It has been almost three months already since I journeyed to the small town of Truth or Consequences in New Mexico. Like Hot Springs, MT, T or C is a small town that was founded in the middle of nowhere due to the rich mineral hotsprings in the area. Like Hot Springs, MT, it boasts several funky and lovingly restored hotels and resorts similar to The Symes Hot Springs Hotel and Alameda's Hot Springs Retreat. But T or C has something beyond that, which Hot Springs does not - not yet, anyway: A CranioSacral Therapy (CST) based center for alternative healing called Integrative Intentions. I traveled there for a week to attend a Comprehensive Treatment Program (CTP) as a support therapist, hoping to find out what that is, how it is done, and possibly how we might create something similar here in Montana. What I experienced was inspiring!
Integrative Intentions is the creation of Dr. Chas Perry, PhD, and his wife Kat, who keeps the operation running. Chas worked side by side with Dr. John Upledger, an osteopathic physician, in the development of CranioSacral Therapy as taught by the Upledger Institute International. Chas added his experience as a Psychologist and Gestalt Therapist to the development of Somato-Emotional Release, which is an advanced form of CST, and a potent form of body centered healing from physical and emotional trauma.
A Comprehensive Treatment Program (CTP) is a 5 day treatment intensive, where each client receives hands-on healing from 3 therapists at the same time, for 4 to 5 hour per day. There were 33 therapists for 11 clients. Most of the therapists had Advanced training, and they came to the CPT from every corner of the country. In addition to CST, practitioners also brought their other expertise to the treatment table, such as acupuncture, massage, Reiki, Feldenkrais and more. When deemed beneficial, treatment took place in one of the hot mineral water pools of the facility.
Most of the treatments took place simultaneously in one large, open room. So when the energy started really moving on one table, it added to the momentum of all. Rather than being distracting, I found this set-up beneficial for dealing with the "big stuff". The whole room ended up permeated with unconditionally accepting, supportive, and loving energy. Here, one may safely go where angels don't dare to tread.
Clients came with diverse issues such as chronic pain, auto-immune diseases, complex medical diagnoses with multiple facets that baffled their physicians, one with early stage Alzheimers disease, and many had a history of trauma, often as far back as early childhood. All but one had been treated previously one-on-one with CST with encouraging results. Some clients were also practitioners themselves and familiar with the powerful amplification of healing energy in a multiple-hands environment. All of them had a positive experience that made the journey to this remote corner of the Southwest worthwhile.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to offer a similar healing opportunity here in Montana once or twice per year? We have hot springs and a large community of gifted and well trained health facilitators living under the Big Sky. How awesome it would be to pool our talent for the benefit of all. I know I am not the only one with such a vision. So I am in the process of taking the first concrete steps in this direction.
By the way, while at Integrative Intentions, I found out that I passed my essay exam for the CST Diplomate certification (graded at 100%!), and Dr. Chas Perry, as one of the few qualified examiners, was kind enough to let me do my closed book, multiple choice test and the practical exam on the last day of the CTP. I passed! So now I am the first Diplomate Certified CST provider in Western Montana.
Why does that matter? Anyone can take a class and after the first one claim to provide CST. Some providers are truly doing CST, others are not. The certification process is the rigorous quality control method implemented by the Upledger Institute International for the training it provides. The Techniques Certification, which I passed in October 2014, covers the biomechanical aspects of CST. The Diplomate Certification covers the Somato-Emotional Release skills of the Advanced training. Since I have both certifications, you can rest assured that you are in the best hands when you come for a treatment. I am looking forward to seeing you!