Profile – Orla Illien

Orla Illien CST-T – Director of Upledger Institute Ireland

I practise CranioSacral Therapy and have been expanding my knowledge and experience since 2002. I believe every person should have the opportunity to live their life with the optimum level of health. CranioSacral Therapy can benefit everyone. I find it especially beneficial for babies and children that can have a bumpy start. This can be due to a traumatic birth or grievances in early life. Anxiety with settling into school, sleep problems, shy making friends or just general change which can be hard for their sensory system to process. “ CranioSacral Therapy allows you to thrive and not just survive”


I qualified  as an Adventure Sports and Outdoor pursuits instructor. I worked with youth groups from disadvantaged areas. It felt great to help  them overcome their fears of hanging off a cliff face backwards. I got a real reward from their sense of achievement. Yet, I still felt like I should be able to do more for them. This led me to studying Holistic Health. I qualified in a variety of modalities. As much as i loved all of these therapies a key ingredient still felt like it was missing. It was when I was working with people with intellectual disabilities and autism in my 20’s that my ‘A ha’ moment came. I read a magazine article about a physiotherapist who trained in CranioSacral Therapy and treated a 5yr old boy with Autism who never spoke. After 1 session he said his first word. That’s it – I was hooked. I booked onto the next CranioSacral Course with the Upledger Institute. I have never once regretted that choice. I love every minute of CranioSacral Therapy. Treating clients, studying it , teaching parents techniques to help their children and teaching students who are developing their skills. After 18 years experience of CranioSacral Therapy I am now well established with treating babies and children. Also I am sharing my knowledge by teaching and supporting students that are training with the Upledger Institute Irl.

The Institute aims to provide professional training in CST.  I have a vision of seeing a CranioSacral Therapist in every town in Ireland. I want everyone to be able to avail of this wonderful, safe and effective therapy.

I have also been practicing as a CranioSacral Therapist in Galway, since 2002.  I trained with the Upledger Institute in Ireland.  I have also trained in CranioSacral Therapy for Paediatrics, The Brain Speaks, and Bio-Aquatics.

I continue to work with children with these types of difficulties but using CST. In fact it was the effectiveness of CranioSacral Therapy on children and its gentle, non invasive approach that attracted me to it. CST trusts in the wisdom of the body.

I am a registered member of the IACST (Irish Association for Craniosacral Therapy) and a former committee member of the organization