Caitlin Lyon, BCST is a licensed bodywork therapist (LMP#49494) and fully certified craniosacral therapist specializing in women's health, stress relief, and pain management. She spent years training and studying healing arts and complementary medicine in the Bay Area before returning to the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara to establish her current private practice in 2013.
How it began:
Caitlin was introduced to bodywork and craniosacral therapy after sustaining head and neck injuries while showing horses. After months of physical therapy and seeing specialists, Caitlin still had chronic pain and fatigue with vertigo, memory challenges, and migraines that were leaving her bedridden for days at a time. Desperate to try something new, Caitlin drove north for her first session, not knowing what to expect and what was to come.
Caitlin began to realize that not only were her migraines and vertigo resolving with the course of treatments, but also her chronic fatigue, anxiety, and hormonal challenges that she had already been addressing with acupuncture and naturopathic medicine. Within 6 treatments, her symptoms had resolved with her strength and energy returning. It was then that her love for integrative mind-body medicine and this mysterious therapy were born.
Training and Experience:
Caitlin began her craniosacral studies at the world-renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA with the Upledger Institute in 2007. She then attended Traditional Chinese Medicine School at Five Branches University in Santa Cruz, CA where she studied Eastern perspectives on physical and emotional pain, as well as gynecological concerns. In 2009, she met her first biodynamic craniosacral teacher, Carol Agneesens, and began her two year foundational training of 750 hours. In 2011, she graduated from the Pacific School of Biodynamic Integration. Since then, she has done post-graduate coursework on working with mothers and babies, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, as well as cancer treatment recovery and trauma resolution. She also has extensive experience in different styles of massage and Ayurvedic therapies. She often incorporates abdominal therapies, moxa, and acupressure into her treatments.
What to expect:
Effective craniosacral therapy is built upon a foundation of mind-body education, empathy, compassionate listening, skilled touch, and sensitivity.
Like any good therapy, safety is a priority for true healing and transformation.
My job as therapist is to create a space of safety that allows you to journey into the body and supports your body's intelligence being able to communicate, shift, and reflect what's needed for more connection and balance.
In essence, craniosacral therapy is about change. You may want to be pain-free, heal chronic issues, release tension or emotional stress, resolve past traumas, become more in tune with yourself and your needs, or be more aware of how you care for your health and wellbeing.
Steve Haines, one of my favorite educators in trauma healing and cranial work says, " When you touch people they change. It is that simple...Coming into relationship with a skilled therapist can ease the pain. The inherent drive for self-regulation within our physiology is very powerful. Appreciating how the human body strives for health, and how health is expressed as coherence, connection, and a pulsing flow, is the skill of cranial work."
The essence of my work uses embodied presence, deep listening, and touch to help you reconnect with health.
It also involves you receiving education and learning how to implement skills that help you to feel more present, move more freely, and living life with an embodied sense of awareness.
In a session, we'll sit together and you may share what's going on in your body and life, and I'll listen. Together, we'll identify where to begin and I'll make sure you're comfortable on the table throughout the process. You get to stay fully clothed and to your comfort level. As we work together, we'll explore different connections and you may have memories, visions, colors, or sensations float through your awareness.
The first few sessions may be more about reminding the body what it's capable of and establishing a foundation of trust and ease as restrictions and patterns are gentle released. In the first few months, expect to experience and begin to identify new sensations, self-awareness, and insights.
Craniosacral therapy is so much more effective when the therapist's training and style matches the client's needs.
My specialties are chronic pain and fatigue, fibromyalgia, emotional healing, trauma recovery for women and newborns, and women's health concerns.
The principles that influence my work:
1. I utilize a biodynamic approach. In the client/therapist relationship, this means that I see you first and foremost as a whole human being, capable of great mastery, imbued with potential. I will gently reflect this for you, especially when it's easy to forget. I don't see you as a problem, a label, or a diagnosis, but instead a wholehearted human being with resources that are already there and some that we'll work to cultivate.
2. I honor the pace and priorities set forth by your body. This means I don't show up with an agenda or assume that if one area feels stuck to you that it's the main issue. Sometimes, it's many layers in or another area that it is interconnected with causing the tension. I'll gently navigate those connections in a way that your body can integrate without adverse affects.
3. Also, I do not offer any manipulation techniques or techniques requested. I stay within my skill-set that has most benefitted my clients.
What to know:
Craniosacral therapy has been my primary focus since 2009. While I have studied many healing modalities over the past 15 years, craniosacral therapy and its ability to facilitate healing of early and ongoing trauma, stress-related illness, and imbalances of all kinds has offered the most profound and effective healing I have ever encountered.
I offer a holistic, noninvasive, and collaborative approach, and I customize treatment plans to effectively address the goals of each client. The process opens the door to profound healing by honoring the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our experience. I believe in compassionate care combined with a listening ear and a gentle approach.
I am committed to supporting and empowering my clients to live their most heart-centered and purposeful lives. I’ve helped hundreds of people deepen their healing potential and build sustainable lifestyle habits that contribute to enduring results and greater health. My clients share that they appreciate my calming nature and compassionate, nonjudgmental approach.
All ages are welcome.
These days, I consider myself a family practitioner, having treated everyone from the tiniest newborns to sometimes 3 and 4 generations of family members. My mission is to help people of all ages experience greater states of ease so that they can create the life they truly desire.
Currently, I have private practice locations in Solvang, Santa Barbara, and South Pasadena, CA, working with newborns, pregnant mothers, children, and adults with all types of physical and emotional challenges including acute and chronic pain, chronic stress, migraines, TMJ dysfunction, post traumatic stress disorder, autoimmune disorders, anxiety and depression, learning disabilities, autism, birth trauma, breastfeeding difficulties, recovery from pre- and perinatal imprints, recovery from surgery, cancer, fractures, sprains, scoliosis, heavy metal toxicity, and more.
Start your healing at the heart.
Craniosacral therapy allows us to access our internal intelligence and health in order to find balance and healing from deep within. It has the capacity to go beyond a focus on symptoms and basic health maintenance to connect with our body’s fundamental ability to heal. The therapy itself is very gentle, using relaxing, hands-on touch to support your underlying health and accelerate the process of self-correction at the root level. Because of its gentleness and its activation of healing potencies within the body, it can be appropriate and effective for a wide range of issues.
Not Your Average Craniosacral Therapist
When people arrive here, they’re often weary of letting yet another person put their hands on them. They’ve often been to a lot of specialists, heard a lot of opinions, and might feel like they’ve tried everything.
So here’s what you should know:
Not only do I have over 1,000 hours and 9 years of professional training in craniosacral therapy, but I’ve studied 3.5 years and over 3,000 hours in Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Nutrition coursework before becoming a full-time craniosacral practitioner. I began my craniosacral studies with the Upledger Institute and eventually found home in the biodynamic approach. In addition to my education, I've spent hundreds of hours completing advanced training with some of the greatest teachers in yoga, meditation, and energy healing, plus brilliant minds in the fields of trauma therapy and manual therapy.
Most of my clients return to work with me year after year when new issues or concerns arise.
I am honored to continue supporting their long-term health and balance.
My approach will resonate with you if:
You believe in the importance of taking care of yourself.
You value your health and want to feel your best.
You’re interested in an alternative to medication.
You’re aware that the physical and emotional aspects of your well-being need an equal amount of care.
You care about getting to the source of your problem so that you can address it at the root.
You believe that diet and lifestyle contribute to physical and emotional health.
You believe that life is precious and understand that it’s up to you to take a stand for yourself.
You know that investing in your health is totally worth it and comes back to you in return.
You believe that physical health is a vehicle for emotional and spiritual growth.
Founder of Epona Rise Retreat Center