Sari Hands PLC Fall 2015 Newsletter!
       Sari A. Lewis,
       OTR/L, RCST

Sari loves to help facilitate your Wellness and Quality of Life through gentle manual therapy techniques including Craniosacral Therapy and Myofascial Release to help calm your tissues and nervous system.
Sari graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy

After completing clinical internships in NY and CA, she settled in Arizona to begin over a decade of specialization in hand and upper extremity therapy, followed by several years working for

Medtronic and Empi selling
electrotherapy products.
(TENS and muscle stimulators)
In 1997, she returned to her true love of patient care and began studies with the International Alliance of Healthcare Practitioners (The Upledger Institute) and the Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy Association of North America (BCTA/NA) where she completed over 1000 hours of training in Biomechanical and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and obtained Diplomate certification as a Registered Craniosacral Therapist. (RCST®) 

Sari also 
has additional training using Craniosacral Therapy with newborns and infants.

Sari continues to participate as a Teaching Assistant for multiple Craniosacral Therapy courses, including International courses in Kiental Switzerland in May of 2012 and 2013 and September 2014.
Sari delights in focusing attention on patient care in her North Scottsdale office, 
Sari Hands PLC, where she works with a diverse caseload, ranging from birth to over 90.  She is also a contributing writer to online and print publications. 

Sari is a fitness enthusiast and a 'foodie', who loves to combine beautiful, fresh ingredients in delicious and healthy ways!


Resources for Choosing a
Craniosacral Therapist

Many practitioners blend styles and modalities, so, choosing a therapist is unique to each client.  Many therapists will offer a 10-minute phone consultation prior to the first session to answer questions and provide information about their practice.


Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a Craniosacral Therapist in your area.  Here are some additional Resources:


Therapists listed through the Upledger Foundation have taken courses in a variety of Biomechanical Craniosacral Therapy methods.  These courses are generally 4-5 days in duration.


Therapists listed in this site have completed a 700-hour program in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy through an accredited program.

This is the site for therapists trained in the Visionary Method of Craniosacral Therapy.

For questions or additional information, please visit my website:



Fall 2015 

One of my clients recently asked me to contribute to her blog as a wellness resource. You can check out her site at:
I decided to share this as a summary of some of the information on both my website and the internet.


What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is a very gentle hands-on technique used to encourage calming of the nervous system. The craniosacral system includes the brain, spinal cord and surrounding tissues, all bathed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

This system is a semi-hydraulic pump, from the brain to and from the sacrum at the end of the spine.  Variable rhythms of the CSF can be observed, monitored and regulated, encouraging the body to relax and heal.

Craniosacral Therapy facilitates an improved resting state for muscles, tissues and the nervous system.  

Improving the fluid nutrition of the brain and spine helps to increase energy and mobility.  Craniosacral therapy helps the patient heal from the inside out, leading to significant improvements in all aspects of life.


Who can benefit from Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral Therapy is beneficial for a variety of clients, from ‘Welcome to the World” visits for newborns to help them settle with any birth issues to End of Life visits.

The following are examples of conditions commonly treated using Craniosacral Therapy:

  • Headaches (migraines)

  • Neck, back, jaw or other generalized pain

  • Anxiety/Chronic stress

  • Neurological disorders, including ADD/ADHD, MS, stroke, autism, Parkinson’s

  • Digestive issues

  • Hormonal and Auto-immune conditions

  • Pregnancy

  • Colic, digestive problems, sleep difficulties, developmental delays in babies

    What can I expect during my CST session?

During most treatments, you will be lying on your back fully clothed. Comfortable clothing is recommended for the sessions, and pillows and blankets are provided for your comfort. Your therapist may cradle your head, shoulder, spine or other tissues to support them and allow an improved quality of the fluid flow along with tissue release. 

You may also roll to your side for some releases.  You may move around during the sessions as your tissues release.  Some patients feel an urge to laugh or cry as a release. The most important thing is that you feel safe and well supported in your healing process.  After sessions, you will want to drink extra water to encourage the release of toxins. Some patients report feeling very relaxed, and some report feeling very energized. These are your sessions, and stating your intentions can help achieve your goals in healing. 

Style and History of Craniosacral Therapy
There are variations in Craniosacral Therapy techniques, originally based on work by osteopathic physicians the early 1930’s. These early doctors discovered movement in the cranial bones and used forceful manipulations to change structural restrictions in their patients’ heads. 
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Wm. Sutherland, D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) developed another approach, and gradually used gentler, less invasive techniques to facilitate slowing and stillness in the client’s nervous system.  His reverence for this gentle work led him to use descriptions like ‘the heart of the bird’ to describe stillness.  His work began the branch of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy in the community of osteopathic physicians and later to other healthcare practitioners.

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy techniques accommodate the internal movement of the body’s fluids related to the organizing and ordering movements within the embryonic development.

In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, the therapist facilitates slowing and stillness in the clients through a very slow rhythm in the cerebrospinal fluid.  This 50-second cycling rhythm is also called Primary Respiration, the Deep Tide or The Breath of Life.


Biomechanical CranioSacral Therapy

Osteopathic physician John E. Upledger developed the Biomechanical Model of Craniosacral Therapy, typically performed by licensed massage therapists, Physical and Occupational therapists, chiropractors and osteopathic physicians.

The discovery of the Dural Pulse by Dr. John E. Upledger was the foundation for the groundbreaking work that he would later coin as CranioSacral Therapy. The development of this therapeutic approach earned Dr. Upledger recognition in TIME magazine as one of America's "Next Wave of Innovators" for his proven clinical applications of this therapy.


From 1975 to 1983, Dr. Upledger was a professor of biomechanics at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University. While he was there he led a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers who performed and published the clinical research that formed the basis for the Biomechanical Model of CranioSacral Therapy.

In 1985, after decades of research, Dr. Upledger founded Upledger Institute International to teach people worldwide about the value of this effective approach. Today, the Institute is one of the most respected training venues in the world, with more than 100,000 alumni. Dr. Upledger also founded the Upledger Clinic the same year to provide treatment to individuals suffering from pain and dysfunction, and to continue his groundbreaking research in a clinical setting.

Using a soft touch — generally no greater than 5 grams, (the weight of a nickel) practitioners feel for the pulse of the spinal fluid between the cranium and the sacrum and release restrictions in the bones and soft tissues that surround the central nervous system.  Through these releases, the fluid flows more effectively, helping the body to function more effectively.


Visionary Craniosacral Therapy

Visionary Craniosacral Work® (The Milne Model) blends anatomy, physiology and an inner spiritual journey without judgment.  Shamanic healing methods may be included in this style of work.

Is CST covered by Insurance?

Some therapists may be able to bill for or provide invoices for you to submit to your insurance using Manual Therapy codes.  This would be on a case by case basis for medically appropriate diagnosis.
I hope this information has helped you to understand a little more about the combination of experience, intuition, luck and a little magic that I bring to my therapy practice.

Thank you for sharing your journey with me,


Address ~ 10601 N. Hayden Road, Suite I-108 ~ Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Phone ~ 480-998-8448
Email ~

Copyright © 2015  Sari Hands PLC,  All rights reserved.