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Archive for the ‘Biodynamic Cranio Sacral Therapy’ Category

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

http://www.somaticpractice.net

Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (aka Birth Process Work) – http://www.castellinotraining.com

http://myrnamartin.net 

https://www.ppncenter.com

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Thursday morning:

I’m a little nervous and activated as I will both be giving talks about the Autonomic Nervous System, Trauma Resolution and Birth Trauma (repair) and I will be giving treatments as well on Thursday and Friday.

I wake up early, getting things together in order to head down to Clifton Forge (90 minute drive from C’ville).  A friend calls me and says that she is in need of a treatment (little crisis has occurred).  Fortunately it is on my way out of town.

I pack my car and drive over to her place.  Give a nice 45 minute treatment, then drive a short distance to pick up another friend’s massage table which I was borrowing for the weekend.  One fire is moderately extinguished.

I did not do the greatest job of staying centered and in alignment.  I think my body knew what was coming before I did (tends to be the case).  When we listen carefully to what our body’s are saying, we can slow down and approach things with care and appreciation of what we are getting ourselves into.  Driving down on Interstate 81, I am caught in traffic for about 15 minutes as we wait for an accident to clear.  A part of me is starting to rush as I am now 45 minutes later than I expected.

I arrived at 1 pm down there.  It is beautiful.  On the Cowpasture River (small river but very clean and very good for swimming / soaking in).  So serene in the hills of the Shenandoah Valley.

By 2 pm I am set up and I start giving treatments.  I am mainly doing trauma resolution / birth process type work.  Which, in hindsight, was a bit much.  The yoga teacher talked up my practice and my skills (of course I am capable of giving someone an intense session, it is just a matter of whether or not that is wise).

[Aside – I am a very competent bodyworker having studied Reiki (master), a little Zero Balancing, a little Reflexology, Visceral Manipulation, a lot of Craniosacral Therapy, a good bit of Polyvagal trauma resolution and a decent amount of birth process work.  However, what I learned from this visit down to the yoga retreat, is that I need to provide a thorough Intake Form ahead of time.  And I only want to offer deeper work to people who have good support – bodyworkers, therapy, doctors, acupuncturists, etc – back home.  If I am going to travel and give treatments, I need to be a supplement to a solid matrix of support that people already have in place.  I cannot hold this much heart ache on my own again.  So while I am “good” enough to give people intense bodywork sessions, I am now wise enough to know better.  If someone is new to bodywork, no deep work for them – instead it will be stabilizing, grounding, resourcing and exploring safety.  I want people to be safely in their bodies.  If / when they have stabilized this awareness, then we can talk about deepening their process.  I was getting paid quite well however, so it was tough to say no to people down there..]

At 5 pm I had give two sessions and taken a short nap before I gave an hour and a half talk about the ANS and how the body resources and regulates.  I also gave an instruction about Checking the Sphincters – a quick and easy technique from Visceral Manipulation.  I loved how sensitive most of the yoginis were down there – several people reported having rapidly improved digestion as a result of this technique.

Then I gave my fourth session of the day after dinner and I was so ready for bed by 9:30 pm.

We (the yoga teacher, her assistant and myself) stayed in a massive Air B&B house in Clifton Forge – it had one of the steepest streets I have ever driven up leading up to it.  And it had extensive gardens and terraces outside.  When the instructor told me that the entire house (6 bedrooms?!) and gardens cost less than $200 / night I could not believe it.

Friday morning:

Woke up, did my own yoga (mainly Svaroopa Yoga, a gentle supported yin yoga) after not sleeping very well.  Then went downstairs and made breakfast.  I prepared some notes as today I was going to talk about Trauma Resolution and Repair.  Then I was back off to the Farm House as I had a session at 8 am…

Oh, I made some phone calls and got out of an appointment the next day, meaning I was able to stay down at the retreat for yet another day.

Did four sessions total on this day and I was spent.  I had to ask for support and thankfully a guy gave me a 15 minute Reiki tune-up and I showed another yogini how we can sit back to back (for kidney support) and then I showed her how to assist with kidney settling, a technique where one person does a short trust fall back and the person sitting behind them catches them with their hands at the kidney level.  It is best to be showed how to do this (don’t try this at home without previous instruction!).  But nonetheless, it proved very helpful as I got more sleep on this night.

Saturday morning:

I woke up and had to eat something heavier, so I reluctantly admit to eating a four-egg omelet!  Spinach and tomatoes topped that delicious thing off!!

Then another session at 8 am.  I would end up doing only 3 sessions on Saturday as that was my limit.  My body was close to turning off so I mentioned to the instructor that I would be heading back to Charlottesville soon – after I got a snack and a little rest.

I handed out little blessed, precious pills (mani ril bu in Tibetan).  They were calling me a Tibetan Lama but I told them that was not correct – I am not a Lama.  But I did act like one I suppose.  By the way, I told the participants about the miraculous way that some mani ril bu (precious pills) are formed.  During some mani drupchen retreats, when there are many monks and nuns doing the practice and / or when a high lama (like the Karmapa) is in attendance, there have been reports of the precious pills self-arising and spilling over the edge of their large containing bowl.  In other words, the pills miraculously appear and multiply.  So they are very VERY precious and special and full of amazing blessings.  These precious pills are tiny – about the size of a grape seed each.  I have a small package with about 300 in it and it fits in my pocket.  They are little tiny balls of powerful blessings.

With that said, and as a vulgar and humorous anecdote, I gave all the yogis (2) and yoginis (16) several precious pills each, I gave everyone a hug and said my goodbyes.  Then I started loading up my car.  In my over-treated stupor, I did not realize they were about to hand out certificates and say some beautiful intentions for the upcoming months.

Upon hearing them starting this ceremony, I went back up on the porch.  Where, to my surprise, one young woman went up to receive her certificate, and then, as she was about to voice her intention, she said, “I’m sorry, I still have Kirby’s balls in my mouth.”  I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped several inches as I thought to myself, “Wow, this weekend was going so well, very professionally, and then this.”  Anyway, it was really funny in the moment!  I listened to about six or seven of them wrap up with their intentions and what they were trying to give up over the next year.  Very powerful and poetic and magical.

I’m so glad I went and participated.  There is a chance I might get to participate in other similar retreats in the upcoming year (if I am still in the area).

http://www.katiesilcox.com

Fortunately the drive back was uneventful.  I stopped by my parent’s home as it is about halfway between Clifton Forge and Charlottesville.  And fortunately my Mom had fixed meatballs – heavy food, heavy sauce, it was so perfect to get me back in my body!

Thanks for reading!

~kirby

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I am going to write about how clarity can arise during meditation.  And it can also arise when we are offering bodywork.

Garchen Rinpoche is one of my heart teachers.  He is one of the few individuals on the planet who I honestly think, loves everyone and everything around him.  He is the embodiment of loving-kindness in my eyes.  And he is more than that as well, his wisdom fire is vast and deep, so he also embodies the wisdom-gnosis of Manjushri.  If I get the chance to attend his teachings, I make every attempt to go.

In a recent post of one of his teachings, he mentions that with devotion to the Guru or to one’s root lama, that clarity can arise when we meditate.  If we have the dedication of years of practice, and if we are truly devoted to our heart teacher, then clarity can easily arise when we do Guru Yoga or offer a Tsok feast and Lama Chopa practice (offering a delicious feast to the blessing-bestowing lineage holders of one’s particular Tibetan Buddhist lineage).  If we have a question, we might not need to ask our root lama in person, unless it is easy.  [Of course it is good to check in from time to time to make certain we are not being blown about by the winds of delusion]  Rather, if we have a question, we can ask it at the beginning of a meditation session or before we do Guru Yoga, and Garchen Rinpoche says that by the next morning, we might have our answer.

I believe there are some definite parallels between meditation and doing professional, compassionate, skillful, ethical bodywork.  I personally practice Craniosacral Therapy, I work with a little bit of trauma resolution by working with the Vagus nerve and the Polyvagal system and I am starting to get into Pre- and Perinatal therapy (PPN therapy) and Birth Process work.  I have been giving and receiving bodywork for over 12 years now, and I feel that the levels of embodiment I am discovering are very difficult to describe in words and that my body communicates with me on a regular basis.

If we are doing bodywork and something comes up in the session, we can get to the point where we can ask our own bodies – “what is going on here?”  And we can get a definite, accurate answer.

Here is an example of this:

I was giving a treatment a little while ago when I started to feel the client’s pain coming out into my hands.  This can occur anytime someone has emotional or physical trauma and we as healing facilitators are both wishing them well and attempting to get their body to release old stuff.

The problem with the above situation though, is that I want to be able to give a treatment session and have some energy remaining to enjoy my day.  I want to be able to give at least four treatments in a day without feeling drained.  So if I am starting to take on my client’s stuff, I have to pause and notice the yellow flags my body is raising.  “Hello Kirby – do you really want to continue down this path?”  No, I don’t.

Therefore, I paused and asked my body – specifically my gut and my kidneys, “What do I need to know right now?  Why am I taking on this person’s stuff?”

And it was pretty wild.  I got an instant response of, “There is nothing to do, nothing to fix, nothing to make [as healing facilitator].  I am merely connecting to this person’s innate health which is never lost.”  I stated something like this out loud – that their body knows how to heal itself and that I am just coaching their process.

And within seconds, I stopped taking on anything from this person, despite my hands remaining on them the whole time.  I got them to do a little technique to move the energy through and out of their body (without me as middle man!) and they deeply appreciated the session.

It is always good to remind ourselves of the basics.  Going back from time to time to review the basics is very helpful for me.

I think I was taking on this person’s stuff because I had temporarily fallen back into an old pattern of trying to help or fix one of my parents (an old pattern of mine).  Once I named and noticed it and shifted my intention and my awareness, I was able to no longer be hooked by my old pattern.

Likewise, we can get questions answered when we sit on the meditation cushion.  Or we can answer our questions (sometimes instantly) by having years of experience working with our bodies and having a tradition enhanced with wisdom to lean into.  In other words, we can bring meditation into various contexts we are working in.

Thank you for reading!

~km

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Hello my dear readers,

I have been more active in blogging in days past, but I hope to continue to post juicy articles on Astrology, Emotional-process-oriented bodywork, Craniosacral therapy and the Buddha-Dharma.  I am staying busy with nursing school, so perhaps there will be some posts from that genre as well.

I am asking for donations to my PayPal account to keep this blog going.  I don’t need much.  $99+ will keep this blog going for a year, and then another $100 will keep my website up.  If anyone donates over $75, I will give them a free 60-minute Spiritual Astrology interpretation or if you are in the Central Virginia area, I will give you a 75-minute Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy treatment.

I would like suggestions on how to fund my writing projects without my spending money hosting free blogs.  In other words, my time is quite valuable and I need to be compensated for it.  If you want to donate $$, my paypal account is at mkirbymoore [at] gmail.com

Thank you and happy holidays!

Kirby

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If readers are interested, I am going to be slowly going through my journal and detailing what we did each day.  Of course some information about other people’s (participants) turns is confidential, I will just be describing my experience and my reactions and my thoughts on the process.

Day 1 – Monday.  We were a pretty large group – 17 including 3 teaching assistants and the 2 teachers (Myrna Martin and Ken Martin) plus 12 participants.  Therefore the morning was entirely taken up with 10 minute introductions and check-ins from each person.  In the afternoon, we chose beads to see which 6 person pod we would be a part of (for the entire 2 weeks) and then later we also chose beads to see which smaller group of 3 we would be a part of for the first week.  This group of 3 changed people for the second week.  We discussed what people needed to feel safe and comfortable, we discussed how much support was available there are the retreat – we could talk to the TA’s and the teachers at any point about our process.  A 10 or 15 minute check-in was easy and encouraged.  Also if we wanted, the TA’s were also available most evenings for an hour long session that we could pay additional for.

Most days we had delicious breakfast at 8 am, then occasionally we would have a snack around 10 am.  Then an organic delicious lunch was served at 12:30 pm.  There was almost always a break / snack time in the afternoon – 3:30 pm or so and then dinner was served at 6:30 pm.  The food was incredible and Andria did a wonderful job of accommodating at least 6 different food sensitivity needs – some people were vegetarians, others were grain free, one person was gluten free and others wanted to have at least 1 serving of meat per day, and so on!  To be honest though, I might go back just for the food (and the beautiful clean pure environment) it was so so so good!

Day 2 – Tuesday.  The morning was the first turn with Myrna.  Without having experienced a process workshop or one of her trainings, it will be difficult to describe fully what a turn looks like.  Also, each person’s turn is determined by their intention.  If someone’s intention is to explore their birth patterns in relationship to psychological boundaries, then the turn will almost always involve a re-birthing of sorts.  A turn might also explore conception and implantation without getting to the birth – we would have the chance to re-do the genetic coding of whether or not this world we live in is safe and comfortable and encouraging of exploration and play (vs. dangerous and survival is the only thing we can be concerned with!).  Some people’s turns explored adult type issues like boundaries with partners, boundaries with family of origin, etc.  Therefore there is no one way of doing a turn.

The process for determining whose turn it was, is very important and revealing and insightful as well.  First Myrna would ask, “is everyone here ready to support someone’s turn?”  And then she would ask, “who here knows it is not their turn today?”  Next we would get into checking in about how we feel about taking a turn if we did not raise our hands to that last question.  On several days, multiple people felt like it could be their turns, and we would negotiate about how we felt about taking that turn.  Only once did we have to choose a number between 1 and 20.  And on that day, both people we basically working with the same nuances of their birth process.  Therefore, in spite of not taking that particular turn, the other person felt like they too took a turn that day.  It was pretty amazing!

Once we knew whose turn it was, we went around affirming that it was our turn to everyone.  For some people, each of these steps could be a huge deal, and therefore we went slowly allowing for whatever wanted to arise to do so.

The first turn was extremely potent.  There was a little bit of a negotiation that took place to see whose turn it was but once we got started (knowing whose turn it was), it proceeded to deepen further and further.  It did not involve a re-birthing as far as I can recall.  But we all did somatic motions with our hands as toxic words and emotions were released and we “shoveled” that crap out the windows.  It was a big day of release and reclamation.

That afternoon we did what seemed like a relatively simple exercise involving ropes and cords.  We set up our little bubble of space and that was our boundary.  We could make it as large as we wanted to or as small as we liked.  And then we would explore having someone put their bubble nearby us.  And then we got to feel what it was like to have someone put something in our bubble without our permission.  For some reason, in spite of having done this exercise at least four or five times previously for various workshops, I found this exercise to be very activating!  I was a part of a group of 3 people who were fairly sensitive, so I think we all felt a lot during this playing with boundaries game.

It turned out that each afternoon we would do a different edgy – potentially-emotionally-charged exercise and our TA mentioned that each exercise could give rise to multiple turns (as in 3 hour turns).  They were that informative and insightful.

I think it was this day that we had a sushi bowl.  This was by far my favorite meal that we had at the intensive (I mentioned to some people there that if there was one food I could survive on for the rest of my life, it might be sushi!).

Each day built of the previous day as we were slowly building up to exploring our own conception and birth processes (in week 2).  Therefore just about everyone became more and more exhausted by the end of the first week and definitely once we got into the 2nd week.

By writing this, I feel that I am recollecting the beautiful energy and container and cohesion of the group I was a part of.  The principles of safety and saying no and contact etc created a marvelously safe and comfortable space for dropping deep into emotionally charged waters.  And frankly, that kind of container is extremely difficult to find in any kind of workshop or training!  (This is coming from someone who has done dozens of various types of retreats and workshops and trainings.)

Thanks for reading!

~km

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I have been having second thoughts about my trip to the Northwest, to train in pre- and perinatal psychology and birth process work.  It is going to be expensive (for me) as I fly to Spokane Washington, and then drive to Nelson Canada.  I will have to pay a dog-sitter, parking at the airport, tuition, food, etc.  It will be tough to leave our dog – Emma – who I have been enjoying spending time with (she keeps me in good shape by taking me for walks every day).

But I am resolved to go through with it, no matter how many tiny obstacles keep cropping up.  I am hoping to learn about my own personal birth process as this workshop will focus on conception, time in utero and the actual birth.  That is where it stops however – the developmental psychology pieces from birth onward are covered in the next workshop level!  But that is enough.  What little misunderstandings about my conception, about my parents, about my birth are holding me back?  What unconscious obstacles are preventing me from expressing the fullness of my loving heart?  These are questions I am hoping to uncover as I delve deeper into my psyche during this workshop.  Plus it will be spent with exceptionally good company.

I have done a previous Birth Process Workshop with the main teacher, Myrna Martin.  She is very knowledgable and skillful and compassionate and she is known as one of a half dozen highly trained experts in this field in North America.  You can visit her site below.

http://www.myrnamartin.net

Wish me luck on my journey!  And I wish that all sentient beings take a little provocative risk toward opening their hearts and leaving their comfort zones to learn and grow!

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So I have been setting the intention to work with infants for a solid week.  Not a lot of time.  But already a precious baby manifested.  A friend at work was shaking as she described her 3-week-old niece nearly suffocating on her own thick mucous – which she and the mother had to pump out to get her breathing easy again.  So I discovered an infant in need and I offered my services.

What services are those you might ask?  Emotional and physiological process work for babies.  Bodywork for infants – just listening and offering a safe space for the babies to show you what they need to release birth difficulties.  That is what.  I am not an expert, but I have been doing this work with adults for over 10 years now.  So fortunately it is not a huge step to translate that work to infants.  And I have a solid, skillful mentor.

I did hit one snag, one obstacle.  The mother does not speak English and my Spanish is poor at best.  Although I certainly learned a bit today!  There was a translator, but this presented a definite issue.  The mother was able to detach from me (and considering she did not know me prior to today) and focus on the translator.  I would have rather her stay more present to the baby and to my questions.  But I was flexible and I worked with the baby as best I could under the circumstances and she was very open to seeing what might transpire during the session.  Plus she gave me permission to discuss the session here on my blog (without any names being mentioned).

It went pretty well.  I checked the baby’s diaphragms (energetic vortices around the babies chest and tummy), checked the baby’s cerebral spinal pump – the action of pumping its cerebrospinal fluid, tracked its CS fluid as it flowed from cranium to sacrum and finally did a brief little unwinding as the baby showed me the spirals it had to make during its birth.

There was definite evidence that positive changes were happening.  The babies eyes seem to be brighter by the end of the session – maybe every clearer.  And during the unwinding and spiraling portion, the baby’s skin tone changed colors which I pointed out to the mother.

Unlike my mentor, I do not fully understand everything that the baby is trying to communicate with me.  And keep in mind, a 3-week-old cannot communicate verbally.  When you have laid your healing hands on 1,000 bodies, those bodies start to speak to you and you are able to listen and intuit the meaning.  That is what happened with this baby.  You can tell when it is in distress due to pupil dilation or fists clenched.  I did not have to deal with much of that today.  But I do need to ask questions of my teacher regarding the mother – I think she may have been dealing with her own psychological stuff (whether her own birth issues or developmentals, I do not know).  I would like to find some resources for her however to make her motherhood journey easier.

I did schedule another free well-baby check up for two weeks from now.

I love working with babies!  By the way, if you know any babies under the age of 18 months in the Central Virginia area that might benefit from a wellness baby treatment, let me know!

Thank you for reading!

~K

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