Because of COVID-19, I am offering Distance Sessions. On the phone or a video platform, we will speak, settle, and feel into our systems to support healing during these isolating times. I am continually inspired and amazed by the effectiveness and power of these Distance Sessions. 

I am still holding hands-on sessions in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

If you would like more information:

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, BCST, is a non-invasive yet powerful  whole-person treatment, enabling the restoration of body and mind's inherent health. BCST  incorporates finely attuned listening to one’s anatomy and physiology as well as spirit, emotion, and energy. This modality is great for conditions such as:

 

  • physical injuries

  • emotional injury/trauma 

  • intergenerational trauma 

  • chronic pain

  • TMJ

  • stress and anxiety

  • depression

  • insomnia

  • migraines, concussion, and headaches

  • IBS

 

It is also incredibly effective for less tangible things like an unsureness of where one is in life, personal growth, and much more. This is why I call what I do Embodied Therapy.

I studied and gained my certificate from Stillpoint CST. This curriculum is based on Franklyn Sills’ 30 years of experience developing and teaching BCST Foundation Trainings as founder of the Karuna Institute in England. 

My rigorous and physical life as a professional dancer brought me to biodynamic craniosacral therapy as a client. After two concussions, and lots of work with neurologists and physical therapists, BCST was indeed the only healing modality that treated me holistically and supported my full recovery. The insights I gained from these experiences have helped me develop acute and sensitive listening abilities, allowing me to be a present, grounded, and body-oriented practitioner. I am  committed to serving a diverse community including low-income peoples, artists, and those who struggle to find therapy that meets their needs.

"I have been to many Craniosacral practitioners and Isabel is a favorite. She brings her anatomical knowledge from the dancing world as well as a natural talent for deep listening. If you feel disconnected from your body, have been going through a stressful time or have experienced an injury, I would highly recommend going to Isabel. After a session with her, you will feel refreshed, reset, and like yourself again."

-Tai Chou-Kudo, BCST

What is a session like?

We begin with a verbal check in: “How has your week been? What do you seek to address?” Then we transition to table work. The client lies supine, fully clothed on a massage table. We settle the body and nervous system together. Holding parts of the body gently with my hands, I listen to and assess the areas that need support. My work is to follow the guidance of the client’s body without getting in the way. The body is an organized matrix of information, connected to external forces far beyond the perimeters of the skin. When I listen to that matrix or wisdom, I am using my own body-matrix in connection to universal forces. In this way, I am not telling my client what their injury is or what they need. I provide support physically, energetically, and verbally when patterns or “hiccups” arise, or when traumatic memories and emotions surface. Because this work is not formulaic, but open to the vast variance of the each human, I am available to respond with guidance and support to whatever arises. Sometimes that is talking, sometimes it is being silent and still, sometimes it is moving. Once the body has integrated, energy can flow smoothly, the body is in a state of balance, and the client feels deeply rested yet enlivened, we conclude the table work. We have another verbal check-in about what was experienced and I am able to answer any questions that come up. 

Sessions last about an hour, and up to 90 minutes for the first session.

What is happening during a session?

 

When an overwhelming force enters the body, be it energetic, spiritual, emotional, or physical, the body tightens around the injury to protect it. These knots, called inertial fulcrums in BCST, can live in the body for years without us even knowing due to our highly intelligent, resilient, and adaptable bodies. Sometimes, though, these fulcrums can cause pain or other physiological responses and the rest of our Self starts to organize around them. These imbalances are what usually inspire us to seek therapeutic help. When the client is able to settle deeply in safety and comfort, their body can start to unwind these inertial fulcrums. How? The body recognizes the fulcrum, knows how much protection to let go of, and then processes what has been stuck in this inertial place. Note that the body does not always fully let go of the protection. This is because it is serving a purpose, and releasing too much too fast of what’s being protected can be overwhelming. Using skill, technique, and deep listening, my job is to aid the body in letting go of the protection that is no longer serving the whole, but not to force open a wound, so to speak. There are also times when the conditions in the body are so overwhelming that the mind dissociates from the body. In the same way, through deep listening and trusting the inherent wisdom of the body, we are able to reintegrate mind and body. The client will not be re-triggered or sent back into that initial trauma experience. Instead, the body can shed a layer of protection and re-integrate the whole. This reintegration is energetic re-patterning, sometimes physiological re-patterning, which can affect mental patterns and spiritual wellbeing. In essence, when the body metabolizes trauma, all aspects of the Self have more room to flow. 

Who can benefit from BCST?

 

Because this work is rooted in anatomy, physiology, and energetic healing, it is incredibly helpful for a wide range of conditions, from acute physical inures to psycho-emotional quandaries. This work is special because we can also truly address the ailments in life that are mysterious. Fibromyalgia, neurological injuries, post-concussion syndrome, IBS when no diet or pill will help, persistent symptoms from an injury, depression, eating disorders, and chronic pain are all examples of these mysterious and persistent ailments. If you struggle with a persistent behavioral pattern, such as never feeling validated, not knowing how to express yourself clearly, aimlessness, “imposter syndrome” or never feeling you can finish any task, BCST can help dramatically with the underlying non-verbal and subconscious contributing patterns.

You don't have to tell me your whole history; you don't have to tell me your secrets. This work can be non-verbal or we can dialogue throughout the session. 

If you’re struggling with one of these mysterious ailments and you have tried different ways of healing without full recovery, BCST might be the right path for you.

Writings 
When George Floyd was killed and protests began breaking out, I was asked to write for the blog of my Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy training program, Stillpoint. Understanding Our Part and Our Place has been released, and I would like to share it with you now. It is written from my experience in the BCST community, and though some terminology may not be in your current vocabulary, I do believe the message is clear.
Read:Understanding Our Part and Our Place

What people are saying:

"I...was impressed, intrigued and pulled to your work."

"So well written... truly a gift. I hope many read and are able to appreciate your words of compassion and truth."

2018 Isabel Umali
 

  • Isabel Umali facebook
  • Isabel Umali instagram
  • Isabel Umali vimeo profile
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • https://www.instagram.com/isabel.umali/