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Swiss Skills, Technology, The Big Blue and Craniosacral therapy.

This is ‘thank you’ to all healers for their good works.

Alternative healing therapies are often under the radar because they are not classed as ‘conventional medicine’. They see the world from other viewpoints, unpicking complex situations by opening other avenues listening and learning to get to root causes of ill health. They help us to understand that there are many levels to the full healing of the body, mind and spirit.

There are times when a doctor is not able to help in the conventional way with an issue, or cannot pinpoint causes of the symptoms I have experienced. This led me to explore alternative approaches to healing. These have helped and for that I am thankful.

I would like to share with you some of these in my blogs as I feel they are important. They are pivotal points in how one views life, creatively and holistically. Some alternative approaches to healing are easier to share than others, some are more visible, but one has to look to find. I have certainly learnt that if the cause of the trouble is not understood, then all is not well.

We are grateful to doctors, nurses, medicine, researchers, hospitals and everyone that helps the healing process. They have helped me in times of extreme need. I would not be walking today if it had not been for amazing doctors and nurses, the technology and advancement in medicine and science.

When I was 20 years old, a student, in my final year of an honours degree programme in textiles in Scotland I was on a ski holiday with my family. As an experienced skier having begun when I was 3 with my Norwegian mother, I know it’s best begin the first run on the first day with caution. As in previous years I joined the advanced ski group. The guide who had lead the group in the previous week wanted to go through the most challenging black run in the locality littered with moguls. I expressed caution, but the impatient guide vaguely waved a ski pole towards an unmarked easier route and disappeared. Unfortunately the direction to which I was casually directed was off limits over a hidden cliff where I fell onto my back on an ice packed road. I was airlifted off the mountain to the local hospital where X rays revealed a shattered lower lumbar vertebra and an unstable fracture higher up the spine threatening paralysis of my legs.

Thanks to the skill of probably the most experienced spinal surgeon in Switzerland and his team the unstable fractures were bridged with metal rods in an operation that took 7hrs under general anaesthetic. I am forever grateful.

In the days that followed lying trapped in my body it was not only uncomfortable physically, but also hard mentally. A kind young nurse put her Walkman by my side and headphones on my ears with a tape of the The Big Blue movie soundtrack. The music took me into another world, it was a light in the darkness, while not being able to move, it was a life line. When I was eventually moved out of intensive care, I had a view of a Swiss mountain. Helicopters would fly in with more injured people. There was a cross high up on the mountain which I could see and would gaze at. There was hope. My family who I sensed were worried were always there for me.

To cut a long story short, here it was the compassion of others, love, hope and the good fortune that the surgeon who specialised in spinal injuries was there just then. All came together to pull me through the emergency part and the beginning of recovery journey.

After two months in hospitals and physical rehabilitation underway to get walking again my mother discovered Craniosacral Therapy. I went along to have a treatment. It was very gentle and took me by complete surprise, how it worked in helping release the trauma of the accident, I had been holding within myself unknowingly. At the time I was so intrigued by the results, I read and found out that Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he was a clinical researcher Professor of Biomechanics.

In my late 40’s I have rediscovered CST and met a lovely lady, Lulu Ferrand for treatments. She describes the treatment on her website as,

‘Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (CST) promotes physical, psychological and emotional well-being. The practitioner, using light touch, can palpate the subtle rhythmic movements, a natural self-healing force called potency. This motion is centred around the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes our spinal cord and brain. CST enables the body to self-regulate and come into balance. It is a powerful yet gentle form of treatment.

Throughout our lives, factors such as accidents, injuries, stresses and emotional problems can affect the expression of the fluid rhythms within the body. As a result of these factors and over time, areas can become stuck or blocked. CST recognises the blocked-up energy, with the practitioner enabling it to be released allowing healing to naturally occur.’ Tanfield wellness

The treatment opened the door to helping me regain confidence in my body’s ability to heal itself. It has also very helpful when I started to learn meditation and practice it as I was familiar with the feeling of going in to deeper levels, a still place, and really listening and tuning into the body and the layers it has which can enable healing.

I am fortunate that I am able to walk, regular exercise is important too, keeping flexibility in the spine as much as possible, I have restricted movement in my lower lumbar and my hips are not balanced but swimming, gentle yoga and strengthening exercises all help. Sitting at a desk or in a car too long, can be painful.

I would never suggest anyone not visiting a doctor, but it is good to know there are complimentary treatments that help. I am thankful for all of these. The accident really changed my perspective on many things in life. The nuances of the human body are complex; it goes far deeper than flesh, blood and bones.

To learn more please visit

Astrid x


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