Long Tide

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'Long tide is the slowest, most stable tidal expression of primary respiration. Considered to express as 100-second cycles of inhale and exhale, in a wide field of action.'[1]

Long tide originates from stillness. This is described as transmutation in biodynamics. It is a slow rhythmic expression of the breath of life, expanding from the midline out into the field around us, towards the horizon. There is then a natural contraction and returning back to the midline. Long tide can be perceived as an energetic phenomena, as a shift in potency. It can be perceived as a strong force but with light-airy coherent quality. Long tide is the tide underlying mid tide and CRI.




In long tide everything goes very slowly, it is a very expansive state where a sense of non separateness pervades. The practitioner is still grounded and can differentiate out a clear sense of their own body, but within the perceptual field there is a engagement with the wider environmental space.

Franklyn Sills on the long tide
'In his work, Sutherland became more and more aware of a formative level of primary respiration. He perceived a stable tide-like phenomena within and around the human system. Over time, he realized that these tidal motions were direct expressions of the creative intention of the Breath of Life.
He called this level of primary respiration the Tide. Becker called it the Long Tide to differentiate it from other tidal motions and this is the term that is commonly used in the field.
The Long Tide is:
  • The root of what Sutherland called primary respiration
  • A key perception in a biodynamic approach
  • A direct expression of the creative intention of the Breath of Life
  • The most formative expression of primary respiration
The Long Tide seems to arise from “nowhere”, manifests like a great wind arising within a vast field of action and radiates through everything.
Long Tide generates a local ordering fields that:
  • Mediates embryonic development
  • Ignites an ordering potency in the fluids of the body
  • Maintains cohesiveness and balance throughout life.'[2]

Many authors in cranial work, as Sills as done here, always write 'Long Tide' rather than 'long tide' and often capitalise key bits of jargon. Always feels a bit grand to me.


  1. Sumner, G. and Haines, S. (2010) Cranial Intelligence - A Practical Guide to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. London: Singing Dragon.
  2. Sills F. accessed Oct 2013 via http://www.craniosacral-biodynamics.org/thelongtide.html There is a longer article on the web page