CranioSacral Therapy: Exploring Presence and Intentioned Touch
July 2–29, 2022
July 2–29, 2022
with Karen Axelrod
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CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle and profoundly moving form of bodywork that is known to help regulate the central nervous system for body-mind-spirit balancing.

The craniosacral system comprises the brain, spinal cord, and the fluids and membranes protecting these precious structures. Together, these structures comprise the central nervous system, the primary “command center” for the entire body. When the craniosacral system operates well, every other system in the body can enjoy vitality and good health, including the cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, reproductive, digestive, circulatory systems and more.

But CranioSacral Therapy goes far beyond this. It is a mindfulness-based, holistic modality that addresses virtually every aspect of being human — body, mind, spirit, and energy. As such, its transformational power is far-reaching.

This exploratory workshop introduces participants to craniosacral therapy. You’ll learn how your strong therapeutic presence and intentioned touch facilitate safety and comfort for clients. One of the most powerful gifts a therapist can share with clients is their presence. Presence is being with someone in a space of non-judgment, neutrality, and total acceptance. This type of therapeutic presence also leads to discerning palpation skills that allow the therapist to feel the most subtle, and often the most significant, changes in the body as healing and recovery occur.

You’ll experience how being a more mindful practitioner enhances your hands-on skills so that you can better perform the work taught in class. You’ll learn to detect subtle movement, energy, fluid, and fine structures within the body. You’ll learn gentle techniques to assess and normalize the craniosacral system so the body can begin to self-correct. By unraveling pain and dysfunction at the source, you’ll naturally help eliminate stress, strengthen resistance to disease, and enhance health in every dimension.

The month culminates in learning the 10-step protocol developed by craniosacral pioneer Dr. John E. Upledger.

Course Pre-requisites

To attend this program, you must be a professional healthcare practitioner, student in healthcare program or graduate awaiting licensure/accreditation with experience in sensitive, light-touch palpation.

For those who wish to take CS1, and live in a state or province that does not require a healthcare hands-on license to practice CST, the following minimum study is required:

  • 80 hours of Anatomy and Physiology and 15 hours of Pathology. One way to satisfy this requirement is through the home study coursework, Upledger Health Science Essentials, available through the London (Ontario) College of Osteopathy.
  • 4 hours of ethics, from an accredited professional organization or school.

This program is offered in collaboration with the Upledger Institute International (UII). Completion of this workshop will result in full credit for Upledger’s CranioSacral Therapy entry-level course (CS1), and eligibility to take CS2 through the Upledger curriculum.

NOTE: There is  an additional $250 fee for this program, giving you the full status as a CranioSacral Therapy practitioner with Upledger Institute International (UII), the necessary pre-requisites and eligibility for additional levels of CranioSacral Therapy study with UII, and a listing in  the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners (IAHP) directory.

Karen Axelrod

Karen Axelrod

Karen Axelrod, MA, CST-D, CMT, is a certified somatic therapist specializing in CranioSacral Therapy. She teaches CST internationally for the Upledger Institute and maintains a private practice in Redondo Beach, California. Her passion is helping clients connect to inner resources necessary for healing body, mind, and spirit.

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Workshop Schedule

More activities can be found on our open class schedule.

See general schedule information including arrival, departure and meal times.

Accommodations & Tuition

Click Register Now to view availability of accommodations and all-inclusive, program-specific tuition. Please note that not all accommodation levels are available for every workshop and additional faculty fees may apply.

We offer scholarship funds for those with financial need. Learn more.

Accommodations & Tuition

For this workshop, you will register and pay for accommodations and tuition in two separate steps.

First, sign up and pay tuition directly to

Second, click Book Accommodations from this page and enter the password to complete your reservation to stay at Esalen.

Prices for accommodations include your lodging, meals, open classes, and use of the baths and other facilities. View partner program accommodations pricing.

COVID Update

All guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

In addition to proof of vaccination, all guests and faculty must provide proof of negative test results at time of check-in. Please read our current COVID safety guidelines for complete details prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective January 7, 2022 in response to the rapid spread of the new Omicron variant, all guests and faculty will provide proof of negative PCR, NAAT, or antigen test results at time of check-in. The test must be taken within 72 hours nd results must come from a laboratory or healthcare provider.Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective December 15 in accordance with new guidance from Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Health, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022). Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Effective November 19, 2021, in accordance with new guidance from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, all guests, students, staff, residents, and faculty are no longer required to wear masks indoors on campus. Please read our updated COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Starting November 5, 2021, due to substantial levels of COVID-19 transmission in Monterey County, a mask mandate established by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors will go into effect. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

All guests will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival starting September 3, 2021. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

COVID Update

Masks are no longer mandated indoors or outdoors, except during massage sessions. Guests are not required to provide testing or vaccination verification before arriving on campus. Please read our COVID safety guidelines prior to booking your stay.

All-inclusive Pricing
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