I arrived for my first appointment in terrible shape. I had trouble walking up the stairs because the pain in my joints was excruciating. I was so cold that I had to wear gloves. My entire body felt like it was going to fall apart at any moment. I was also guarded emotionally because I had been neglected by the medical system and I was afraid that the CranioSacral Therapy process was going to bring all of that guilt and fear to the surface in one big explosion. However, I was willing to try anything to feel better.
I had absolutely no idea of the kind of deep inner and external healing I was about to encounter.
During the first session, I had a very hard time relaxing. My whole body was stiff and guarded. I had been removing myself from my pain for so long, I had a hard time finding my way back to it.
I remember not knowing exactly what to do while I laid on the table. Was I supposed to talk? Was I supposed to close my eyes? Was I supposed to feel something specific? So many thoughts were running through my head. I wanted the process to work. I wanted to find healing. I needed relief!
I was so angry at my body for not functioning properly. It was if it was punishing me for some obscure reason and I was the abused soul trapped inside of it. Ariana quickly picked up on my body bashing. She reminded me that I wouldn’t speak to a sick person that way because it isn’t their fault that they are sick. In the same way that one might encourage healing in an ailing person, encourage healing in ailing body parts as well…. Click here to read the rest of Emily’s beautiful healing story.
Mark came to me with a history of severe heartburn and reflux that he had been enduring “forever.” He began medicating with TUMS in college, and had been on acid blockers for decades.
As I went through his health history, he didn’t mention anything about shoulder pain– but on a hunch, I asked him if he happened to have left shoulder pain. He looked at me in surpise, and exclaimed, “YES! I have had left shoulder pain for as long as I have had reflux– but no one has asked me about it in the 25 years that I have been treated for it.”
I explained that, many times, there is a simple mechanical cause for heartburn and reflux– it’s an elevated stomach position. This makes it hard for the stomach valves to work properly, and can cause stomach acid to spill out and upward. The elevated stomach also often causes chronic left shoulder pain that isn’t relieved by standard orthopedic treatments for shoulder pain.
After the first session of Visceral Manipulation, Mark’s inexplicable shoulder pain that had been plaguing him for years was gone, and what had been an every-meal Prilosec habit became just a once in a while occurrence. It’s amazing how simple manual techniques can help solve long-term issues!
I came to see Ariana because I had been struggling with migraines and tension headaches for a long time. I also had a lot of neck pain and digestion issues. The migraines affected all aspects of my life– sometimes they were incapacitating. The digestion problems I was having affected my health and my ability to do activities outside of work, because all of my energy was spent on trying not to focus on the pain at work.
After just a couple of sessions, I started noticing small changes and improvements. Overall, I was more relaxed and able to read my body’s signals more easily.
CranioSacral Therapy and some self-care techniques helped resolve my migraines and tension headaches and Ariana used some Visceral Manipulation techniques that helped my digestion issues. A holistic approach to healing was necessary, and before I tried CST, nothing else was working. I feel like my work with Ariana was the glue that brought everything else in the healing process together.
The aspect of my life that has improved the most is my overall health. I suppose I am considered healthy by modern medical standards, but it felt sub-par in my daily life. Once my health improved, my relationships and career improved, as well! I am so grateful to Ariana and her practice for helping me and my body. I now have little (if any!) of the pain I came to her with– and that has definitely improved my quality of life!
– G. C., Rota, Spain
Keira was five years old, and struggling with bed wetting and staying dry during the day. She and her parents had been working on it for a couple of years, but things just weren’t improving, even after some special treatments recommended by her pediatrician.
During my first session with Keira, I noticed that she had some restrictions in her head and neck that were likely compressing the nerves related to bladder function. I gently released these restrictions, as well as working with her low back and pelvis. As I was finishing up her session, she suddenly had a surprised look on her face, and announced “Pee! Pee!” She jumped off the table and her mom took her to the bathroom. I found out later that this was the first time she had actually expressed the need to urinate– they had just been taking her to the bathroom as a routine to keep her bladder empty, thus far. So that was an exciting and immediate improvement!
In the days after her first session, she only had one accident, and she continued to let her parents know when she felt the need to go to the bathroom. I treated her two more times, and she has continued to improve, much to her parents’ relief. Keira and her family moved back to the USA after her third treatment, but I was able to find another pediatric CST practitioner to continue the work with her family. What a privilege and a joy it was to help her!
As a professional ballroom instructor and international competitor, I need a good working body, and in particular for Latin dance, the use of my hips. What brought me in to see Ariana was unbearable pain in my right hip, due to a ballroom injury. I had seen several various practitioners without success. Without full hip rotation I was unable to dance to my best ability or stand for lengthy periods of time (which is necessary when teaching dance); I was unable to sit down or sleep comfortably without having to constantly shift. All of these things impact my day to day life, whether I am sitting and playing games with my children or getting through my workday on the dance floor. My hip pain was starting to control my life (limiting what I could do at work and at home), and it was slowly affecting other parts of my body due to compensation of movement.
After the very first session I could immediately feel an improvement. It amazes me that during that initial session (my very first experience with CST) that I felt something within my hip and thigh area flip and move (there’s no other way for me to describe this). It was as if it had been completely in the wrong location for the last two months that I had been in pain, and it was desperate to relocate to its normal place. After having an experience like that, I knew CranioSacral Therapy was for me, my body told me so!
Since then, the improvements have been great! As a dancer I like to think I’m pretty in tune with my body, and Ariana has helped me to become better in tune with it. The range of hip motion is back to being 100%. I’m still working on the strength and conditioning but I am fully able now and the relief has been great. We are now working on other body challenges that come from the hardships and strains of dance, so that I’m never compensating within my body and weakening it.
Now I’m able to do what I love– to teach and not have to worry about what I can or can’t do. My hip no longer dictates what I will be teaching on a lesson anymore, when I can sit and play with my kids, or how long I can sleep on my side. And everyone knows, a happy wife/mom equals a happy life! I have never had this type of success with my body and caring for it like I have experienced using CranioSacral Therapy!
I’m so happy and so grateful for my therapist Ariana Mullins, who made it clear as to what Craniosacral Therapy was, her openness to my conditions, and her ability to help me with my body. My improvements have been remarkable, and I’m very excited to continue working with my body and strengthening it.
At one point I thought I was just going to have to live with the pain– which was just a discouraging thought– but now I do not have too! Whenever I feel something needs work my first go-to now is this type of gentle practice. It’s completely amazing!
– Ureka Nogales, Rota Spain
Gloria was suffering from vertigo-like symptoms that had started out of nowhere and was making it impossible to go about normal daily life. She felt dizzy and nauseated all of the time, and her balance was off. She had been given medications, but they only helped a little. Gloria came to me because her daughter, an acupuncturist at the healing center I worked at, thought I might be able to help– she had been to the doctor’s office many times, to no avail.
After Gloria’s first CranioSacral Therapy session, she was feeling much better. Her dizziness disappeared within a day and she was able to discontinue her medications and get back to remodeling her kitchen. She came back two weeks later with a mild return of symptoms, so I worked with her again. There was no need for her to return after that.
My daughter has had migraines since the age of 4. She’s now 8 years old, and the last few months have been really bad, we document each one and she was getting them every other day. We’re in the middle of seeking out specialists off base, but in the mean time we tried Ariana Mullins and my daughters’ headaches are near gone… Ariana has been a miracle worker to restore my child’s life back to normal. [Her daughter is now been headache free.]
– Kelsey M., Rota Spain___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Baby Joe was brought in to see me at 16 weeks because he had been suffering from constant reflux and spitting up, almost from birth. This made him hungry all of the time and kept him from sleeping long stretches at night. This was really stressful and hard on his mom, of course. His doctor diagnosed him with reflux at six weeks and prescribed Zantac, but it did not help. Neither did thickening his formula with cereals.
After the first CranioSacral Therapy session, Joe was sleeping better at night, but still spitting up about the same amount. After the second treatment, his mom reported that his spitting up had improved significantly, and he continued to improve. When I ran into Joe and his mom a couple of months later, she said that his reflux had resolved, and they were both doing well.
I found Ariana as a referral during my second pregnancy. While my first pregnancy went rather smoothly–my second came with a lot of pain and discomfort. After one session with Ariana the sharp pain I was feeling in my pelvis was totally alleviated. I had been dealing with it for 7 months and couldn’t believe I had waited that long for treatment. I saw Ariana at least one other time for help getting my body ready for labor and delivery, and the result was a two and a half hours labor from first contraction to baby in my arms. I will say that not only did I feel better physically during pregnancy but my smooth delivery really reaffirmed my belief in CST.
— Anna Fox, Rota, Spain
Zaida had come from the U.S. to visit her daughter, and was in a lot of pain. Her daughter had already scheduled her a session with me, knowing that, having fibromyalgia, her mom would not be feeling well when she arrived. When I welcomed Zaida to my office, it took her a long time to get up the stairs as she has really bad knee pain. She looked exhausted and stressed, and not very happy. Getting on the table was difficult, and just rolling over onto her back was painful. I did a basic CranioSacral Therapy treatment for her, and spent some extra time releasing the restrictions in the tissues around her knees. I also noticed that there was compression in the bones on the left side of her head, and worked on releasing that.
When Zaida’s session ended, she rolled over easily to sit up. She had a huge smile on her face! Her daughter and I both noticed that she looked SO much lighter, and she remarked that felt very good. She started walking down the stairs and said she could believe it, but she had NO knee pain! A few minutes later, she asked for her eyeglasses, then noticed that she could see without her glasses on! She thanked me very sincerely, and I was so glad I was able to help her. When I checked in with Zaida’s daughter a couple of days later, she said that she was feeling so good after her session that she was laughing a lot and actually dancing!
Stories like these make me love doing CranioSacral Therapy more every day.