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About

Maureen O'Neil

In 1995 I left the world of broadcast news journalism in Washington DC to attend massage therapy school, following a personal obsession with health and wellness. Endlessly fascinated with the human brain, I immediately began studying Craniosacral Therapy. That path led me to work directly with Dr. John Upledger (developer of CST) at his brain and spinal cord intensive program in Florida.  As a pioneer of human consciousness, his brilliant approach addressed the biomechanical restrictions at the core of the nervous system as well as the emotional and spiritual totality of the individual. He knew there would be no change without transformation, without eliciting the nether regions of the brain to shift into a state of flow and communication; creativity rather than survival.

 

In my early clinical practice, an adult client showed how that matrix began in the womb. Through the Somatic Emotional Release aspect of Upledger's Craniosacral therapy, we identified his chest pain went back to his twin kicking him. The resolution changed the brothers' relationship dynamics as well as the physical pain. The psychological aspects of our relationships, our early attachment patterns, are the bedrock of nervous system development. We seek not only to be seen and heard but to have emotional validation, connection. A pediatric case prompted me to follow my intuition and have the mother lie down on the treatment table with her baby lying on top of her. We worked through the completion of biological process of her birth (another hallmark of Craniosacral therapy). Her fussiness, colic, and tension all shifted. Craniosacral therapy builds on techniques of cranial osteopathy which Dr. Upledger studied in the 19-70's. Often parents say "well, we tried Craniosacral," when in fact they might have had a few sessions with a practitioner applying cranial osteopathic techniques without addressing the emotional aspects of birth trauma, especially involving the mother. The two modalities are not the same approach.  

 

As Upledger Institute students, we learn to be specific about anatomy and techniques. Yes,this is also energy healing but it's deeper than Reiki because of the tissue specificity. I've studied college level Anatomy and Physiology with Clinical Dissection courses.  I've also completed advanced studies in French Osteopathy courses developed by Jean Pierre Barral and Alain Crobier. Visceral Manipulation and Neural Manipulation are complementary to Craniosacral Therapy.

 

My infant treatment sessions are developmental movement based focusing on tummy time; incorporating my Itsy Bitsy Yoga teacher training. I'm also a professional infant massage instructor and lactation consultant. I've studied Continuum movement, Yoga, mindfulness and centering prayer as I follow the winding road of personal and spiritual growth. I grew up in New Hampshire and received a B.A. in English from the University of New Hampshire in 1985. I became a mother at the age of 50 when I adopted two older brothers from Manizales, Colombia. I live in Northern California wine country with my family, including two cats and a dog. 

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