Interview with Mariann Sisco, СST-D, licensed PT

Dear friends, today is a guest of Mariann Sisco — CST-D, licensed physical therapist.

Mariann Sisco

1. Hello Mariann! Tell us about yourself! Where did you get an education? Where do you work?

Hello Andrey!  Thank you for having me.  I love sharing Craniosacral  Therapy with others.  I am especially fond of all of my students in Russia.

I was educated at the University of Colorado.  In Boulder I received my BA in Psychology and in Denver, I received my degree in Physical Therapy.


   2. How many hours do you work daily and what are your daily tasks?

Over the course of my career, I have worked in many different medical settings, including acute care, spinal cord, stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, a hand clinic and orthopedics.  

Presently, I work in private practice and share an office space with an acupuncturist from Georgia in south Florida. I see 6-8 patients a day for an hour at a time.  Some patients work intensively and I see them for extended visits.  

My daily tasks include a morning walk with prayer, and then I see my patients.  Daily study is part of my day.  As I consider my patients to be my teacher, I often review pertinent anatomy and class notes in an effort to best serve my patients.

 I always make sure to take a lunch break and often visit a nearby diner for my favorite sandwich of baked salmon salad and some borscht…which I grew to love during my first visit to Russia!

    3. How do you spend your free time?

My free time is spent enjoying friends and family.  I also take pleasure in  going to the movies, reading books, particularly biographies and watching my favorite television program, NCIS. I also schedule CST sessions for myself on a regular basis.


4. Upledger Institute is the most popular school for the study of craniosacral therapy. Teachers of the    institute are working around the world. What is the secret of success Upledger Institute?

Hmmm….what is the secret of success of the Upledger Institute?  I suppose there are many factors that enter into that success.  From my perspective as a teacher, our success is related to our people.

It does not matter under what category one’s job description falls under, whether someone is an instructor, packs and ships supplies, markets, answers the phone, registers students and teaching assistants for classes, takes care of the technology or travel arrangements or even cleans the office, all are fully aware of the impact of CST.

Each individual is committed to Dr. Upledger’s goal of  helping people feel better.  When Dr. Upledger was alive, employees visited the morning Intensive Program meeting.  Here, non-medical personnel had an opportunity to see and feel the impact of craniosacral therapy in the lives of those receiving CST.

 Now, many employees take an entry level class to discover their own Inner Physician and how CST can make such profound changes in the lives of the students or, they may observe a class in action.  

The students see and experience CST through the teachers but reap the benefits through the commitment of all behind the scenes. In summary, I would say, CST is inclusive…a naturally loving act and in the end, I suppose it is only love that heals.


5. What is the most important thing in the work of Craniosacral Therapist?

The most important things in the work of a Craniosacral Therapist are three-fold.

Number one is being therapeutically present with our patients without judgement which provides a safe space for healing more fully.

Secondly, blending with the patient in their entirety including their tissues i.e. structure and physiology, their emotions, and spirit. Lastly of course is the listening to the tissues and Inner Physician, particularly through the Significance Detector.

All of Dr, Upledger’s work and later development of CST was born out of these three premises, all of which respect each patient as unique and containing wisdom within with which to heal.


6. Where do you see craniosacral therapy 5 years from now?

Five years from now, I see CST as demonstrating  more evidence as to its benefits,  making it available for even more people in need of help.


7. What does it take to be a good CranioSacral therapist?

What does it take to be a good CranioSacral Therapist?  I would refer back to my answer to question number 5. Be therapeutically present, blend and listen to the tissues and Inner Physician.  

A local therapist, Carrie Fisher articulates it as being «an obedient listener traveling the inner landscapes of tissues and organs, bones and cells, fluids and emotions to hear the history they have to tell.»

Humility in the presence of the Inner Physician is essential.  I only know so much.  Much lies under that «inner landscape» that my colleague refers to. There is much credence to the old American Indian proverb: «Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.»


8. Thank you very much, Mariann! What are your wishes for the Russian-speaking Craniosacral   therapists?

You are so welcome Andrey.  You were such a pleasure to have in class during my last visit to St. Petersburg.  You too, are a committed physician striving to bring excellence to your patients.

My wishes for the Russian-speaking Craniosacral Therapists are so many! I have never shown up anywhere, relatively unknown and felt so loved, regarded and take care of.

You are a wonderful and caring group of practitioners who bring so much healing to your country.  

It is your work that is contributing to peace on our planet.  To quote Caroline Kennedy: «The most important work is not done by those who seem the most important, but by those who care the most.»  That is all of you my dear Russian friends.  Keep up the great work!

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