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I am writing this post for the benefit of my clients, however, others may find this information useful. Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of the article when you have the chance.* This is geared toward clients who might be willing to stick with the work over time – I personally recommend doing a series of sessions – whether four, seven or ten or more. Simply coming in for one session, while potent and beneficial, may not allow for the necessary unwinding and re-organization which the body is requesting. As a reference to my personal experience, I am including the following paragraph. If you do not need to read about why I feel I have the experience to write this, then happily skip it.
I have been doing Reiki Energetic Healing, Working with the Craniosacral System and practicing other modalities which I have been certified in, for more than six years. I also have training and experience in working with Western and Spiritual (Humanistic) Astrology, having done more than 200 charts professionally. My teachers include qualified, academically trained professors, process-oriented bodyworkers who have connections to Indigenous healing wisdom along with empirically-based graduate degrees, astrologers with more than 20 years of experience under their belts and numerous Tibetan lamas – recognized, realized heart teachers with lifetimes of living the healing wisdom of the Buddha-Dharma. I have done a few Buddhist retreats, cultivating greater loving-kindness and compassion which is offered in my private practice. In addition to the above experience and training, I have been on the receiving end of process-oriented bodywork since 2004, having cultivated and maintained quality self care since that time. And of course, I am just an ordinary human being, doing the best I can with the resources I have available.
I plan to update this material and refine it, but at present, this is a quality, if a little rough-around-the-edges, description of a general trend I have been observing in my clients’ processes (over time). Quality bodywork of any sort takes time to cultivate true, lasting healing (the trust required to go into the vulnerable, sticky-icky places where we need to do our deepest work takes time). For most individuals, I believe the body/mind system knows what it needs to heal properly and appropriately – which is one of the reasons I resonate with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Biodynamic work is very gentle and patient – when the system is ready to reveal its healing plan, then the practitioner follows it. Not a moment earlier. There is nothing for the practitioner to do, nothing to fix and nothing to diagnose (without the client’s system giving its input first, and even then, the practitioner is always listening, going slow and doing less rather than more). As a result of the body knowing what it needs and when, we cannot push this process. That would not be kind and I believe it could result in shutting down the budding trust.
The body also knows at what pace to journey down its healing path, to create and nurture lasting healing – not temporary shifts which fall back into old patterns over time. One of the many respected teachers in the Craniosacral field is Hugh Milne, also an Osteopath, he says in his book, The Heart of Listening, “that we can never go too deep, just too fast.” I am a follower and proponent of this advice. As a result, in sessions, no matter what is ailing the client, I work from the feet up – grounding their system and developing the feelings of comfort and trust that are necessary for them to let go of old stuff.
The body generally wants to work on the gross (largest, most pressing) issues first. Whether structural (from an accident, injury or birth trauma), emotional (e.g. grief, anger, jealousy, etc) or energetic in nature, the body / mind system wants to move toward the fullest expression of its highest potential. I believe that this desire is true for all of us – to actualize our highest potential and that this is the body’s deepest intention. If the body needs to let go of something, or shift an old pattern which no longer serves this goal, then it knows what it needs to do. In the beginning of any session, I ask the client to state an intention for that particular session – which can be anything from, “I want to be more calm and centered,” to “I’m ready to move out of my depression and towards healthy interaction with others” (and anything in between). [I just want to state for the record that I do not treat depression. I am using that example as one of the more ambitious intentions that someone could set.] I believe that energy follows intention and attention. This is what my teachers have preached; see Julie Henderson’s book on energetic health, The Lover Within. Therefore, the client determines the frame or intention for their particular session. This is normally in alignment with what the body is looking to accomplish – or to add to this – the body does what it needs to, in order to move toward that intention, along with moving toward its overarching intention of self-actualizing.
Once the grosser issues have been worked through, which could take anywhere from one to twenty sessions – it depends entirely on the client (how much work have they done with other practitioners previously, do they maintain a healthy lifestyle, are they disciplined about doing the homework which healing-facilitators recommend, are they ready to shine some light into the darker recesses of the heart, etc).
Keep in mind that the body will always reveal more healing potentials if we have the capacity. What this means is that as we make more space and clear the grosser issues, subtler issues can arise which we did not realize were present previously. This is because our awareness is becoming sharper and more sensitized (healthier), and we are becoming better able to listen to what our body needs. This is not always the case, but if someone has a history of trauma or abuse (and according to Thomas Merton, a Western monk and mystic, the fast-paced lifestyles that we live here in the West are more than just stressful, but that they are often violent, and certainly not kind – so it might figure that we all have many layers to work through), then it makes sense that we have a number of layers to process. Until we come into easy, sustainable alignment and equanimity, there will be more to work on. However, once we start to make some headway on our healing journey, bringing the light of awareness and wholesome persistence, then we start to feel more joy and gratitude with every moment we are blessed with. As clients (one in particular said this) who have been with me for multiple sessions have said, “Kirby, I would have never known this was possible. My life is full of sparkly joy now. Finding the words for it is difficult, but I am happier and more at peace.” I know this sounds a bit corny, but it is what she was feeling, and what I had been noticing as she shifted.
In a future post, I will include an example of what I am referring to in the above paragraph – about the body / mind letting go of old stuff and then discovering new stuff to work on; information on the healing process. However, I believe that the healing journey can be a lot of work, but it is worth it. [See foot note below.] Joy, clarity and lasting lightness of being are possible. I believe the relationship is reciprocal – we get as much out of the process as we are willing to put into it – in other words, if we are willing to go to some uncomfortable places and do the work, then it will be worth it on the other side. Sometimes we have to feel it to heal it. Then we can celebrate our journey. And with that I bid you a happy Spring!
[Foot note – there are a number of modalities which promise instant results, or immediate healing. If I hear this, what comes to mind? Here are my thoughts – do the results, the claimed healing, truly stick? I believe this is possible but it really depends on the practitioner. Miracles do happen. But I would recommend looking at the people who say that they will give you lasting, easy healing, the practitioners themselves – are they balanced? are they truly, unconditionally happy? are they living in alignment within their communities and with the Earth? do they seem to be very wealthy (if they are flaunting it, then this is not a good sign) There are modalities which claim to go into our belief structures and re-organize them quickly. Again, I am a little suspicious when I hear this. What makes process-oriented bodywork so potent, is that through the bodywork aspect (hands on), you can create lasting shifts at the cellular level over time. But again, the practitioner is not the one doing the work. The client is the one doing the re-organizing. The practitioner merely holds space, listens and provides containment for the process. Rarely and only if appropriate does the practitioner throw in a little coaching. I’m not trying to knock any type of healing modality, but I have seen people spend a lot of money on modalities which I believe provide very little in the lasting results department. To wrap this up, have a healthy skepticism toward healing that sounds too good to be true. Do a little research and analyze the practitioners – are they walking their talk?]
* Disclaimer: I have been trained and certified in working with the Biodynamic Craniosacral system (CST) along with Reiki Energetic Healing, and as a result, I do not treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any disease. Craniosacral Therapy has had some success with a few, limited bodily issues, but I do not make such a claim. I recently completed undergraduate work with a bachelors of science in psychology.