What are the Tides? And why my teacher said that true health depends on them.
There is good news; a part of us is already connected to life's blueprint for balance and well being.
Its called the Long Tide.
Before we discuss the Tides, my purpose today is to tell you that you are not broken.
My teacher said,
"the body is always responding perfectly to the demands on it [within natural mortal constaints]".
The blueprint within us is stellar and vast and ancient - and learning all the time. We need to discover and connect with it - and learn to support it. This brings a quality of life altogether different from times the world's noise runs it over. Connecting with it takes some time and some doing, but it brings about a feeling of connection to oneself, to life, and even to the purpose in our struggle.
My teacher's aphorism begs compassion with ourselves; its not our fault that our mind-bodies struggle. If we all have the time it takes to connect with our rejuvenating capacities, it would be a different world. We would be able to recover more quickly to stress and illness. Have you ever wondered how a forest could be so beautiful and adaptive and resilient? That same beauty and complexity is us, too. Maybe the demands on us are out of balance....not us (putting aside for a moment the vast puzzle that life on Earth is at the moment).
Its vitally important to know that there is a part of us that is not broken. And that part is woven through every cell, system, thought, emotion, and experience. This part is deeply connected to an ancient blueprint for existence, that continually guides us to: health, purpose, and I dare say love and joy. Such are the findings of the first Cranial Osteopaths and such is the focus of my work, with thanks to my teacher, Ursula Popp.
One of my jobs as a Craniosacral Therapist is to show you how to connect with Long Tide so that you can access your inherent ability to adapt, grow, heal, and respond with grace to life's challenges and invitations.
To learn more about The Tides and how to access them, please read on.
The three Tides are a real phenomena of the body that therapists with sensitized hands can feel. These are what the founders of Cranial Osteopathy were freaking out about. They went on to discover that the Tides are the movement of cerebral spinal fluid (csf) through the brain, spinal cord, and influences the entire body. It conducts of what I call body-wisdom, or meta-navigation. Csf integrates the endocrine, immune, lymph and central nervous system, and peripherally the musculo-skeletal system. The founders say the cerebral spinal fluid is the part of us that contains all levels of our being: the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
The Tides are perceivable fluctuations of cerebral spinal fluid that circulate the meta-navigational capacities of the higher glands throughout the body.
Csf drives lymph and fluid movement throughout the body and hands can feel them moving at three distinct speeds; these are what we call The Tides. Although csf is located mostly in the cranium between specialized layers of fascia and the spinal cord, it sets the tone for subtle movement throughout the body, producing and an experience of the body as an organic whole.
If you've had Craniosacral Therapy, you may recognize the following hold on the body as a classic way to asses tidal (csf) fluctuations: I put one hand on the back of the head and one hand at the sacrum - the bony plate between the pelvic bones where the spinal cord attaches. In a perfect world, there will be a smooth movement back and forth between the cranium and the sacrum and there will be a balance on the right and left sides of the spine. I'm counting roughly how many seconds it takes for the fluid to come down and back up. It is normal for there to be asymmetries, excursions from the spine, blockages, "projects" as I like to call them and our treatment centers around helping these areas find balance and connect to the whole.
Here's a closer look at the three Tides. There is the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (cri), the Mid Tide, and the Long Tide. Each tide has adjoining states of being.
Most of the time we live in the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse (cri), and it moves in 5 second cycles. It is like the choppy surface water of the ocean; it is calmed or whipped up at the influence of weather and outer conditions. There are ups and downs and constant activity. It helps us do our day-to-day living and problem-solving. Pain is perceived as something broken at the level of the physical and we feel we want to fix it.
The Mid Tide has 24 second cycles and it is like ambient music compared to the Rock n' Roll of the Cranial Rhythmic Impulse. In the Mid Tide, our thoughts and emotions become deeper and interested in larger emotional and spiritual matters such as life, birth, death, important relationships and major life themes and events. Int his tide, the body engages its self-healing, self-regulatory and rejuvenating capacities. One feels calm, connected to one's deep capacities and resources. Pain is perceived as reactions to imbalances at any intertwined mental, emotional, spiritual or physical level. There is a drive to understanding healing as wholeness and acceptance. There is less desire to fix and more desire to be curious. Understanding emerges slowly and spontaneously.
The Long Tide is like the bottom of the ocean and it moves in 90 second cycles and like each Tide, it is with us all the time. The other tides take most of our attention and their constant activity veil the Long Tide's existence. One of my job's as a Craniosacral Therapist is to show you and your body how to connect with Long Tide so that you can access your inherent ability to adapt, grow, heal, and respond with grace to life's challenges and invitations.
When a person dips down into this rhythm, a profound experience unfolds. Thoughts of the day's plans and the ego's compulsions fade. A focus on the major themes of one's personal journey falls away. A person rests at the bottom of their own ocean - to find its the one ocean of all life. Its the tide that people who are in the natural stages of death are in. Its the tide we come in with as newborns. The physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realities reveal oneness.
In Long Tide, there is no pathology, no puzzle, no project. There is nothing broken and nothing to fix.
Coming out of the Long Tide, one often feels a sense of deep renewal, zeal for life knowing that our actions, our life, our mistakes and our learning - count. We can trust ourselves to try, to learn and to adapt.
That's how we are made.
Let's free up as much as we can.
Thanks for reading.