To those who have never received a craniosacral treatment, the term "unwinding"of the neck and the head will probably sound really strange and possibly even painful. It is a term used to refer to gentle manual work in which the weight of the head is fully supported by the therapist's hands. The hands gently cradle the base and the back of the head, acting like a sling. In this way, any movement in the neck is completely weightless, allowing full freedom and flow which would otherwise not be possible.
The unwinding process can be performed on any part of the body - frequently on restricted shoulder, hip or knee joints with reduced mobility, but it can also be applied on individual organs. However, it has been my experience that the site most likely needing this form of deep work is at the base of the skull. The weight of the head is here supported by the first few vertebras and the amplitude of frequent movements is rather extensive to allow us to freely observe our environment. This puts considerable strain on the supporting structures.
This anatomic area is also where the Vagus nerve exits the skull on it's way to the lower part of the body, supplying all the vital organs in the chest and the abdomen. The Vagus nerve is responsible for the parasympathetic function - rest, relaxation, repair, balancing, slowing down and healing of the organs of the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive and immune systems. It is therefore vitally important that its path and function are clear and unrestricted.