about kirby moore: i have a busy private practice in charlottesville, virginia, where i offer process-oriented bodywork, somatic experiencing and in-person astrology interpretations. plus i offer somatic experiencing and astrology over distance sessions (using zoom). you can email me at kirby [at] mkirbymoore.com to check on availability.
this post is about the benefits of using astrology to help guide bodywork and somatic experiencing (trauma resolution types of bodywork)
i practice western astrology. however, i have an eastern background. i have practiced buddhism since 2005 (officially taking refuge in 2006), and i started meditating with a zen teacher back in 2002. plus i love qigong and tai chi, along with studying elements of chinese medicine (acupressure, shiatsu, and 5-element theory).
i have been trained in various bodywork modalities – including visceral manipulation (working with the visceral organs to release stress and strain and occasionally the emotions that go with them), craniosacral therapy (working with the cerebrospinal fluid, the meninges of the skull, the ventricles and membranes of the brain; CST benefits many issues from depression and anxiety to back strains and headaches) and somatic techniques (Zapchen Somatics is a collection of easy to practice, playful exercises which help us to move toward well-being, and which sneakily support us to move toward fuller embodiment).
and more recently, well since 2012, i have been studying polyvagal theory, working with the vagus nerve (system) and somatic experiencing. so i am becoming trauma informed in the work and classes i offer. here is more on somatic experiencing: (this description comes from Andrea Gage, a very competent SE provider)
SE is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by dr. Peter Levine and is supported by research. it is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. these mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ‘’charged’’ life-threatening experiences.
- SE employs awareness of body sensation to help people “renegotiate” and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma.
- SE’s guidance of the bodily “felt sense,” allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged.
- SE may employ touch in support of the renegotiation process.
- SE “titrates” experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis – which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism.
i have personally found SE to be most beneficial in that it opened multiple new doors, showing various tools and techniques for working with the autonomic nervous system and helping to restore wholeness after the disconnection of traumatic experiences. the fascinating part for me, is that SE teaches a model or template as it were, and if we are sharp and creative, we can apply this model to new situations, new symptoms and new clients. in other words, we can tweak techniques to be individualized to different clients, meaning that the 50+ techniques we learn in SE training can become 100’s of varied techniques when applied to different people or different symptom presentations!
knowing that once we start to gain compentency in SE (or other legit trauma informed resilience oriented modalities), we might have access to hundreds of variations and techniques, this creates quite the conundrum in healing work. there are many, MANY choice points in a given session. where do we go with the session? what direction would be most efficacious for them? how do i know where to start?
[as an aside, we almost always start with resources, we check in with a felt sense of safety (or lack thereof) and we gradually move toward more stability, awareness and self-regulation. but how do we do that? how do we even know which basic techniques are best for people?]
the beauty of SE is that we don’t have to know the answers to these questions. we can start with a little bodyscan, inviting the client to feel into resources inside (or outside) their bodies. often, if there is a pressing issue, it will show itself in sensation and we can start working with it from there. this is true whether is issue is a conflict with a co-worker or loved one, an emotional issue inside or an old pattern which is creating enough constriction (over time) to create chronic symptoms, etc.
[it should be stated, that if you have chronic symptoms of any type, especially if it involves pain, get it checked out by a medical doctor or appropriate licensed practitioner first. and then if they don’t know how to treat it, then come see someone like me. these idiopathic (unknown causes) symptoms are often psycho-physiologic in origin, meaning there may be some stuck energy or stuck emotions causing it (among other possibilities). once we rule out organic causes, then we can proceed with SE or other modalities knowing it isn’t something more serious underlying the symptoms. and then we can get on with the repair and healing asap!]
however, is there another way to seeing which choice points to go toward initially? yes, that answer can come about through knowing the western astrology birth chart, and then looking at subsequent timing aspects. if we chat with the client a bit about their chart and their history, then we can easily see how their chart reflects their personality, and we can see what obstacles or hindrances they are working with. and we will probably get a general sense of their capacity to handle this process-type work. we can even ask about how much personal growth work they have done on themselves.
once we know these things (a bit about their history, some of the big themes they are working on, and their capacity to do this deeper personal growth work) about a person, then the thousands of choice points in possible SE sessions can be refined down to just a handful of choices that would be best for them. WOW!
just to reiterate this potent fact – we can go from thousands of choice points down to a small number if we know the client’s astrology pretty well! we can see what blind spots they might be struggling with, we can see the double binds and the coupling dynamics start to show themselves pretty quickly.
i love offering this to my clients. a number of people have taken me up on it. i realize this offering is not common – SE is ahead of the curve. and then using psychological astrology plus timing aspects to see how to best apply SE is rare to find indeed.
let me know if you might be interested in doing this type of potent work. i have had success doing this work over long distance as well – it adapts well to zoom sessions! sure, doing bodywork in person is ideal, but somatic experiencing can still have powerful and transformative effects over distance.
i am currently offering a few distance sessions per week. if you live in central virginia and want to come for an in-person session, then use my scheduling software to come to my office: https://wisdomhealingtherapies.schedulista.com/.
Thank you for visiting!