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An interview with Alberto - a Craniosacral therapist

An interview with Alberto - a Craniosacral therapist
It was three years ago when I sat in meditation having accessed a deep well of tears from inside me. As they poured through every cell of my being I caught sight of alternate images running through my mind. Interestingly, I sat still and enjoyed the showered release. Much to my amazement, when I got up from that meditation, everything felt light and I was yearning to go back into meditation to see what else I could find.

That’s when I realised that what I was doing was emotional release. I couldn’t get to the internet quick enough. I decided to seek out a practitioner who could help me uncover some more depths in my emotional field. Luck had it that I found a very experienced craniosacral therapist in Barcelona and booked an appointment immediately.

My first session was mind blowing. My second session was astounding. My third session was mesmerising and my fourth session was immensely beautiful. The course of sessions over a two month period took me from a woman with a chaotic mind, heavy shoulder blades and dried out skin, to a woman with an open heart, open mind, connection to life, connection to soul and a connection to a new deep well of love inside me. This newfound stream of vital energy had long lasting effects which later impacted the way I lived, the way I worked, the way I dressed, the way I deep dived into my relationships and the way I sought an everlasting peace for my soul.

I felt indebted to my therapist and reconvened with him some years later to thank him and tell him of my healing story. I was fortunate enough to meet him back at his therapy space near Universitat. As I entered the doorway, I couldn’t help but feel I was walking backwards through a crystal energy field. The lightness was so intoxicating that I felt somewhat sad when he, Alberto, invited me outside for a coffee. But I gladly accepted and started telling him about my story.

“That’s fantastic.” He said, through his charismatic heart.

I was so enamoured by the results of this therapy, that I asked Alberto about his own story and how he came about working with it.

“My story started at 19 when I left university and Spain and after some time went to live in a community in India.” Alberto said before he continued. “The community was led by a spiritual leader called Osho, who stressed the importance of working on yourself and going through the process of cleansing before transcending.” He stressed, himself.

“Crickey” I allowed in my British tongue. “That must have been a culture shock.”

“Yes but I needed to go. I was a hippy and felt very misunderstood in my teenage years. When I arrived at the community I was overwhelmed by the breadth of spiritual energy, it was so different to my life in Spain. Of course I let my hair down and had a good time but I spent a lot of time with various therapy groups that were aimed at helping me heal and learn about myself. That’s when I first came across craniosacral therapy.” Alberto recounted as my mind wandered to his days in Puna.

I didn’t need to probe, he seemed to understand that I was enjoying his story so openly talked some more. “Eventually I came back to Spain to work. I did other jobs while I decided to do an osteopathy higher certificate at The University of Madrid, to complement the cranioscaral training I’d been through. I feel it’s very important to understand both the energetic and technical aspects of this therapy because it impacts the mind, body and spirit.” He said.

I understood by now that craniosacral therapy is a gentle yet deep treatment that helps to eliminate tensions and blockages in the body and mind and helps with conditions such as headaches and migraines, backache and muscular tension (TMJ, bruxism, etc.), joint and structural problems, mandibular problems, tinnitus, digestive problems (stomach acidity, constipation, etc.), the after-effects of accidents, stress, anxiety, chronic tiredness, lack of concentration, emotional problems and psychosomatic rebalancing. It’s also highly recommended for babies and children with colic, allergies, otitis, hyperactivity and childhood traumas. (Please note, Alberto stresses the importance of alerting the client that this work neither replaces nor interferes with other medical or psychological treatment).

But I was also curious to know more about the types of people that may be attracted to the treatment. I sent the question to Alberto.

“All sorts of people benefit.” He gently helped me. “People usually come to see us when they feel some sort of pain, be it physical or psychological. But what they don’t always understand is that there’s something behind the pain. Often or not it’s connected to stress or because they are looking to connect to themselves in a deeper way. Even if they don’t consciously know this. If the patient is open then craniosacral therapy can have a big impact on psychosomatic release and in helping bring things out from the unconscious.” He said.

I took myself back to the sessions I had all those years ago. I remember lying on the therapy table, witnessing myself laughing, crying, shaking and waving my arms around. I saw colours and lights and deeply rooted memories emerging into my mind. I couldn’t imagine what Alberto had to witness in his sessions.

“How do you keep yourself centred and grounded?” I asked him.

"Each session can be very different. For some people it’s very relaxing and for others it can be more moving and cleanses things from the past. You never know what will happen. As a therapist it’s important to keep yourself in the middle line. We use visualisation techniques to ensure we remain in a posture from the ground up through the sacral. Meditation is also very important so we can learn not to get involved if people are going through tough emotions. There’s a risk that the therapist can become too empathic which makes them very tired.” He duly replied.

I was incredibly taken by this holistic therapy. I wondered if Alberto benefitted from sessions himself.

"Do you ever have cranioscaral therapy sessions?” I asked him with a nose for the lighter things in life.

“Yes I love to receive sessions. Especially if I feel tired or have some pain in my body. There’s a very intimate relationship between body, mind, emotions and spirit so I like to keep myself feeling full of vital energy. My wife gives me sessions. She’s also a therapist and together we share this therapy space and run craniosacral training courses.” He told me with a cool charisma.

It transpired that as well as giving individual therapy sessions in Spanish, English and German, Alberto and his wife, Greta, had been running beginner and advanced practitioner training courses in craniosacral throughout Spain for almost 30 years. By now I felt very taken by Alberto’s warm hearted ways, dedication to his practice and love of life and felt invited to ask him what he did in his spare time.

“I ​like to go swimming and I very much like philosophy and literature. I studied philosophy and literature at university in the beautiful Basque country, in my home town of San Sebastiána and these days I read and write a lot of poetry. My wife always tells me off for leaving papers and books around the house.” He chuckled.

On that note I asked him if he would share a poem with me and he dutifully embraced the offer and read it out to me.

"I am a friend of the clouds,
I am a friend of the high rocks where the eagles nest,
I am a friend of Matisse’s paintings who I visit with that nymph,
I am a friend of loneliness and silence … and
I am a friend of the poet Wang Wei who whispers to me
“On the path that leads to the mountain I contemplate the old summit and I go on singing”
© Alberto Panizo Pragitam

If you’d like to connect more to Alberto yourself, or discover more about craniosacral therapy, you may find him here. https://www.craneosacral-panizo.com/en/ https://www.facebook.com/InstitutoCraneosacralPanizo/

With love

Anneka and Teresa