout this time of year, what can we do like if we’re out there indulging to protect ourselves?


Dr. Sarah: Sure, there’s lots of stuff! Green smoothies are great for trying to incorporate into your daily life as much as possible, just so you’re getting those nutrients in. Increasing water intake is a really big deal too. If you’re drinking a lot of alcohol during the holiday seasons, you can tend to get dehydrated. That’s never good for contributing to getting sick at all, whether it be flu, cold, or any kind of virus. Also, increasing your vitamin As, Bs, Cs, Ds, those are all really helpful. Increasing your probiotic intake is great. Getting adjusted and getting massaged increases your overall neurological and immune system, so trying to do activities that kind of gear you toward improving your immune system as much as possible during this season is really ideal.


Shane: Awesome! Okay, well I got a few little pointers and some strategies to use. Of course, I’m fortunate enough to be with you all the time, so we get to talk about these things a lot. If you guys have any pointers, any little tips or tricks or secrets you use during the flu season or to get ready for the flu season leave a comment. We don’t know it all, so share with us if you like. Alright, thanks for talking with us!

Table Questions Episode 1 “What do you like most about your kids?”

Hello, massage people! I just wanted to share something with you guys. I had a really cool experience today. I had somebody on my table and we were just kind of chatting, and she asked me a cool question. She said, “What’s your favorite thing about your children?” I thought about it for a little bit and I said, “I think my favorite thing about my children is that no matter how down I feel about myself about all the challenges in the world that I just don’t quite make the mark on or anything out there that really makes me just feel super down on myself, I can come home and my kids love me for just who I am. Just me, that’s it, the only requirement my children have for me for love is for me to be myself.” I just wanted to share with you guys that is such a gift from your children, and man we should totally be giving that to them as well. Let’s try not to be too hard on our kiddos, let’s just try to love them for who they are no matter what they do. We love them, they’re our kids and they do that for us every single day no matter what. I just wanted to share that sometimes some beautiful things happen from questions from people on the massage table, thank you.

Back pain and missed work


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Hey guys! I just want to talk to you a little bit today about back pain. I was just reading online some very interesting statistics that I really wanted to share with you. I read that worldwide back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities. Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year, that’s two workdays for every full-time worker in this country.


This is a real problem, and the thing is chiropractic and massage can help so much with this. So often, Shane and I see people that are coming in not on a regular basis but only at that point where they are dying of pain. As wellness practitioners, our whole motto is “prevention is key.” So, for us it’s really frustrating dealing with some of these people that are dealing with back issues, and they’re not coming in on a regular basis to prevent this from happening in the first place. As an American, as a worker in the field, and as a person that is really into wellness go in and get your back checked.

Coffee Talk Primitive Reflexes


Shane: Hi, and welcome to another Coffee Talk at Austin Community Wellness! This is me and Dr. Sarah here. I’ve got some questions for her today about primitive reflexes. Here we go! So, Dr. Sarah, what are primitive reflexes?


Dr. Sarah: Primitive reflexes are reflexes that you’re born with. They should go away at different milestones in a child’s life. Sometimes brain injuries or developmental delay can actually bring these back or prevent these from actually fully going away in a child. So, these are all the things that we are looking for with primitive reflexes.


Shane: Cool! Why is it important for these to be checked?


Dr. Sarah: I actually check primitive reflexes on every child exam that I do. I test for these mainly because they are predictors of neurodevelopmental delays in children, and there are a lot of exercises that can be done that can actually help these go away like they’re supposed to. That’s kind of the importance behind them.


Shane: Okay, so if a child has these reflexes present does it mean they are delayed?


Dr. Sarah: So, if they have the reflexes present it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are developmentally delayed. There are different body types and different developmental timeframes that children have, but for us it’s a really good indicator of how we can help introduce exercises that help with that neurodevelopmental period of time. I use these reflexes as a baseline so that I can get a really good idea of where I’m going to focus with this child.


Shane: Okay, then why isn’t it good to skip these milestones?


Dr. Sarah: Milestones are super important. Skipping steps basically means that the brain is not developing in certain areas. So, by making sure a child goes from crawling to using their hands to pick themselves up on furniture to letting go and walking, these are all very pivotal points for brain development so that synapses can be created between the left- and right-hand side of the brain. This allows the brain to communicate better. So, when we have kids that are skipping these steps, they are also skipping the building of these synapses. As far as primitive reflexes are concerned, we look at these to try to make sure that we are hitting all the steps and if they are not, we can then introduce exercises to help them get back on track.


Shane: It sounds like a pretty important thing to look at in kids. I’m glad we’re able to talk about it here. Alright, well thanks for your time, guys. We’ll see you again, thank you.  Also read my other article on Cranio Sacral Therapy here

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