By Cathy Gileadi
Because I have worked in alternative health all my life (I'm a freelance editor and writer, too, mostly for alternative health companies), I have studied a lot about health issues. I grow a nice medicinal garden, make my own salves and tinctures, and doctor my nine kids as needed--and often the neighbors' kids too. I studied homeopathy and essential oils, and have published books on medicinal herbs (Everywoman's Herbal) and essential oils (Simple and Essential, A Step-By- Step Guide to Natural Healing With Essential Oils).
Years ago I also began to learn bodywork techniques, mostly reflexology. A few years ago, I got interested in the work a friend was doing at home, CranioSacral Therapy. When she would get sick, I would sometimes work on her or other people. She told me that I was doing a lot of the technique she had learned, and doing it well enough that I should get the training so I could work at home. In our state, CranioSacral Therapy is not licensed. You need to be trained but you don't need a license, since it is a soft touch therapy done with the client fully clothed.
I got the information from the Upledger Institute, which offers excellent CST training and similar classes. I went to a series of the seminars and enjoyed them so much! I bought myself a massage table off the Internet and set it up in my family room downstairs.
All my clients come to my by word of mouth. I start out with essential oils on the feet and then do CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release work, which is a wonderful work that releases body trauma and thus helps you overcome physical and emotional problems. It's the most exciting work I've ever done. I charge $40 per session, which is low on the local market, but I use my writing business to earn what I need to pay the bills and charge low for the therapy so it can be accessible to more people. Some weeks I don't have any clients while other weeks I have two or more a day.
My kids are all in school now so I have the free time to work with people. When they are home, I sometimes pay a low one-time fee for clinic space in a friend's clinic. What that usually works out to be is trade—I work on the friend and she lets me use the room.
If you are inclined to hands-on therapy, CranioSacral Therapy is a wonderful tool.