Back from retreat, changes afoot

Hello Dear Readers,

I returned from Maryland and Tibetan Meditation Center on Sunday evening. It was an incredible retreat – rejuvenating and filling my spiritual container!

Drikung Chenga Rinpoche at TMC Stupa

Due to Covid concerns, there were not that many people in-person (anywhere from 8 – 35 on a given day, more on the weekends), but at one point there were close to 250 people watching the teachings on Zoom.

We were very fortunate to have Chenga Rinpoche and Khenpo Tenzin Nyima come down from the Gampopa Vajrayana Center in New Jersey. http://gampopa.org/ (that is their website)

Chenga Rinpoche gave the Namgyalma empowerment and then he taught on a text entitled “The Mahamudra Supplication.” It was so great to meet a master of his quality – his equanimity is difficult to describe – very steadfast like a mountain!

Prior to that, Khenpo Tsultrim gave a Vajrasattva empowerment and teachings on that profound and beneficial (purifying) practice. Then there was a Chenrezig blessing ceremony and teachings on the text, followed by a miniature Mani Drupchen for a couple days. Lama Rigzin assisted with these events (and with Chenga Rinpoche’s teachings as well).

Chenga Rinpoche (right), Khenpo Tenzin Nyima (middle) and retreat participants at TMC

It was very inspiring to speak Tibetan most days. My colloquial has gotten rusty – just speaking occasionally for the past 7 – 8 years. It is my intention to head up to TMC more frequently however and dip my toe into the mandalic blessed waters (of authentic Dharma teachings and Tibetan language practice).

Chenga Rinpoche, along with the 3 other lamas and a couple of Western monastics consecrated a new Amitabha Buddha statue in the memorial wall section of TMC (the memorial wall was just completed within the past couple of years). This was an enjoyable ritual – many prayers followed by throwing flower petals and receiving a blessing from the blessed saffron water vase.

Consecrating Amitabha statue at TMC

Here is a nice pic of the flower petals ready to be thrown 🙂 (apart of the consecration ceremony)

Stayed tuned for what changes are afoot. Mainly I am going to start teaching more – probably in late August or September.

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

Living breathing spaciousness, brief retreat

Hello readers,

I am heading up to the Tibetan Meditation Center in Md next week. I am looking forward to a respite and a rejuvenating week.

There will be less blogging activity (not that I have been producing much as of late anyway). But you can expect to see some pictures from retreat in a couple weeks when I return!

It has been interesting with these past two weeks of bad news (several bad mass shootings here in the United States) 😦 Ultimately, it is going to be okay. Here in the relative world, it is very difficult being with these waves of big emotions. Can I be with both of these realities simultaneously? I wish that for all of us!

May we all get what we need, to move toward well-being and alignment. Om Ah Hung

Blessings,

Kirby Moore

konchog chakchen

A few benefits of Trauma Informed Astrology

This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Please do not reproduce anything here without the author’s explicit permission. You can see more of what Kirby offers by going to www.traumainformedastrology.com or www.mkirbymoore.com There you can book astrology, distance somatic process or bodywork sessions. Thank you for visiting!

Hello Dear Ones,

I am writing this post because I have been loving the Trauma-Informed Astrology (T.I.A.) sessions I am offering to clients recently.

I created TIA two years ago, after pondering and “chewing on” the idea for the previous year or two. I have been studying Western Astrology since 2003 – and then in 2005 I started casting charts and asking for a small donation. And since then, I have now done at least 750 charts if not more. One question that kept bugging me however, is that Western Astrology in its “pure” form is primarily a divination tool. It will answer questions like “What energy is arising?” And “when might this energy manifest?” and it may possibly answer the “Why” questions as well. But it does not answer the “Now that I know the What and the When, how do I fix it? How do I prevent challenging situations? How do I repair what the chart is indicating?”

I began to study and practice Craniosacral Therapy in 2005. I love how this modality helps us to connect with deeper healing rhythms and also helps us to come down out of our heads. Then in 2012, I began studying Polyvagal Theory and techniques to work with the Polyvagal System. In 2013, I was fortunate to meet Myrna Martin and I began studying Birth Process work (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology). And most recently, I completed my Somatic Experiencing Practitioner certificate after four years of studying and practicing that awesome modality. I love blending all of these tools with Western Astrology to get a fresh new lens through which to view the horoscope!

Hence my creation of TIA. This modality blends traditional Western Astrology, Spiritual Astrology with wisdom and the scientific backing of Somatic Experiencing, Zapchen Somatics, Polyvagal Theory, Birth Process work and more process-oriented-bodywork techniques. Therefore, we can dredge up some old stuff (only small chunks at a time) about our early history AND have the tools to be able to resource, repair and work through it!

In Chinese Medicine, there is the belief that many diseases (80% or so) are rooted in emotional causes. In other words, stuck emotions and stuck energy contribute to our dis-ease. If this is true, then all we have to do is learn to liberate this stuck energy, and we can benefit the majority of diseases out there. Obviously, work with a licensed health care provider if you think you have a significant health issue! But, if you go to multiple specialists and doctors and have the tests and scans run, and they don’t know what is happening in you, then it is quite possible that your dis-ease has an emotional root cause. And if this is the case, then it would definitely be worth trying Somatic Experiencing, Trauma-Informed Astrology, Craniosacral Therapy or other efficacious emotional-process-oriented modalities.

Just to be clear, we need to work with a competent practitioner if we think we need to work on early trauma issues. This material is tricky to work on by ourselves, and if it is preverbal (challenging events happened before we were 3 years old), then we literally can’t access it on our own. In other words, lean into support! Get good support from an experienced and skillful guide.

Multiple studies have shown us that unresolved trauma causes emotions to become stuck and rigid. It is almost as if the body (nervous system) is battening down the hatches to prevent further trauma from occurring. Except this causes further loss of connection and difficulties in relationships in addition to other health challenges. In fact, the Adverse Childhood Experience study (ACE study for short) has shown us that having significant unresolved early trauma will lead to adult disease (usually inflammatory issues). Yes, we know that correlation does not equal causation, but this study involved more than 17,000 participants and it is still on-going, 29 years after it first began! And the study’s results and effects have been successfully replicated in further studies by many reputable organizations (like the NIH, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic and more).

We know that Western Astrology can be a beneficial divination tool – using the astrology chart and knowing a bit about the client’s history, we can make some accurate predictions about how their nervous system is doing today (provided we understand how the autonomic nervous system functions). If we have the knowledge and the skills, we can even make some assumptions about their birth process. We can see where energy or emotions are getting stuck, and we might be able to see why they habitually get stuck. And then using tools from Somatic Experiencing and other Somatic / movement modalities, we can gently and competently guide them toward being with, digesting, processing and integrating those previously overwhelming events.

Some of the benefits of this process include greater awareness, insights into “why I behave the way I do,” and being able to shift and transform stubborn, old, outdated patterns and habits. Sometimes (very often actually) we don’t know the causes of our neurotic behavior or habits. Maybe we are a workaholic and don’t understand why. Maybe we are constantly being an entertainer or performer and we don’t know how to “turn ourselves off.” Perhaps we are a perpetual pleaser / placater / charmer and we are getting tired of always attending to others’ needs, rather than our own. It might be that we have a lot of shame and inner guilt around success or putting ourselves out there. Maybe there are strong ancestral patterns that we struggle to break out of. Sometimes we have the terrible fortune to end up with chronic digestive issues – constipation or diarrhea, etc. There is light at the end of the tunnel however – I have seen many of these issues shift and transform.

Trauma-Informed Astrology can often benefit most of these situations. Working on some of these issues usually requires several sessions (or more – sometimes I work with clients 7 – 10 times for one of these chronic issues), but we can start to bring awareness to these shadowy depths, bring more support to the process, and get movement and transformation going! It is amazing how some of the most stubborn patterns can start to shift when we bring awareness and consciousness to the process. As Julie Henderson, the creator of Zapchen Somatics says, “All things eventually resolve in peace.”

Using TIA, we can be like the wise person – “the wise person controls their stars, it is the fool who obeys them.”

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

BTW – I offer in-person bodywork in the Central Virginia area (USA), and I also offer long-distance Trauma-Informed Astrology sessions, Somatic Experiencing and Embodiment Coaching. Let me know if you are interested (see the links to the sites above).

[Disclaimer: I ask my clients if they have been to the doctor if this is appropriate. If something has an organic cause, we want to go to a medical practitioner to determine that first. Then, if doctors and specialists don’t know the cause or what to do next, at that point Somatic processing, trauma resolution and nervous system repair might be great next steps to take! Trauma Informed Astrology does not claim to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any diseases.]

Shifting gears, offering mentoring & supervision

Hello Dear Readers,

I have been practicing Emotional Process-Oriented Bodywork for 17 years now. And I have been working with Nervous System Repair (trauma resolution / nurturing resilience) since 2012. Therefore, it is time for me to start offering mentoring around these topics.

Oh – and I have been studying and practicing Western Astrology since 2003 – almost 20 years! And in the past few years, I have blended these modalities to create Trauma Informed Astrology. I am also offering mentoring and supervision in this dynamic system.

Generally, I charge $75 an hour for this work. There are several options available – a practitioner brings their client’s info and history and we discuss how to support their nervous system, working with a client’s astrology chart and discussing how we can support their nervous system with that extra information, working with a client together (this would be a higher rate), and working with the practitioner if they are getting hooked and triggered by a client (also a higher rate).

Let me know if you want to discuss mentoring or supervision. And let me know if you are interested in attending a class on any of these topics. I am preparing a couple classes – one online (Trauma Informed Astrology) and one in-person (bodywork).

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

Thoughts on Working with Grief

Healthy Goals to Overcome Grief

This is an article guest written by Camille Johnson. Thank you Camille for contributing to Astrodharma! Kirby Moore assisted with editing.

It can be hard to set and work on goals while grieving. After all, you’re going through a difficult time and might have uncertainty in the future. However, creating healthy goals during this time is crucial for moving forward.

It can help you stay focused and provide you with a sense of purpose. Here are some tips from Meditation Informs Healing Facilitation to keep in mind when setting and working on your goals.

Where to Begin

When it comes to working with grief, first of all, be gentle. There are many ways that grief manifests. There is no “one way” to grieve. So give yourself some time and space and allow stuff to move. According to the Kubler-Ross model of grieving, there are 5 stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Don’t let anyone else tell you how long you need to grieve – trust your heart. Then you may want to keep the following in mind as well.

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to your goals. The first step is to identify what you want to achieve. Is there a goal you’ve been wanting to reach for a while now? Do you want to make some changes in your life?

Maybe you want to take up a new hobby or learn something new. This will help you set a goal that’s specific and measurable, which will give you a sense of accomplishment when it’s achieved. Try incorporating some of the ideas discussed below, or use your own goal to get started.

Get Plenty of Rest

It’s important to get plenty of rest as it is, but even more so when you’re grieving. You need mental focus and physical energy, both of which proper sleep provides. Try implementing a physical fitness routine each day of the week.

This will help you sleep soundly at night, giving you sufficient energy for the next day. Stick with it, and you will surely enjoy the many benefits that exercise provides.

Make Time for You

Grief is a process that takes time. It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this. You will need to set aside some time for yourself to process your grief, while still taking care of your other responsibilities.

Setting aside time for yourself can be achieved through schedule changes, taking breaks during the day, or scheduling activities with friends and family. Do your best not to neglect your own health and wellbeing.

It’s easy to forget about your own needs when you’re grieving. But you are important, too. By making time for your needs, you can be sure to better process and deal with grief.

Stay Connected

If you’ve experienced a loss, the most important thing you can do is to connect with others. Even if you don’t feel like talking or reaching out, it’s important to remember that there will be many people who want to help and be there for you.

Acknowledge that your feelings are difficult and that while it may not seem like it right now, life does go on. It is possible to move on and live life while still honoring the person who has passed away.

Start Your Own Company

When you lose someone you love, chances are you may feel lost at sea. Focusing on something you’re passionate about can help you stay the course, even when the grieving process suggests otherwise. For example, being your boss brings you a sense of accomplishment and great joy. Many people find that owning a business brings them joy and helps them refocus as they work through their feelings and emotions.

However, jumping blindly into business is a bad idea — you have to put together a plan and select a structure, among other things. Consider forming an LLC if you are interested in running your own business. An LLC has many benefits, including the possibility of saving money on startup costs. An LLC in Virginia is more tax-efficient compared to other business types. Instead of paying high fees for a lawyer to set up your LLC, consider LLC formation services.

Remember to take this business at your own pace. Again, rushing anything while grieving is a bad idea; make sure you’re positive this is something you want to pursue, and then take it step by step.

When you’re suffering from grief, setting healthy goals can often seem impossible. However, it’s important to find ways to occupy your mind as you work through this difficult period. Whatever you choose, be mindful and purposeful about it. Make healthy choices, follow previously unexplored passions, and stay in touch with family and friends — it may take some time, but you’ll soon find your way forward.

Somatic Experiencing as Spiritual Practice, continued

Kirby Moore (the author) offers Somatic Experiencing sessions over distance and in person. He also offers Craniosacral Therapy, Birth Process work and Asian Bodywork in person. In addition, he offers Trauma-informed Astrology interpretations, both in person and over distance. You can go to www.mkirbymoore.com for more or click here to schedule a session: https://wisdomhealingtherapies.schedulista.com/

Hello again Dear Readers,

BTW this material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore. Please ask permission before copying anything.

To continue a thread from earlier… go back and read the introduction to this piece if you haven’t already, also published today. Click here: https://wordpress.com/post/astrodharma.me/7225

As I was saying, Raja Selvam, one of my advanced Somatic Experiencing (SE) faculty members, seeks to fill in the gaps of SE – providing better tools for working with emotional trauma. SE is an awesome modality – however, trauma is a huge topic and SE is especially beneficial for acute shock trauma (accidents, injuries, falls, surgeries, etc). To use SE to benefit early or developmental trauma typically requires additional training and tools.

Raja taught us how to expand a challenging (or even positive) emotion in the body. (I had been doing some of this work using different methods from my Craniosacral Therapy and Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy training. But Raja’s methods are so efficient!) Many people, due to trauma responses, tend to resist feeling big fear, or big grief, or big anger, etc. For most of us, there is often a category of emotions (like fear or grief) that is more muted. This can happen for many reasons. This leads to us often trying to think our way through emotions, rather than really owning them and embodying them more fully. Maybe there is another defense mechanism which shows up to prevent us from feeling the big emotion. This is very very common. If you notice this in yourself, be gentle. Be kind, it can change, but it usually requires working with a skillful practitioner. There is hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just be patient and persist gently.

When we expand fear for example, we have to be aware that freeze (immobility response) often comes with it. So we need to know how to bring someone up out of freeze as well. However, when we are able to expand fear in the body, our capacity to tolerate it increases. Our container for fear literally gets larger.

In a nutshell, what this is doing is expanding our capacity to be with our own suffering. Can I tolerate suffering easier? Without big resistance and other defense mechanisms getting in the way. Whether it is fear, or grief, or shame, or rage, etc.

If I expand my capacity to be with my own suffering without too much resistance – that can also make it easier to be present to other people’s suffering. This is where I am going out on a limb as it were – from here on out, this is my own hypothesis. Bear with me for a second on a tangent…

In Chinese Medicine (Taoism), it is known that if we don’t have much access to a particular emotion – let’s take fear again – then I also don’t have much access to fear’s opposite emotions. When we can’t be present with fear, we also don’t have much access to courage or fearlessness. Fear is the shadow emotion of the water element, courage, bravery and fearlessness are the positive emotions.

Likewise, this is true for every other element. Wood element – if we resist feeling anger, then we also resist feeling happiness and joy (we might discuss depression as a result of Wood element issues). Metal element – if we resist feeling grief, then we also resist feeling inspired and creative. The whole channel is muted as it were – the shadow side and the blessing side of the emotional spectrum.

To continue this analogy above, if we are able to be more present to our own and other’s suffering, that means we probably develop more empathy, more compassion. And this is where we start talking about spiritual practice. A very skillful SE practitioner (I am getting there myself, having practiced working with nervous system repair since 2012) can assist someone to open up muted emotional channels. Where there was resistance to being present with fear, now there is easier access to fear along with more courage as well. Where there was a preponderance toward worry, melancholy and obsession (Earth element), now there are better boundaries, more centeredness, grounding and easier connection with others. I feel that working with the Earth element themes are some of the trickiest – as the Earth element holds all the rest of the emotions (and bodily structure) together. Sometimes we have to work with the peripheral emotions before going for these deeper ones.

In Buddhism, one of the main goals of the path is to increase our compassion. To be more skillful in helping to alleviate suffering. And what I am describing with advanced SE work can help to do just that! I am very grateful to my teachers and the teachings I have received to be able to benefit people easier.

In conclusion, if we increase our ability to tolerate suffering, then we can be present to our own suffering easier. Then this might make it easier to be present to other people’s suffering as well. At this point, we may notice greater empathy or compassion arising. And then we are definitely on the path to becoming better human beings – whether we use an established religious path or not. This is why I mention that SE can possibly have some benefits, similar to spiritual practice.

This ability to tolerate suffering may come in chunks – first I might learn to tolerate fear easier (also resulting in more courage). And then I might have to work with shame for a bit, gaining clarity and understanding around that. Next I might work with rage and issues around personal power for a while. Once I can tolerate them better, I might find myself becoming happier and able to smile easier. Who knows how the process will go? What is important is that we get started 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

An Intro to Somatic Experiencing as Spiritual Practice

Kirby Moore (the author) offers Somatic Experiencing sessions over distance and in person. He also offers Craniosacral Therapy, Birth Process work and Asian Bodywork in person. In addition, he offers Trauma-informed Astrology interpretations, both in person and over distance. You can go to www.mkirbymoore.com for more or click here to schedule a session: https://wisdomhealingtherapies.schedulista.com/

Hello Dear Readers,

I am writing this post to discuss how Somatic Experiencing (a trauma resolution, nervous system repair-oriented modality) can have additional benefits supplementing an established spiritual practice.

And just so my biases are out there, I am a Buddhist practitioner, on the Tibetan Buddhism or Vajrayana path. I was raised Christian and have a deep respect for authentic spiritual practitioners of any faith who are sincere and who look to grow and become better human beings. Obviously many people work to become better humans without having a spiritual practice – however you do it, Great!

Personal growth work and becoming a better human are some of the benefits of practicing Somatic Experiencing, SE for short. SE is a supplementary modality or a lens through which one practices psychotherapy, bodywork, yoga or other self-help / therapeutic modality.

In SE, we track the nervous system – where is the client in their autonomic nervous system responses (sympathetic or fight-or-flight-oriented, parasympathetic oriented – in this case dorsal vagal response meaning “are they in freeze?” or socially engaged, ventral vagus, alert-and-relaxed response)? If they have trauma symptoms, we gradually tease apart compression (trauma is typically a compression of time, space and resources). We add more time and space into the client’s process, and give their nervous system precious time to process and integrate, to re-organize and renegotiate these old stuck patterns. An SE certification requires at least a 3-year training, so I am oversimplifying things a bit here. But I want to point out that SE focuses primarily on repairing the nervous system.

So how can SE become a spiritual practice as well? I want to point out that it is probably best to follow an authentic and established spiritual path to begin with. SE is taught as a secular healing modality for therapeutic practitioners – whether talk therapists or bodyworkers (touch therapists). It is not taught from a spiritual or religious perspective. This idea that SE can also be used as a spiritual practice is my own.

In my advanced SE training (the final year is known as the advanced levels), I worked with an incredible SE faculty member – Raja Selvam. He taught us the SE advanced techniques, but also introduced us to additional topics and tools. Then I did additional training with him on working with Pre- and Perinatal Trauma. Some of what he said spoke to my Buddhist principles, and some of what he said even informed my practice of Western Astrology (but that is a story for another time).

In SE, Raja commented that there is not enough emphasis on emotional-trauma repair. SE works with sensations, images, memories, emotions, behaviors and even can help to clarify meaning (the “Why” questions). That is a lot about which to be cognizant. SE is often better suited for dealing with acute trauma (shock trauma – accidents, injuries, falls, surgery, etc). And Raja mentioned that we need additional training to work with developmental or emotional trauma, which I agree with. Thankfully I have some of that training with my PPN / birth process work training, along with additional training in working with the Polyvagal System.

Therefore, Raja set out to “fill-in” some of those gaps in healing emotional trauma for us. And I am deeply grateful for this! And in doing so, I realized that he was speaking the language of a spiritual practice in addition to profound healing modality.

Continued in the next post…

Takeaways from teaching Somatics

Hello Dear Ones,

I have begun teaching my Contemplative Somatics course. It is a great group and I love dropping into deeper embodiment (even though this takes times) in good company!

I love communicating (and not just verbally), that trauma happens and it can be repaired. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and in fact, most of us are stronger / wiser / more resilient for the experience.

One awesome aspect of teaching is consciously and explicitly creating a safe container. What do we need to feel safe?

In this particular class, my guidelines for safety are a powerful and compassionate introduction to the participants. Some of them received potent wisdom just from creating a structure of safety:

First, welcome. Welcome to who and how you are, welcome to your strengths and weaknesses. We welcome you thoughts and emotions.

Second, we agree to hold mutual support and cooperation toward each other. We are not in a competition in this class. There is not a “finish line” or a one-size-fits-all form of embodiment. We respect where we and each other are and wish for us all to move toward a win-win situation. We want to support each other and I as teacher will hold this intention – advocating for our best selves to show up (even as we might be with challenging emotions that arise).

Third, the guideline of choice. This helps to re-pattern any previous situations in which we were forced to do something. Without having an authentic “No”, we will never be able to get to an authentic “Yes!” Therefore, if you or your body object to doing an exercise, at least express that objection! Or you may want to do it a different way, or go slower, or do less. Or just lie down and take a nap instead. What would that have been like in high school? To object and say, “Nope, I need to lie down after a busy morning.”?!

Fourth, the guideline of self-regulation. Here I am referring to checking in with yourself. What sensations are arising? What pace do I want to move at right now? Can I slow down? Is that okay? Checking in with your body. And if something feels off, or confusing, please call a “Pause.”! Say, “Timeout, I am feeling kind of fuzzy.” Or light-headed, or head-achy, etc. That pause will be honored – if you need space, we will take space with you (and give you time to integrate).

Fifth, self-care. Can we all agree, at least while we are here in the class together, to practice good self care? Go to the bathroom if you need to. Drink water, have a snack if you need to. This is not a sit-rigidly-upright-as-I-lecture type of class! I want you to notice what feels good, what feels comfortable, what feels pleasant. Do more of that! Stop forcing yourself to override the desire to rest, stop pushing through regardless of bodily sensations. We are leaving the rat-race culture of Western life behind, even if only for 90 minutes!

Sixty, we discussed confidentiality. Anything that gets shared, any stories which arise, they will stay in the group. We have to get someone’s explicit permission before sharing about any else’s experience in the group.

These are what I brought to the group. They mentioned a couple other things that would help them feel safe, which is great!

Just creating this container of safety and acceptance is HUGE! It is often profound someone in the class. It feels good to me as facilitator. What is it like to sit in a group that is oriented toward true well-being? (Not merely paying lip-service to it.)

It is my intention to teach more classes this spring and summer. Let me know if you would like to be included on my email list!

kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com

Thank you for reading!

Kirby Moore

Room left in upcoming Contemplative Somatics class

Hello Dear Ones!

I am letting you know that there is space for one or two more participants in this upcoming class. It starts Thursday – the 24th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM EST, it is an online class format.

We will do easy and fun exercises to drop down into the body, to come back into alignment and to move toward Well-being. Plus each class there will be a few minutes set aside for a meditation as well.

Bring your curiosity, your presence, your aliveness and we will gather with good company (on Zoom). There will be time for napping and integration as well (“in the napping is the learning” – Julie Henderson).

This class will meet every 2nd and 4th Thursday now through mid-June. 7-8:30 pm EST. I am asking for a $25 / class suggested donation ($200 total) but please attend if you need to pay less. I want to share presence with good company!

See https://astrodharma.me/2022/01/29/contemplative-somatics-an-online-series-of-classes/ for more info!

Let me know if you are interested by emailing me – kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com

Hope to hear from a couple of you!

Have a good week,

Kirby Moore

One Very Important Detail in Working with, Treating, & Observing Trauma

In case you are new here, I (Kirby Moore) practice Craniosacral Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Birth Process work. I have taken advanced classes in working with the Polyvagal System, in addition to working with Pre- and Perinatal Trauma. I hold a Massage Therapy license, so my scope of practice is a bit limited. With that said, I have been practicing Emotional-process-oriented bodywork since 2005 (17 years now).

If you are experiencing unusual trauma symptoms, I would recommend you find a very competent practitioner – https://directory.traumahealing.org/ This is the SE practitioner directory.

You could also look here: https://www.ppncenter.com/ (Kate White’s center for working with PPN challenges)

Or here: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=working+with+ppn+trauma&atb=v1-1&ia=web (This is a search list of resources for working with PPN trauma)

In working with trauma, we always do better by reaching out for support (even though it might be very difficult to do so) and working with a very skillful practitioner. Please reach out to one of these resources above if you need support!

(I offer in-person and long distance sessions on Zoom, by appointment only. You can schedule a free consult to see if we might be a good fit to work together here: https://wisdomhealingtherapies.schedulista.com/)

I am writing this after mentioning it to a few of my clients recently. For some people this is big information. Here is the important detail: when we have trauma symptoms (or any defense mechanism / survival tactic / coping strategy for that matter), it is often the case that that symptom goes back to an early wounded part. Whether we are talking about birth trauma, or early developmental trauma, there is probably a little one (wounded part) that is HIGHLY IDENTIFIED with that particular symptom. The symptom is there as a survival strategy. And if we attempt to get rid of the symptom without tending to the little wounded part, then the little one thinks we are trying to kill it.

To repeat that last part, the little wounded part of us (our early nervous system from that early time) created these challenging symptoms as a very skillful survival tactic. And that same little part is closely tied together with that symptom (survival tactic / coping strategy / defense mechanism). Therefore, if we attempt to get rid of the symptom without taking the little wounded part into account (wishing them well, having compassion and tenderness for them, etc), then that little part feels like we are trying to kill it off. Ooph!

And you know what? If we try to get rid of the symptom without tending to the little wounded part, then ultimately the symptom is going to get worse. (This makes sense considering the little wounded part thinks we are trying to get rid of it.) Keep in mind that early primitive nervous systems – that is very young nervous systems – cannot differentiate minor threat from significant threat. Everything is black and white, life or death, thriving or barely holding on for dear life. So trying to get rid of the symptom without tending to the little one feels like a life or death reaction. Hence the reason the symptom will get worse if we don’t attend to the little wounded part.

What would it be like if all doctors, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and people in the caring professions knew this?

This topic is a bit controversial (to play the devil’s advocate against myself). Research into pre- and perinatal psychology and other PPN topics has really only been started in the past 25 years (not a lot of time to create a solid foundation for these theories). Some people would argue that we don’t have to deal with early stuff to get repair and healing to happen. Yes, I agree! Thankfully we don’t always have to do depth psychology to get repair and transformation to occur. However, in some cases, this information will be very beneficial to the practitioner (and possibly even to the client).

I learned this from Myrna Martin – one of the primary educators in Pre- and Perinatal Birth Process work in North America. I did her training in British Columbia, Canada, however she did travel and teach more around the U.S. There was so many insights coming out each day (in those trainings), that I heard this piece, about trauma symptoms and little wounded parts, and I just wrote it down. It was only after doing more work with clients over the past few years that I have realized the gravity of this information.

Back to the topic at hand…

Basically what this comes down to is, if we have compassion for our little wounded parts, if we tend to them, tell them “that was then, this is now” (looking at how many resources and how much health I have now compared to back then), then we can gradually repair that early wound and the symptom(s) can start to improve as a result.

You may agree with this, or not. Hopefully it is able to benefit some readers.

I would highly recommend getting started down a healing / nervous system repair path – whether you choose narrative medicine, Craniosacral Therapy, Birth Process work, Somatic oriented work, counseling, etc. Hopefully it is a rewarding and insight-filled journey!

May we all lean into nourishing support!

Thanks for reading,

Kirby Moore