Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘birth process work’

I just completed a weekend of working with a medicine woman here at Massage School. We started chatting about what I offer… and the list started growing long (not to brag or boast – I have been learning bodywork since 2003 – simply what is).

She has taken several levels of BodyTalk – a modality where we muscle test to see what is the priority for the client. It is a comprehensive and complex modality. I have only taken the first level – BodyTalk Access which was insightful and where I learned some beneficial techniques! Plus I have been fortunate enough to receive at least several dozen BodyTalk sessions from exchanging with a friend who has taken all the Advanced Courses in it. Therefore I feel like I have some knowledge of the protocol and the muscle testing for what is a priority.

I mention all that because I am now working on a protocol for a Kirby’s Modality BodyTalk style protocol. It is pretty crazy all that I can offer – especially with the half dozen or more modalities I am learning here in Massage School!

Oh – and I told the medicine woman about my conversation with my Tibetan Lama, Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen – a clairvoyant and exceptionally clear and lucid spiritual teacher. When my main bodywork teacher, Janet Evergreen, asked him about what she should call all that she does, he didn’t miss a beat saying, “Process Buddhism.” Now I pretty much offer most of what Janet does (having studied with her since 2005), so the medicine woman here said that I better add “Process Buddhism” to my protocol! 🙂

In case you are wondering, here is my list so far of what I offer: 5-Elements (Chinese Medicine basics), Craniosacral Therapy, Polyvagal Work, Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (and Education), Visceral Manipulation, other Process-oriented Bodywork, BodyTalk Access techniques, Zapchen Somatics, Kundalini Yoga Kriya, Chi Kung advice, Tai Chi basics, Acupressure, Swedish Massage, Hot Stones Integrated Treatment, Herbal Wrap, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Working with Essential Oils, Buddha-Dharma teachings (I am only able to share the basics but this is enough for most clients), Spiritual Astrology, Medical Astrology, Non-Violent Communication, Conflict Resolution Techniques, Process Buddhism would  fall under several other categories.

It looks like I definitely need to narrow this down! Or at least find an efficient way to muscle test and get a category pretty quickly. I might need to delete several items off my list.. time will tell!

I will keep working on this when I have time (we have 3 tests this week and we are preparing to teach Kundalini Yoga – not as a yoga teacher, just as a check mark to make certain we understand K. Yoga).

Thank you for reading!

Have a beautiful Spring day / evening,

~km

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope you are finding my recent posts palatable and engaging. You should know however that we are extremely busy here at massage school – think we are busy most weekdays from 7 am until 7:30 pm with two one-hour breaks for breakfast and lunch. So if my writing has seemed a little raw as of late, well, that’s because I’m a bit raw  =^P

Let me just provide a little context. Because of my years of experience of doing bodywork (Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation, Zapchen Somatics, Working with the Polyvagal System, some birth process work), I made a promise to the director of this massage school that I would keep the angels of beginner’s mind and humility on my shoulders at all times. Most days I am doing good with that. Keeping my mouth shut, keeping my head down and overall attempting to take a modest position.

With that said, I told myself that the only subject where I am not willing to keep my mouth shut is if someone starts teaching about working with babies and they are saying the wrong info or if they are causing secondary trauma to half the audience because their delivery is faulty. So let’s just say I spoke up a little today.

So today we went through a morning of learning about working with babies. A woman with 30+ years of doing infant massage came to talk to us.

Let me play the devil’s advocate with myself. She is a very well-meaning person. She does have decades of experience working with babies. And she is one of the only resources for this in the area (teaching about babies in general). Also, she is older and I suspect it would be very difficult to retire on baby massage wages alone. So I want to make certain it is obvious I have compassion for her as a fellow human being.

Having established that… I want to mention ways in which she could have taught us in a well-contained, safe, resourced, settled, integrate-able manner.

To say everything I would like to tonight would literally take 10,000 words. And I obviously don’t have that kind of time (see above). So I will touch on a few things and mention resources for you to go look something up if you want more info.

Speaking of resources, here’s a good website to look at Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy and working with the autonomic nervous system: John Chitty’s site for somatic therapies

By the way, whenever I say the acronym PPN, that means Pre- and Perinatal therapy or birth process work. It can also refer to pre- and perinatal psychology.

Back to my topic at hand – how to present information on working with babies without leaving half your audience scarred by secondary trauma (or re-triggering primary traumas).

First I want to mention what should be a glaringly obvious fact if you want to become a birth educator of any kind: Do Not Talk About Activating Subjects without establishing serious levels of support and resource – I’m talking weeks or months or years of resource and support. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO LOOK AT PREVERBAL WOUNDS without a sustainable amount of resilience in the audience’s system. This is basic information if you study with Ray Castilleno – Ray Castilleno’s site for PPN therapy training

Why do I say this – do not open the door to preverbal wounds too early? Because we want this work to be kind, relatively gentle and safe. Key word there – SAFETY. If I don’t feel safe, guess what – I hop right out of my cerebral cortices and I am suddenly in sympathetic activation – that would be the Sympathetic branch of the ANS. And that means I am wary, looking around for threats. And learning goes right out the door. So does having fun, smiling, laughing with ease, being present as my body in my body – all that goes too.

That is number one. It has to be honored and approached carefully. There is a reason that Ray Castilleno only wants people in his trainings who have taken some degree of embodiment-promoting bodywork training or therapy, etc (e.g. Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy or Somatic Experiencing).

Second, a good birth educator has done enough of their inner work such that they are able to look for, discover and easily lean into resource and health. If we are confronted with a trauma that we have not dealt with in ourselves, guess what? See above about how we hop right out of our creative intellect and jump down into reptilian instinctual threat-scanning brain. Therefore we must have done a lot of our inner personal growth work – including and especially our pre-verbal wounded parts work – to be able to present this information in a settled, safe, sustainable manner.

We look for resources in people and situations. We give the doctors the benefit of the doubt – yes some hospitals have a ways to go before they become baby conscious – but the obstetricians are doing the best they can with the evidence-based medicine they have at their disposal. We see that basically all parents are doing the best they can. We don’t blame parents unless something egregious is going on – and even then we look for ways to make repair. This means we look for the good, we look for the health, we look for ways that people are coming together – connecting, creating and innovating. We look for ways to teach that are fun, that are life-affirming and that identify the health that is never lost.

This critique is about to get heavier, so gird your loins. In other words, find your inner resources – connect with wisdom beings, think about someone you trust implicitly (if you are lucky enough to have that in your life), think about your favorite pet who you felt really close to and possibly even supported by, connect with an animal totem if you have one, etc.

Speaking of resources, one of my main teachers in PPN material is Myrna Martin – Myrna’s website for PPN training

So the educator today did not have a clearly defined intention. I’m not sure she even had a plan for what she wanted us to come away with. Then there was the fear spraying.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental or condescending or didactic, but I could have taught today’s lecture in a safer, more resourced manner. You do not mention rape, breach birth and prematurity within ten minutes of each other – period. The amount of ancestral (or direct) wounding that she might have stirred up in those ten short minutes is colossal!

Then she seemed extra focused on showing how unbonded (disorganized attachment?) babies grow up without a conscience and they are the ones who become mass murderers. Okay, saying that once is chilling – especially in this context. But then she mentioned it at least twice more – focusing on what is wrong with the situation or society rather than mentioning the dozens of potential resources out there about what is going well! Not only that, she mentioned the word serial killer at least three times and she actually named two or three mass murderers… Ugh! Serious overwhelm in the audience. Some people who are more numbed out fared better than the ones who are working on feeling their stuff arising and today’s lecture what too much to handle.

I only spoke up when it was getting particularly icy in the room or I mentioned several areas that things are better than how she was describing them. I also talked about the research on the Vagus nerve and how the autonomic nervous system can reflect wounding and how this is connected to addiction (I will write more about this soon).

All in all though, today I was left feeling that I was just ripped off. This massage school costs $8,000 in tuition for 12-weeks. That comes out to be about $135 / day. And I could have taught today in a manner that would not have left the audience lying around in comatose napping positions. It is not my job to resource, support and assist my fellow students. I shouldn’t have to!

Yet another great resource: Kate White’s site for many PPN resources Kate White is one of my teachers and she is the Director of Education for APPPAH – the North American Pre- and Perinatal Psychology organization. APPPAH’s website (so worth a glance!)

So basically this post boils down to this: First, have the Principles in place such that everyone in the group feels safe to begin with. Go slow when considering whether or not to teach birth dynamics. If you are unsure, you should not do it. If you are triggered by the current news about school shootings (in such a way that you cannot find your inner resiliency and inner resources and inner feeling of being settled), you should do your inner work first before teaching. Move through your fear, terror, anger, rage, jealousy, etc with an established efficacious modality – like Somatic Experiencing or Birth Process work. If you are able to read the energetic field of a group, then make that your benchmark – you must be able to notice if you have started to overwhelm your participants or students. If overwhelm starts to show itself, you must have solid resources already set up ahead of time to help to move people back toward resilience and supported safety.

These are my two cents. I am not an expert. I have been extremely (!) blessed with my teachers and learning opportunities. And hopefully there won’t be too many more of these bizarre days here at massage school.

Read Full Post »

A few months ago, I was speaking with a loving relative, when I told her about being a rare male in the field of Pre- and Perinatal therapy (PPN), plus offering biodynamic craniosacral therapy, Polyvagal bodywork, spiritual astrology and Tibetan Buddhist practices. I doubt there are many people on the planet who can offer what I am able to.

And coming up in January, I am entering a massage school which is more of an Eastern school of medicine, a Heaven and Earth school, than a bare bones (no pun intended) kinesthetic anatomically oriented school. There we will focus heavily on acupressure, Shiatsu, Qigong, Tai Chi among other beneficial modalities.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about my wealth of modalities and skills. But sometimes it is tough to clarify what it is that I offer. Why would someone want to pay me $75 or $85 / hour? Especially if I don’t take health insurance. Therefore I don’t have enough clients, some months I struggle financially.

With that said, I am a pioneer. Whether it is in the PPN field (because this field is so cutting edge), or the helping-people-embody area (this is fairly new as well when we bring compassionate trauma resolution work into the picture), or looking at PPN topics in the astrology chart (not many people doing this either). The work I do with babies and mothers, of supporting the family in a biodynamic manner – assisting mother (and hopefully) father to slow down enough to come into the same awareness of organic pace that their baby is in, this work is also quite rare – it is birth process work (PPN again) with biodynamic craniosacral and Polyvagal (working with the nervous system) work informing it.

And I need to clarify, concisely and precisely, exactly what it is that I do. This is what my intention is over these next 6 to 12 months. How am I going to thrive on this planet? How am I going to attract what I want and need?

Energy follows intention. So I need to be clear at all times what my momentary and deeper intentions are. 🙂

I’m not sure what this blend of topics will look like. I suspect I will choose one or two and focus on them. And this massage school is a positive step in that direction.

Wish me luck! (and donate to my blogging efforts if you like)

Thanks for reading,

km

Donate to Kirby’s blogging efforts

For every $25 you donate, Kirby will write a blog post (article) on the topic of your choosing, within his areas of knowledge. Thank you!

$25.00

Read Full Post »

There seems to be a Ray Castellino theme on here…

This most recent video discusses many things – including the functional range (how do we stay in the healthy range of our nervous system?), what it takes to be a Pre- and Perinatal (PPN) Practitioner, he differentiates PPN Practitioner from Educator from Trainer, and finally he discusses the differences between healing trauma, just receiving bodywork and actually going as far down the rabbit hole as possible to work through preverbal trauma (actual PPN work).

Donation to Kirby’s blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

$10.00

I appreciated how he emphasizes that doing preverbal work, the deepest PPN work, whether it is preconception, conception or gestation phases, is like opening a barn door – the horses and cows will just come and go as they please. That is unless we are really diligent, we work with a very skillful professional team and we have ample professional, clear, presence-cultivating support around us. Otherwise doing the PPN work is messy. I like this description.

That’s because one or two of my clients and peers have remarked, “I have been doing this work for months [or years if they do it sort of part-time], why does it feel like there is so much further to go?!” That is why I feel it is appropriate to let our clients know what they are getting themselves into. This PPN work is the best container for healing our deepest traumas and unmet needs, AND it will take a minimum of 3 years to heal it if we have ample resources and are willing to lean into a qualified and skillful team of support practitioners. Because most of us (we are talking preverbal material here) resist getting support, I think it is more appropriate to say it will take at least 5 years for most people. There is unfortunately an imprint in most of us that says, “I should do this alone.” That is what we learned, it is what was modeled for us, it is what we built a body around. :-O

So if someone is only able to do a session a month say, and does not attend many birth process workshops or womb surrounds (a small group that meets for 3 or 4 days straight and provides the best container for bringing up deep material AND allowing us to integrate it at the same time), then I think this healing process is more like 10 years.

That sounds like a lot, but moving toward being a whole person, a complete being is so so worth it! In a previous video by Ray Castellino, he mentions that pushing aside our shadow material (repressing or suppressing it), for a short amount of time is fine. The problem is if we push it aside for years, then cells of our body start to also feel pushed aside. These cells start doing their own thing – they go out of control. Yet these cells feed on our bodies. And this process is called cancer.

Not trying to scare you at all, rather just pointing out the reality nature of our soma / psyches. Body mind healing.

Enjoy!

Meeting Ray Castellino

Read Full Post »

I just have to post (promote) this video of Claudia McClean interviewing Ray Castellino. It is about Sequencing and more importantly (perhaps) about the Creative Collective Process – how can we work more efficiently in groups or as individuals. It references a number of Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (PPN) concepts but most of what they are discussing is understandable to a lay person.

Amazing how he describes how energy that is locked up in our shadow can come forward with ease (with a solid practitioner’s guidance) and we can honor that experience, integrate and gain from bringing light to that part of our shadow selves.

Just. Wow. I am going to look for more of his videos as he explains things very succinctly yet thoroughly.

Link to Ray Castellino youtube video

Donation to Kirby’s blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

$10.00

Read Full Post »

The current semi-retreat I am on is going well. Although some days I get in close to an hour of practice and other days it is longer. I also want to add to my list of practices from a previous post (yoga, qigong, meditation, Dharma practices): add body scan meditations and good mother messages.

Good mother messages are what we learn about as an antidote to babies either misunderstanding birth trauma and feeling neglected, unloveable and / or less-than-safe or rarely, babies actually are less-than-safe (which breaks my heart, no seriously, this hurts to contemplate). Anyway..

Here some typical good mother messages, although I have seen lists of at least 50 different messages: “I love you,” or “I want you,” or “You don’t have to be afraid any more,” or “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.” These messages are all geared toward repairing early trauma and restoring health to our little ones (inside). Of course, if we are parents of babies, then it is really really good to be saying these messages to our kids!

It is recommended to say these good mother messages to pictures of ourselves as babies everyday for at least a year. I still haven’t gotten to that lofty threshold. The longest I said them was six weeks I do believe. But I just wanted to mention that this practice would be good to do at any point – a form of metta practice as it were (loving-kindness meditation).  Who knows what we might discover doing these?

The list that I work from has 15 Good Mother Messages on it, which is pretty comprehensive, but some people re-work it and make the message much more personal.

At present, I am noticing some resistance to doing these messages (which might be just the reason TO DO them!), so I might not get to it tonight. But at some point this month, I will add it in.

Thanks for reading,

km

Donation to Kirby’s blogging efforts

Hi dear Readers, Help me buy tea so I can continue blogging. So if you enjoy what you are reading, please make a little donation. Thank you very much!

$10.00

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »