One of the first blogs I ever wrote was about how helpful CranioSacral Therapy could be for Kundalini awakenings. When I was going through a Kundalini awakening my ability to process all of what was coming up (which was a lot, and is for most people truly experiencing a Kundalini awakening) my exploration of body based practices, such as CranioSacral therapy was of immense help… and I believe got me through the difficult aspects of the experience much more quickly. This is especially evident because I am frequently contacted by people who have been undergoing difficult Kundalini awakenings for decades who are still stuck at a certain stage of awakening. I truly believe that if many of them received CranioSacral therapy their physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual situations would drastically change.
It is eight years since I first wrote that blog, which you can access here (and could use a bit of updating on my part). The first blog is intended for the layperson who is going through a Kundalini awakening and would like to hear about CranioSacral Therapy as a treatment option. Since I have many clinicians who have had some, or a lot, of CranioSacral or Osteopathic training who are getting clients undergoing Kundalini awakenings, and who contact me seeking advice, I thought that I would write a general blog about how to approach Kundalini awakenings clinically utilizing CranioSacral therapy.
You can read the basics about what a Kundalini awakening actually is, including basic signs and symptoms here. If you would like more details about the Kundalini process, you can simply type in “Kundalini” into the search function and find a fair number of my blogs on it. Or you can buy my book through Amazon, which details many different types of spiritual awakenings, including Kundalini.
But to be brief, Kundalini is a latent energy in most people located at the base of the spine. It is coiled up like a snake between the area of the tip of the coccyx and the perineum. When it arises, or awakens, it uncoils from latency and rises up the spine, clearing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual blockages that are in its path. As people versed in bodywork and CranioSacral therapy know, we store unprocessed, or unresolved physical/emotional/mental/spiritual issues in our bodies. When someone experiences a Kundalini awakening all (or much) of the unprocessed material begins clearing out. This is because Kundalini has risen to the area of the body where these issues are stored.
Kundalini arises through the spine until it hits significant blockage, in which case it will go back to latency (in some cases), but in the case of the full Kundalini awakening (rather than a temporary stirring of the energy) it will be a wave-like energy, rising again and again in sometimes gentle waves, and sometimes with the heat and urgency of an exploding volcano.
Clinically, the rising of Kundalini brings up unresolved physical and emotional issues. Physically, the release of such a large force locally in the perineum (called the Kanda point) and at the coccyx where the energy is coiled will create a lot of heat and discomfort locally. It is well known that people have a variety of pelvic floor issues, as well as low back (sacrum/coccyx) imbalances, and these will be exacerbated while the energy is uncoiling. It is important clinically to not only focus on the area of discomfort, but to support and release the entirety of the reciprocal tension membrane, the dural tube, and the structures that comprise the entirety of what is known as the “craniosacral system” including the associated osseous components, meninges, and soft tissue/fascia.
Of particular importance in working with Kundalini awakenings is the fluid systems of the body. Since Kundalini is such a “fire” based energy (except for rare cases where it presents as cold… but for most people it is like having an internal volcano) having the ability to work directly with the flow of CSF as well as the tides of the body, such as balancing the mid-tide and allowing for expression of the long tide and the embodiment wave (for biodynamic practitioners) will allow for primal elements (fire and water) to balance and find expression… and will allow for the client to resolve in utero experiences in a profound way (they may not realize this consciously of course) and come to a positive place with the idea of their Kundalini arising as well as experience energies coming together to support them, instead of the fatigue and fear that typically come with Kundalini awakenings and the feeling of it being an antagonistic force.
If I were to put this simply, while treating the physical pains that inevitably come up while “clearing” during the Kundalini awakening process, the craniosacral system must be balanced as a whole, otherwise the energy does not have a clear pathway up and will just create further physical issues, and the chief complaint of the client during the session is likely to be resolved as the energy can temporarily move in a freer manner, but without balance as a whole the energy will re-stagnate in the area again.
It is extremely important while treating Kundalini to realize that the physical and emotional are inseparable. It will not be shocking to anyone that is an experienced bodyworker that emotional issues arise during bodywork, or that emotional issues create physical blockages. While working to resolve the whole host of physical issues that the client is presenting with, it is very likely that emotions will arise and need to be tended to. The purpose of a Kundalini awakening is not to create physical pain. The client has physical pain as a result of past physical blockages (broken bones, injuries, physical imbalances and stressors) and the energy is simply trying to get a clear pathway through.
But beyond physical reasons emotional issues, past trauma, and even emotions not of the immediate lifetime (family patterns, ancestral issues, societal emotions/patterns, and so forth) arise during Kundalini awakenings. These are fully present and in fact are the likely cause of many of the physical issues that are presenting. Without creating a safe place in the treatment room where the client can fully release difficult and strong emotions alongside the physical aspects of care, the local area where Kundalini is attempting to clear is likely to be fully, or somewhat unresolved. This means that the energy cannot rise further because it still needs to process emotions and experiences in a localized area and it has not been able to yet. When an area is clear of emotions and somewhat clear of physical issues (enough so there is a clear, or somewhat clear pathway to rise further up the spine) it will do so. If Kundalini is stagnated in a particular area creating severe issues that are not able to be resolved, there needs to be a questioning of if you are the correct practitioner for the person, or if they may need another modality, such as psychotherapy, to release some of the emotional issues.
Beyond balancing the system and creating space and neutrality for the expression of the physical and emotional components of Kundalini awakening, the most important thing is to remember not to “do” anything to your client who is having a Kundalini awakening.
What does this mean? It is typical for people undergoing a Kundalini awakening to go to all sorts of gurus and meditation/yoga teachers at first in seeking to understand and resolve this energy. Since most (if not all) of these practitioners/teachers are not body based, they will teach them meditations and breathing exercises, or if they are unfamiliar with the energy will tell them that they cannot help them (or that it is all in their head). It is rare for any of these teachers to know what they are talking about, and many of them cause further detriment and confusion to those that they guide. This is especially true because their work is not body-based and is focused on the mental constructs, not the emotional. Any work that seeks to force this energy to do anything will cause issues for those experiencing a Kundalini awakening.
Kundalini is a conscious energy, meaning that it knows what it wants to do. It has an agenda. It wants to rise up the spine (at least at first). It is easy to impose ideas, understandings, and philosophies onto the energy. If this happens Kundalini views this as resistance, and will not respond kindly. Any type of forceful physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual work that does not happen in concert with the energy will be viewed as antagonistic, and is likely to cause a lot of issues for the experiencer. This is why many people truly experiencing Kundalini do not seek out help… because they are afraid that a practitioner will make things worse for them… because they likely have gone to a guru or bodyworker or whomever and their situation has become worse.
So neutrality and listening to the inner consciousness, the inner silence of the body is what is needed. Holding space is what is needed. This energy knows what it wants to do, it knows how it needs to do it. It does not need to be told, scolded, or directed in what to do and how to be. All the person with a Kundalini awakening needs is someone to hold space for an immense amount of release and rebalancing. For someone to be okay with crying, with grief erupting, for anger to arise that they might not know where it came from. For the body to twist and move and torque and vibrate with releases and to be in a safe place to do so. For a practitioner to be experienced enough to recognize why the Kundalini is not arising more- to be informed enough of the physical body and the craniosacral system that you understand what the fascia might need, what the dural membrane is doing, that the coccyx is out of alignment, that the fluid systems of the body would like to be heard, that the wave forms and energies of the body can be seen/heard/felt.
When a practitioner deeply understands the physical body and its many components to be able to really listen and work with the varying layers and expressions, when the CranioSacral practitioner is experienced enough that their abilities shine through, when the practitioner is confident and experienced enough to know that holding space and creating silence for the body to reorganize in a profound way is more than enough to do without “doing” anything else because we feel we should as practitioners, and when we have enough experience as practitioners in our own inner work that we can hold space for emotional releases with maturity and safety, we can help people undergoing difficult (or even not-difficult) Kundalini awakenings in a profound way.
Craniosacral really is one of the best modalities I have come across for Kundalini awakenings. I have explored many, many modalities, meditation/breathing techniques, spiritual work, thoughtform/mental constructs (you catch my drift) and the ability of CranioSacral therapy to directly tap into the organizing energies of the body, the wave forms, the in utero experience and fluid systems of the body, the physical body as a whole (instead of its parts) with the focus on the spine (where this energy arises, at least at first), and the ability of it to see the spiritual-energetic-emotional-mental-physical simply as a continuum instead of separate things allows for us, as Craniosacral practitioners, to truly help people through this experience.
If you are someone who is experiencing Kundalini and is reading this, know that CranioSacral therapy can help you. Like any modality/expression, it is important to find someone who is experienced (I suggest people who have been through a 2-4 year training in Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy or have reached Advanced coursework with certification through the Upledger Institute… there are unfortunately a lot of courses out there and a lot of practitioners who have minimal training in this modality and think it is a series of steps to do). It is important to find someone who is interested and able to hold space for you to rebalance in the manner that you need to. It is not necessary for your practitioner to have experienced a Kundalini awakening themselves (although that would be incredible, of course) but just that they have the experience listed above and that you feel safe with them.