Book Reviews

From My Hands and Heart

Kate Mackinnon

Inspirational, Spirituality, Health & Healing, Alternative Health, Meditation


Foreword by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a powerful hands-on treatment that supports the body's own wisdom and innate ability to heal. Tens of thousands of practitioners around the ... More

Sep 01, 2013 jessica0322

I mainly chose this book because the author is Dr. Wayne Dyer’s craniosacral therapist, so I figured she must be an amazing person and health practicioner…after reading the book I realized she really is!!

For those who have not heard of CST and are looking for a drug free non- traditional way to treat chronic pain, stress or illness this book would be a great start to understand what CST is, what to expect from a session, what types of conditions CST can help with, and even how to practice it for yourself and family at home.

Kate defines Craniosacral Therapy as a highly effective light-touch therapy that works with the whole body and the source of pain and dysfunction simultaneously; but the most complete definition she has come across is “the healing power of a gentle touch”

In this book she beautifully describes her journey and growth as a miracle worker, as Dr. Dyer calls her. It also has several case studies describing some conditions she has treated, and the successful evolution of her patients during and after the treatments. Some of the conditions are asthma, infant constipation, headache, pain from dental work, emotional distress, head shape, and many more.

If you are looking for a holistic solution please try this therapy and definitely read “From my Hands and Heart”.

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Aug 29, 2013 KMHuber
This irregular Thursday Tidbits post features the gentle touch of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) as described in Kate Mackinnon’s From My Heart and Hands. If you have never heard of CST, as I had not, consider this concise definition: “the healing power of a gentle touch” (Mackinnon).

Essentially, CST is based on the body’s innate ability to heal itself; the therapy has a physical as well as energetic component. waters of forgiveness

Therapists’ hands are trained to feel and monitor changes in the body’s tissues to a very high degree of sensitivity. In the process of monitoring what is happening in the client’s body, therapists’ hands follow change as it occurs rather than making a decision to move a person’s body in any given direction. This is a principal difference between CST and most other therapeutic types of bodywork (Mackinnon).

The term craniosacral involves the cranium and sacrum, the bony features that protect the brain and spinal cord, our central nervous system:

These structures are further supported by membranes that line the bones of the fluid that fills those membranes, which provide cushioning for the brain and spinal cord. The craniosacral system is at the very core of our being; disturbances in the system create disease or disharmony in the body as a whole. Likewise, problems of the body also reflect back to the craniosacral system, putting it under strain (Mackinnon).

The cerebrospinal fluid of the central nervous system is essential to CST for the trained therapist’s hands are able to evaluate how well the body is functioning by feeling the craniosacral rhythm, a gentle motion that can be felt throughout the body.

It would be an injustice to Mackinnon, her book, and CST to attempt to discuss the different facets of this therapy in a blog post. It would also be quite a challenge as Mackinnon deftly explains and explores the many facets of CST. Not only is her book readable but it is an engaging and thoughtful presentation. This is a book I recommend for anyone who wants to know about CST, either as a client or as a professional. Mackinnon covers it all.

Meraki Moment She provides an in-depth discussion of a ten-step, CST protocol as well as what to expect in a session and how to prepare for a session. Each chapter includes fascinating case studies of an array of conditions that have been helped by CST. Mackinnon never presents CST as a panacea but rather as a viable, healing modality.

Mackinnon studied with the Upledger Institute, and in addition to discussing the training in various modalities that one should consider requisite in a craniosacral therapist, she includes a fascinating chapter on accessing and using what she refers to as our inner wisdom.

While CST is based upon the premise that our bodies can heal themselves, it does not mean that the body cannot use some support, even from allopathic medicine. Thus, regardless of the healing modality, it is essential to access that information within our bodies, which is not always easy.

There are various practices that help us do just that including tai chi, yoga, meditation, and CST. “We often need support to reach our inner wisdom, to allow us to move beyond our logical or rational minds” (Mackinnon). An increased level of awareness allows us a deeper sensitivity to what is occurring within our physical bodies.

Having had a regular meditation practice for just over a year and for a much shorter time, a yoga practice, I am encouraged daily. Beyond what meditation gives me, I am beginning to see the effects of having a regular yoga practice, especially for discomfort, stiffness, and flexibility. In particular, there has been real progress with the neuropathy in my legs.

CST is not covered by most insurance companies, although it is certainly complementary to allopathic medicine. Craniosacral therapists often are also licensed as massage or physical therapists. Mackinnon provides an excellent glossary and list of resources. The Upledger Institute website is among them.

Perhaps what most convinced me to start looking for a craniosacral therapist is the following from the late Dr. John Upledger: “‘the therapist does not heal or cure. The healing is done by the patient using the help and facilitation of the therapist.’”

I will keep you posted.

(All quotations are from the Hay House print copy of From My Hands and Heart by Kate Mackinnon, 2013. As a Book Nook member, Hay House has provided me a free copy for review. My review is to be posted on my blog as well as on at least one commercial site.)
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Aug 07, 2013 timlarison
There are many different healing practices available to people today. Kate MacKinnon introduced me to a new method I was not familiar with in her book "From My Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy".

What I first noticed was the endorsement of Craniosacral Therapy (CST) by well known spiritual author Wayne Dyer. Dyer has featured MacKinnon on his Hay House radio show, and he wrote the introduction to her book. MacKinnon's CST practice worked on Dyer, helping him overcome the energy zapping effects of lymphocytic leukemia. "I encourage you to pay close attention to what this phenomenal teacher has to offer you concerning craniosacral therapy as an alternative to the far more extreme options that are generally offered through the medical model," Dyer writes. If CST is good enough for Wayne Dyer, it's good enough for me. I wanted to read more.

I liked MacKinnon's emphasis on natural healing. "With CST we recognize that, given proper support, the body will heal itself, creating a custom solution to any problem that is causing discomfort," MacKinnon believes. She gives a very thorough explanation of what CST is, backed by numerous case studies from her patients. The many tales of people getting better through CST encouraged me to try this type of therapy myself. The only problem is, would I be able to find a CST therapist as skilled as MacKinnon? MacKinnon offers resources in the book to find your own CST practitioner from The Upledger Institute ( - I was surprised to find a good number of CST therapists in my area. I also liked her suggestions on how to determine if a particular CST therapist is the right fit for you.

MacKinnon is not against traditional medicine - in fact she suggests CST can support other healing modalities out there. "I cannot imagine a life without dentists: their work is invaluable in preventing excruciating pain," she says. "At the same time I cannot imagine how we can tolerate dental work without CST!"

I think From My Hands and Heart is best read by someone in a healing profession. While I found the case studies interesting, it only took one or two to convince me that CST was worth a try. I did not need the depth of analysis that MacKinnon delves into to prove the worthiness of CST - a person in the medical field will likely appreciate these detailed case studies more than I. Nevertheless From My Hands and Heart is a worthwhile book to raise awareness of this innovative and natural healing practice. "The most succinct and complete definition of CST I have come across," MacKinnon writes, "is `the healing power of gentle touch'" In a world filled with more intrusive medical options, CST is a welcome practice for me to consider for my future health needs.
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Jul 29, 2013 cmwaugh
Kate MacKinnon's new book, From My Hands and Heart, Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy was a unique and new read for me.

MacKinnon is a successful Physiotherapist and Craniosacral Therapist with many years experience in this new, sought after healing modality.

The lesson I got from MacKinnon was that Craniosacral Therapy is a healing power of gentle touch that creates a change (emotional trauma, back pain, dental issues, etc.) that I desire.

MacKinnon shares another way to look at the field of Craniosacral Therapy:

"A craniosacral therapist uses gentle touch to map the body's responses to stress and injury --sometimes from a recent accident or illness, and sometimes long-ago trauma --and then supports the body in releasing them..."

In this book, MacKinnon shares a lot about the foundational concepts, detailed case studies, and hands-on techniques of Craniosacral Therapy. It's very enlightening.

I wasn't sure where the craniosacral system was located, but MacKinnon made it easy to visualize.

In my general, non-medical terminology (I'm definitely not a physician), there are several bones in our skull down through our spinal cord to the sacrum located right above our tailbone. This system affects every other part of our body.

This book is a major education for anyone trying to understand how the interconnected nature of our cranium system affects our entire body and what we can do to alleviate this pain.

Some people might consider this book clinical, but it was an easy, engaging read for me. There were times that her personal stories touched me so deeply that I began to cry.

MacKinnon's tender explanations and stories in describing this up-and-coming complementary method of alternative healing is -- as I sense through her words -- the gentle touch she applies to her clients.

Next up on my agenda is to learn about the subtle nature of my own craniosacral system and schedule my appointment with one of these specialized therapists in my area. After my first visit, I'll be sure to share the results with you.

I send you my love, blessings and wishes for a prosperous and abundant life!

(I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. I am also an affiliate for Amazon. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. )
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Jul 18, 2013 alpha_andy_omega
I would recommend this book to anyone who is considering, or already, receiving Craniosacral Therapy. It's an interesting type of energy healing, specifically in the way the treatment addresses how trauma or injury can be stored in the body over long periods of time. As someone who has never experienced it personally, I feel as if I'm missing a piece of the puzzle, in order to give it a proper review. However, I'm giving it 5 stars, because the individual case studies provided suggest that this therapy works. It seems to have some similarities to Reiki, Qigong, and other forms of energy healing. So anyone familiar with those modalities would find this book an interesting study. If you've read Dr. Wayne Dyer's recent works, you're probably already aware of Kate Mackinnon, as she has worked with him and he is a proponent of CST. I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes. This review represents my honest assessment.
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Jul 03, 2013 MommaFrugal

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a powerful hands-on treatment that supports the body’s own wisdom and innate ability to heal. Tens of thousands of practitioners around the world can attest to the effectiveness of this rapidly growing therapy. In From My Hands and Heart, Kate Mackinnon interweaves her personal journey of using CST with case studies and detailed, easy-to-understand explanations of the theory behind it. Whether you’ve never heard of CST before, thought it didn’t apply to you, or are currently undergoing treatments, this book has something for you.Mackinnon guides you through creating a team of practitioners focused on your well-being, and explains how to help yourself at home between sessions. You’ll learn simple, safe techniques that almost anyone can perform and receive. Most important, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the amazing powers of the human body and how, with individualized support through CST, it can find its own way to balance and health.

My Review:
I was looking forward to receiving this book. I had a few hopes regarding this book. One that it would be in a easy to understand format, it was based on someone's own experiences and it gave good advice.

This book accomplished all three things.

Our bodies are such complex mechanisms and this book focuses on noninvasive healing techniques. The author explains what a session with a Craniosacral therapist would be like.

I enjoyed reading this book and I think you will too.

I give this book 4 ****.

Thank you to the Hay House Book Nook program for providing me with the book to review.

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Jun 07, 2013 hhreviewer2

As most people, before reading From My Heart And Hands, I had been familiar with Craniosacral Therapy (CST) only as a term but didn't know what it was exactly. The author Kate Mackinnon does a tremendous job outlining the principles behind CST as well as how it works. She writes the medical sections of the book in a way that is highly understandable. It is very much accessible and not at all bloated with technical jargon.

From My Heart And Hands is mostly an overview of CST for people who might be interested in finding a craniosacral therapist but who wish to know more beforehand. It is not a how-to book, although the author writes in detail what to expect from a CST session.

There is a very short chapter on some of the Upledger ShareCare techniques but I found that I wanted to know more about how to apply it to myself rather than to someone else. It isn't easy to translate to self what one would do on someone else.

From My Heart And Hands by Kate Mackinnon has sparked an interest in me to try CST for myself and I am utilizing the resources in the back of the book to locate a therapist. Overall I believe this is a great book for anyone looking for a simple explanation of CST.

This is my review of From My Heart And Hands by Kate Mackinnon. I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.

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Jun 02, 2013 Lead With Your Heart

Before reading this book I had only a vague idea of what craniosacral therapy (CST) actually was. Ten years ago I may have read it with more skepticism, but I was immediately drawn to this healing modality and quickly made a connection between CST and my personal spiritual practice.

Kate Mackinnon was originally trained as a physical therapist in her home country of Scotland and continued working in that modality when she relocated to California. Once introduced to craniosacral therapy, she enrolled at the Upledger Institute in Florida, founded by Dr. John Upledger, who was initially trained as an Osteopathic Doctor. A brief and not at all comprehensive explanation of CST, is that students are taught to recognize, feel, and follow the patient’s subtle energy movements and blockages. The therapist’s touch is very light and non-invasive.

Craniosacral refers to the cranium, the base of the skull and the sacrum or tailbone. The fluid running between the two is commonly known as cerebrospinal fluid which cycles 10 to 12 times a minute. One of the facts I found fascinating, is that this 150 milliliters of fluid is the equivalent of river water and the remainder of our bodily fluids are the equivalent of ocean water. The percentage of fresh water and ocean water, 3% and 97%, is identical to that of the water on Earth.

According to the author, this type of energy therapy is appropriate for adults, pregnant women, children, babies and even pets. Physical and emotional disturbances, both current and past, can be felt by the therapist, and together with the patient, can be resolved in a session or several on-going sessions, depending upon the issue. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that this type of treatment doesn’t just take care of the symptoms of a problem, but reaches through to the root of the problem.

After reading this book, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient with a physical, emotional or even chronic illness, would not benefit from this therapy. Kate sites clients whom she has helped overcome serious maladies, and others where she has been instrumental in lovingly and peacefully assisting them in their transition.

The last couple of chapters cover ways to enhance the beneficial effects of receiving a CST session, as well as learning to do the basics at home, on yourself, a friend or a loved one.
The “Resource” section lists all information on the Upledger Institute, as well as websites for CST for veterans, CST with dolphins, swim therapy, Yoga, poetry, stories, and books and resources on energy.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in alternative therapy methods. I found Kate Mackinnon’s writing to be clear and easily understood even when describing complicated procedures.

I received this book free of charge from Hay House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing it.

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May 07, 2013 blessedelements
Kate Mackinnon's book entitled 'From My Hands and Heart' Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy is a book of information about the technique of massage dealing with this technique. The book explains CST and the way it is used as a treatment.

Kate Mackinnon writes about her experiences with this type of therapy and gives examples of how she used it to bring relief to those suffering before embarking on this type of therapy. She explains how she began using this technique as a physical therapist and how she feels it is a more natural technique that cooperates with the body’s ability to heal.
The book gives several examples of her technique and the results they brought by using her hands and intuition while using CST. A large team of practitioners are now favoring this method in which they feel the focus is more on individual's well-being. A portion of the book is also devoted to explaining how individual may help themselves at home between sessions. It suggests simple, safe techniques that anyone can perform and receive.

Although I personally found this book a little hard to get interested in and be excited about reading, I did think of people in my life that would probably enjoy reading it and applying it to their lives. I don't doubt the effectiveness of this technique I just found the book to be a little average and dry in the way it was written. I think those already in the profession of massage or physical therapy would probably enjoy the book and add the knowledge to their skill to launch a new career and steps to deepen their knowledge of helping people through touch.
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Apr 22, 2013 julieinmichigan
From My Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy by Kate MacKinnon went far beyond my expectations to provide me with a much needed refresher on the CST course I took from Upledger Institute in 2002.

I believe this text would serve many people well, even those without a medical background. Craniosacral Therapy might seem mysterious and difficult to understand when it’s first explained. However, the author has the ability to walk the reader gently around clinical terms and anatomy to provide a very clear visual of the practice. At the same time, she doesn't simplify it as such to eliminate its usefulness to those who utilize the jargon in their daily lives.

She has titled the book to indicate that she is working deeper than the physical touch, to the depths of her heart. Her heart’s desire to assist in the healing of those who come to see her came through her words very clearly.

As mentioned previously, I have taken the training and found the practice very beneficial to the clients I saw over the next few years. It is amazing to see the profound results mirroring those described in this book. For myself, my life took a turn and I had not practiced on a client for the past several years. While reading Ms. MacKinnon’s very powerful work I came to the realization that I would greatly benefit from seeing a practitioner. Happily I acted on my inspiration and found someone close by. Within the next few days of my continued reading, I found the author’s instructions on how to find a practitioner exactly as the path I had just followed. She gives good instructions.

As I neared the end of the book, I again felt inspired, this time to start working on myself, an issue with my ankle. As I worked on the area, I followed the energy as she shared and determined my issue to be connected with a hip problem; subsequently the resultant memory of a fall came to me. Alas, Ms. MacKinnon must have been reading my mind as she next described the process to work on oneself.

Again and again throughout the book as an issue or question came to my mind, the text seemed to follow my thinking and I would find the answer promptly in the next few paragraphs.

I guess you can understand why I so highly recommend this book. It’s a treasure and gratefully it was a free gift to me for writing this review. I was not compensated for the review and was under no obligation to write anything but the truth.
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