Biodynamic Cranial Touch (BCT)is a body-oriented, meditative form of touch. The practitioner provides still hand-contact on a person's body. The ankles, low back, shoulders, and head are examples of hand contact placements. This non-directive form of touch, allows time for deep relaxation, healing and body-felt-sensing (interoception).
While BCT is for anyone, it can feel particularly supportive during the healing period after acute injuries and surgeries (as way to calm the nervous system and prevent chronic pain) and for individuals who are dealing with persistent health challenges such as chronic pain and/or sensitivity. Persistent pain differs from acute pain in that it has more 'memories' associated it, making it more complex to alleviate.
Chronic pain can develop as a unconscious, protective pattern and may not resolve until the neuroceptive part of the brain feels safe and the protection is no longer needed. Convincing the primitive part of the brain that the pattern is no longer needed often takes environmental, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and spiritual growth and changes. Gentle, still touch can assist with making these changes by: 1). Re-focusing one's attention to areas of the body that feel neutral or pleasant. 2). Practicing 'taking a step back' to feel sensations as separate from interpretation and judgement, which develops one's self-regulation and capacity to handle intensity.
BCT, as taught by Charles Ridley, founder of the Dynamic Stillness School, follows from the insights of the osteopathic doctors William Sutherland, Rollin Becker and James Jealous. The short video clip on this page of Charles Ridley, comes from a longer, more in-depth interview about Biodynamic Cranial Touch. What he says is an important reminder of the importance of appreciating the bio-pyscho-social model of health and disease.
There are many health conditions that don't have easy answers or quick fixes. Taking the pressure off figuring out what is 'wrong' and instead focusing full attention on embodying caring connection, creates space for the body to optimize itself. As Charles Ridley says, "...just touch, not to do anything or to fix anything..." allows for the unique experience of feeling the body simply as it is while being held. There is much beauty, science and mystery in how humans develop and heal, especially in the presence of touch.