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In a recent post, I mentioned that it is good to remember the body when we are doing any kind of learning – whether meditation, getting our degree, teaching others, hiking in the wilderness, etc. Taking a few minutes here and there to check in with the body is crucial to holistic health – if this seems difficult to you – then find a qualified teacher to help you check in with your system (yoga teachers, body-oriented psychotherapists, somatic practitioners, bodyworkers, etc).
What I want to add to the above post, is that in extreme cases we can also over-treat the body. In my limited experience, the body needs time to process changes / shifts / treatments / etc – there needs to be some down time to integrate and re-pattern. For instance, in the past I have received once a week sessions with one type of practitioner (Rolfing), while also receiving sessions from a process-oriented bodyworker (Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapist). This was about all my system could take – and some weeks, when I had other responsibilities and mind-stretching deadlines, I started to notice irritability and frustration around receiving bodywork. One of my practitioners put two and two together and told me to allow for more integration time… thankfully. She gently asked, “Ya know, how many sessions are you receiving per week?” I told her and she realized that I was over-treating my system – slow down young man!
Please be gentle. Please be kind. Please go slow… Hugh Milne, an author, instructor and practitioner says in one of his delicious Cranio Sacral Therapy books (and I paraphrase), “we can never go too deep, but we can go too fast.” I think this quote should be reflected on by anyone in the health / spirituality / education / meditation fields. Another teacher, actually one of my heart teachers – Julie Henderson (of Zapchen Somatics) – says about her modality, Zapchen Somatics: “I usually tell people that it will take ten years to get started, and then you start learning it [from there on].” A profound statement to be sure. And for people like me with my Mercury in Aries (in my astrological birth chart – Mercury rules the mind and Aries can be an impulsive, intuitive, impatient energy), hearing that it will take 10 years just to get started is an entirely new paradigm. Wow!
So, take both of these posts to heart – work with a qualified practitioner who fully understands what it is to over-treat the body / mind system (and avoids doing it, of course!). And if you notice something that is out of the ordinary arising, by all means mention it to your practitioner (and maybe even get a second, third opinion). Work with someone who goes as slow as you need to and possibly even slower, make that request if need be, and if it is not honored, hit the road. Most of my clients can handle one Cranio Sacral session per week. Rarely, if I am going to be gone for an extended period of time, I will give two or three sessions in a week to someone and then let them gradually integrate the work for a month or more before seeing them again. And this is only after I have worked with someone for a while and I know their capacity.
So… be gentle, practice kindness to self and when in doubt, slow down. Have a great day.