This is some of the wisdom I gleaned from my time in Canada, where I spent 2-weeks at a birth process work intensive workshop. Then I taught a 3-day workshop on Salt Spring Island on working with babies (primarily from a Craniosacral perspective, but we definitely included a lot of Polyvagal tracking of the autonomic nervous system and wisdom and techniques from the birth process work / pre- and perinatal therapy arena). I realize that previous sentence might have a few words in it which could be unpacked. See below for links.
First of all, I have been studying bodywork since 2003 starting with Reiki energetic healing. Every year or two, I added another modality to my repertoire, including Zapchen Somatics, Spiritual Astrology, Craniosacral Therapy (both biomechanical and biodynamic), Polyvagal work, birth process work, etc. Such that, for the past 12 years or more, I have mostly been heading toward appropriate self-care and moving toward health. I have been confronting patterns of stagnation, depletion and negativity along the way. And what this all means is that, even if I wanted to avoid health, right now that would be difficult. I have a full Jupiter return of health and well-wishing toward myself under my belt. In other words, I don’t exactly know what is next for me, but I know it will be good. I am not bragging – I still have my ups and downs. But when we put the causes and conditions into place, we can (mostly) control the result.
I really deepened my awareness of the energetic field while in Canada. Now, it did not all come at once – I have pretty much been able to sense these things in the past, but now I am very confident in my ability to discern what is mine from what is arising in the field. I am able to name what I am sensing, and I am now quite accurate, which is awesome. What does this mean? Here is an example: maybe I am working on someone (bodywork), they have had several sessions with me and they are looking to deepen their experience. I am hearing a good mother message in my mind. See the Ray Castellino or Myrna Martin links below for more on good mother messages. Back to the example: I am hearing in my mind, “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.” I ask my client if it is okay if I share something personal with them. They usually say yes. And sometimes it is so resourcing for the client’s little one (younger parts of themselves who may not have gotten all of their needs met). Occasionally mentioning a good mother message goes right to the heart of the issue, and their tissue will change rapidly under my hand when I have them say the message to their little one. Sometimes it will cause a cathartic reaction – they might start crying as I hit on a vulnerable area with this message. And we take the time to resource these younger (potentially wounded) parts of them. It is not a rapid process of healing overnight, but we go slow and this work sticks. Over 5 or 7 sessions, we move some energy which may have been stuck for a long time. And typically it helps that I can read the energetic field with ease now.
I became a lot clearer about double binds. I know when a client mentions one now. Previously, I could feel the confusion in the tissue, or the stuck-ness and know, “Hey, I think we are on a double bind.” But that might have been all I could do a year ago. Now, I can pinpoint both sides of the double bind and assist my clients through these deep conflicts. It really requires bringing their little parts along as well. One thing that Myrna Martin mentioned (she led the 2-week intensive) that really stuck with me is this: when we attempt to remedy a symptom that derives from unmet developmental needs, we have to bring those younger parts along with us, or they will feel threatened. Below is an example: (I would first recommend wiggling some toes, feeling your feet and legs, noticing your seat and pelvis, what are you sitting on and where do you feel that contact? And finally notice your breath. Maybe take a deep breath now.)
Let’s say we want to rid ourselves of anxiety which cropped up a few years ago. Now we might think that this issue is more recent and has nothing to do with the past and our younger days. However, what if our mother or father had serious anxiety problems? What if it took some major stressor to kick us into anxiety which was sort of dormant since we were born? If this anxiety issue does stem back to a young part who did not get all of their needs met (in spite of our parents’ doing the absolute best they could!), then that young part is probably kind of stuck somewhere in processing that unmet need. And likewise, that young part only knows about whatever was causing their anxiety. And if we try to fix the anxiety without including the younger parts in the process, these younger parts will feel like we are trying to stifle them or worse, kill them. And sometimes this will make the symptom (in this case, anxiety) worse!
[Ever been to a chiropractor for a neck or back issue that always comes back no matter how many sessions you go to? Well guess what? It is possible that is a birth issue trying to complete, but without ever bringing awareness of the baby parts of ourselves into the process, it will never have the chance to complete! I love chiropractors and I go to see a network practitioner myself here in Charlottesville. I’m not trying to single them out at all. This analogy applies to many doctors, psychotherapists, nutritionists, etc etc. Sometimes we need to do a few months of birth process work to really get at the core of an issue.]
What all of this adds up to is this, I am much more confident in working with people of all ages. I taught a workshop in working with babies and I ended up working with newborns, infants and toddlers. And I am much more confident in offering long-distance work. I have been taught (by a different teacher) how to discern in my body what a distance client is noticing and how to slowly move them back toward health and well-being.
I was gone off and on for most of the summer, so I am looking to build up my practice again. So whether you are in Central Virginia and you can see me in person or you would be a long-distance client, I am happy to discuss working together.
Keep in mind I am an Embodiment Coach and a certified bodyworker. I am not a psychotherapist. If you have a mental health or psychiatric issue, make certain you are working with a license medical practitioner first.
Craniosacral – https://www.craniosacraltherapy.org
Polyvagal work – https://traumahealing.org
Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (aka Birth Process Work) – http://www.castellinotraining.com