What is biodynamics?

Biodynamics is a western approach to wellness. Osteopath William Sutherland (1873-1954) began exploring the dynamics of the skull and its membranes and fluids, establishing the field of cranial osteopathy, from which craniosacral therapy and biodynamics evolved.

After years of sitting quietly with patients, listening to their body-mind systems, Sutherland and other cranial osteopaths became aware that something other than tissue manipulation was helping their patients heal from all kinds of conditions. They learned over time that the more they just listened and the less they tried to do, the more their patients’ inherent healing processes took over, returning their systems to healthier functioning. Over time they learned how to support and augment the healing process with their presence, attention, discernment, and intent.

This way of healing came to be called craniosacral biodynamics, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, or just biodynamics. As a separate modality from cranial osteopathy, it’s been in existence for nearly 40 years. Although biodynamics shares some elements with biomechanical craniosacral therapy, it focuses more on perceptual awareness of the fields in and around us.

Biodynamics resonates with Buddhist and Taoist beliefs about emptiness, form, transformation, compassion, and oneness.

More on ego death: Experiencing emptiness

From the book What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America, by Tony Schwartz, a quote from Sandra Maitri, a teacher of Hameed Ali’s Diamond Approach (she later wrote The Spiritual Dimension of the Enneagram):

“Emptiness can be experienced in very different ways,” Maitri explained, after we’d done the exercise. “Often you almost literally fear you’ll die if you stay in that emptiness, and in a sense that’s true. A given sector of the personality will die if you don’t keep trying to fill it up. But there is something deeper. Emptiness feels like a black hole when it’s viewed through the prism of the personality. But that same hole is experienced as open and pristine and very peaceful when you are in essence. It may take a leap of faith to let go into this emptiness — whether from courage or desperation. But when you do, it is very spacious, and it’s anything but deficient. It is the beginning of opening up to our true selves — to the empty space in which everything arises, to the ground of our fundamental nature.”

This popped up into my awareness after writing previously about jumping off the train, a form of ego death.