Chronic Depletion

Nov 6, 2018

“I’ve nothing left”

“I’m constantly exhausted”

“I feel like I’m living on the edge”

“I feel like I can’t cope with anything else”

“I’m constantly burning the candle at both ends”

Any of these comments sound familiar?

These are the kinds of comments many of our patients come to us with – they are so worn down, worn out, that they have nothing left to throw at the next trauma, illness or incident – their systems are so depleted that their resilience has gone, and they live in a constantly depleted state – otherwise known as chronic depletion. This leaves them often in pain, often exhausted, often irritable, with a nervous system so sensitive, so ‘wound up’ that what ‘appears to be’, a simple task, event or injury can set their whole system into turmoil and can take days, weeks or months to settle again.

In my opinion, we should be the healthiest, happiest, most content and the fittest  we have ever been. Yet the incidence of anxiety, depression, back pain, bowel conditions, fertility issues and complex illnesses are on the rise. We live in a world that is changing at such a pace, we are unable to evolve at the same rate. Our bodies therefore begin to show signs of stress, and inability to adapt. Children know the meaning of stress, they can recognise it in others, and the number of young people presenting to our clinic with stress related conditions are on the increase. It is normal to have periods in our life that put us under some stress – exams, moving house, a bereavement, divorce,  an illness – remember how you felt at these times? This is when we move into a depleted state. But, this state should be shortlived, and we should move back into a state of resilience. This state of resilience makes us feel energised, strong, well, and able to deal with whatever is thrown at us – often the phrase “I’ve got this” is used when we are feeling resilient. Compared to when we are depleted, and we feel like nothing we do will be right, not knowing where to turn.

It is when we stay in a state of depletion that we become chronically depleted, and our bodies become open to health issues – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Often a combination of all.

I’ve been a physio for 25 years, and I have been incorporating craniosacral therapy into my practice for 20 years. What I’ve noticed, particularly over the last few years, is that people are becoming more and more complex – they present with a multitude of symptoms, illnesses, traumas and history – they come with more ‘baggage’ if you like! My complex patients are getting younger – currently I am treating a 7 year old, a 10 year old and a number of teenagers. Adults present, describing years and years of illness, trauma and injury, and many have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).Whilst I love the complexity of each individual, and the many layers they present, as practitioners, we need to tread carefully, with caution and respect. It is so easy to exacerbate symptoms, very easy to ‘rattle’ an already wound up nervous system, in spite of the gentle approach, and progress is often slow.

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With this in mind, I was led to the wonderful Upledger ‘Craniosacral Therapy and Working with Chronic Depletion’, a 3 day course led by the inspiring Eric Moya.

eric moya with vicky smith

A course full of insights, of different ways to assess and treating from a different perspective, from the ‘global epicentre’, being in ‘witness’ state more than ‘influence’ state – this course also reaffirmed that I am in the right place, working with the right patients, who constantly teach me, progress my skills and present ‘nuggets’ of information and insight! If someone had told me 25 years ago that I would be here, treating such a wonderful range of babies, children and adults – I would truly not have believed them.

I have a number of patients currently who are chronically depleted and together, we have already begun to use some of the new information and techniques I have brought back to Durham with me. Along with a bag of still point inducers!

The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive – one patient, after I had re-evaluated, detected the upper and under quality (I had been familiar with palpating the symmetry, quality, amplitude and rate of the craniosacral rhythm, but under quality was a new ‘tool’, which helps ascertain how depleted the system is) I began working with the global epicentre – she described it like I had found the power button.. and felt deeper, more profound relaxation during and following treatment.

The global epicentre is essentially the mid point of all the restrictions – in itself not a restriction, but almost the ‘balance point’ – the ‘quiet spot’ – and I can safely say this can produce profound and significant shifts as the body integrates.

As practitioners, we become very attuned to your system – many clients find it bizarre, funny, fascinating and intriguing, that we can hold your feet and ‘know’ where to start! We will meld with you and your tissues, and treat what we find – there is no formula, no agenda, and we meet you where you are at.

What a journey we are on. Thank you for sharing it with me. How wonderful that we never stop learning, and we are always open to new information, insight and guidance. Thank you Eric, and the wonderful practitioners whom I shared those three days.

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Thank you to my clients, some of whom I have known and treated for a number of years. They continue to inspire me and guide my professional journey and progress.

If you’d like to get in touch to find out more, or to book an appointment, Mark and I both use craniosacral therapy. Find us on  or you can email us at

Come and relax in our beautiful treatment rooms, all with star ceilings!

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With thanks

Vicky Smith