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Posts Tagged ‘craniosacral biodynamics’

I want to write a post about how lucky I am to be one of my bodywork teacher’s senior students. Her name is Janet Evergreen. She is in her 60’s now, and she just, in a recent class, made a comment about starting to slow down how often she teaches her classes. This and her husband has been retired for a few years now, and they are ready to have some fun and travel. So I am yearning to take as many of her classes as possible to keep learning little tricks of the body-intelligent-mandala-oriented-heart-extension bodywork that she practices (those are my descriptions).

Just one example might be enough to explain how lucky I am to have met her and to be able to work with her for the past 12 years:

Some somatic experiences cannot be written about properly (but I will certainly try, ironic eh?). At least you will get a sense of how many layers we are tracking in her advanced classes.

I am on the massage table, about to get a treatment from one of Janet’s students, who has taken at least 3 classes with her (and I assisting).

She uses leg-arcing, a technique where you lift the legs and see where they want to go, follow the legs as they float. Then using the legs as a dowsing rod (basically), you look to see where in the torso they are pointing. We have tested this technique against acupuncturists measuring people’s organ pulses and gotten the same results.

So she wasn’t sure if the legs were indicating left lung or heart. I thought that sounded right.

I am going to fast forward (else this will be a ten thousand word diatribe about a 30 minute bodywork session). Suffice it to say that by this point, she had moved to sit at the head of the table with her arms over my chest, “listening” as it were to my lungs, mediastinum and heart and doing some movement to track both the motility and mobility of those organs. When she realized there was at least one sluggish point on my left lung where the tissue was kind of stuck, she got Janet’s attention to ask about it.

Janet came over and of course seemed to know what was needed before coming close to laying on of hands. She said, “Kirby, can you bring some micro movements into your body to bring some movement into your chest?” I was happy to oblige!

I started moving my arms and just making tiny movements of my belly and ribs. I wanted to double check – I asked, “the thumbs have the lung meridian on them right?” And yes, sure enough, they did.

Janet suggested, “Let your thumbs lead the movements.” By now my arms were gracefully weaving a pattern above my body, and then I started focusing on my thumbs. They started leading the little graceful dance above and off the sides of my torso, sometimes doing the same thing, and other times being dissonant.

Then Janet mentioned, “Let me hold those meridian points.” I should pause for a second and note that for at least ten years, Janet wove baskets when she and her family lived in West Virginia. And not just any baskets – she used oak, which means that her grip, even years after her basketweaving days, her grip is like having a clamp applied, or like vice grips. I noted this saying, “Wow. That is quite a hold you’ve got of my thumbs! What, did you used to weave baskets or something?” It was funny. And it kind of hurt – in a it hurts so good kind of manner.

I slowed down my movement, but the whole body movement from my thumbs continued. Sometimes my torso would lift off the table a bit, other times it was just my hands and arms moving. With Janet’s fingers attached to my thumbs, two little vice grips squeezing my lung meridians for dear life (or so it felt).

But something started to shift in my chest. As I moved from my thumbs, with the meridians being so stimulated, I could suddenly track the course of the meridian down my thumbs, running up the inside of my forearm, and then up the inside of my upper arms and close to my pectoral muscles into my chest. It was wild – warm lines were being drawn on me from the inside. Janet commented, “the right has settled down, but the left still has warmth coming off of it.” (Referring to my thumbs.) And she was right. My right lung was feeling open and calm and happy, while my left lung was still be bit tight or sluggish or sticky.

It just took a few more minutes of gracefully feeling through those meridians and dancing over my body with my arms. And I felt my left lung release, and so did Janet (through my lung meridians on my thumbs). And we both commented on it, she saying, “There it goes,” first.

She had been squeezing pretty good. So when she let go, I was left feeling the meridian lines for several minutes. She went on to squeeze my pinkies – the heart meridian in this case. And it was similar results. The practitioner still had her hands on my chest and was feeling and listening to my inner organs (through the ribs, through the fascia, etc).

Long story short. I had never felt my meridians come alive quite like that. It was another level of deepening of my learning.

I have experienced things in those bodywork classes (or retreats or meditation sessions) at her Sanctuary space that most people can’t even dream of, let alone talk about. I am so very fortunate. Maybe I have been Janet’s teacher in a past life, but I know she has been mine before.

Whatever the case may be, I thank my lucky stars that I have teachers and mentors in my life like her. Heart teachers who go above and beyond, who charge less than they could, who give back to their communities in so many different ways.

I intend to repay her kindness by teaching worthy students. They say that is the greatest way to repay a spiritual teacher (and by practicing what they have taught you). So I must practice self care. I must know that my heart has received valuable and precious transmissions which most people only wish for but never experience. And I must kindly hold my heart in the highest regard, not only because I (we all) have buddhanature coursing through me, but because I have been shown how to work with babies, children and adults in ways that most scientific health practitioners would scoff at (saying, “those results aren’t possible”). And then I intend to teach this material as well.

Advanced somatic therapies. That is a possible title, or like Khenchen Konchog Gyaltsen, one of our heart teachers says, “Call it Process Buddhism” when asked how to describe what Janet does. That pretty much sums it up. 🙂

Yet again, thank you for reading,

km

 

 

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting.

My awareness of the human body, when touched through my hands is becoming more sensitive and precise.  Having spent the past eight years refining the proprioceptors in my hands and the ability to discern what they are sensing, through Reiki Energetic Healing (touch), Craniosacral Therapy (healing touch) and then Craniosacral Biodynamics and Somatic Processing (also healing touch), it has been a fascinating journey.

Recently, I realized how precise and sensitive my hands were (especially when going about ordinary life) when I picked up a hair off the floor, and between my fingertips, it felt relatively thick.  I wondered at this phenomena for a moment and then realized that my sensitivity was increasing, even when I am not touching someone.

But it is amazing what can be discerned from having skilled hands on a client who is receptive and open to healing touch.  As in, they are intending to relax and they trust the process enough to at least get on your (massage) table.  These days, I do an intake interview which takes at least 15 minutes, primarily asking about previous accidents, injuries, surgeries, etc as well as inquiring about client’s medications and supplements taken.  I also make certain that if there is any question of their mental stability that they have additional support, whether from a religious figure, counselor, therapist, etc.  So I basically ask all these questions to get a baseline of where they are starting (and of course to cover my butt – there are certain clients who I will not touch initially but this is another story).

Sometimes clients will forget to mention something – it happens at least a couple times per month – like I ask about accidents and previous injuries or surgeries and they say they have been lucky so far in their lives and therefore they have nothing to report.  Well, yes, that is most likely the case, and I am glad they see through “glass-is-half-full-eyes” but when I eventually put my hands on their head, I might feel immediate “shock!” “trauma!” “Yikes!” messages…  So I ask, have you ever been in a bad car accident or injured yourself while your body was moving (like a skiing or boating accident, etc)?  Depending on what my hands are picking up, I will vary the question.  And sure enough, every time, there is something they forgot to mention.

Yes, that time you fell off the swing as a kid and hit your head on the porch and lay in bed for two days because you had a bad concussion: this is important information to share with your bodyworker!  Maybe I need to change my line of questioning  🙂   But it is amazing what you can teach your hands to detect – if you practice, if you maintain good habits of self care and if you keep up your sensitivity through monthly healing touch.  Very cool indeed.

Actually I am doing a lot of the Somatic Process (from the Kathy Kain / Peter Levine lineage) work recently, spending a lot of time slowing down myself and then transmitting that peace and serenity to clients and getting them to drop into a deep state of rest-and-digest or parasympathetic nervous system activity (the opposite of fight or flight or freeze).  Up to this point, this is the most profound and potent modality I have practiced.  Depending on the client’s history, I spend the first session simply providing containment for the skin and when they are ready, following their awareness and body’s receptivity to become aware of fascia – the interconnecting matrix of tissue which runs between organs and through the entire body.  Then, when the client is ready, I move to kidneys, gut and eventually, when it feels safe, to the brain stem.

Long story short, I am seeing more and more clients, and gleaning more and more information from healing touch.  And of course, I still work a bit with Zapchen Somatics when it is appropriate.  I am blessed and it seems that some of my positive karma is ripening at the moment, so I am deeply grateful and I try to be present in the midst of whatever is arising – good, bad, rich, poor, fame, blame, I try to rest in “It is okay.”

 

*** Kirby Moore is not a licensed health care provider.  This information is provided purely for entertainment or educational purposes only.  If you have questions about your health, please contact a licensed professional.

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting this blog.

What is mantra?

Mantra, or sacred sounds / phrases / chants, can be a very powerful tool in the healing process. Mantra is considered capable of “creating transformation” [from Wikipedia].  Also known as devanagari or ngak (in Tibetan), mantra is found in Hindu, Buddhist and other religious traditions.  I am a Buddhist practitioner, so I know the potency of mantra within Buddhist practice and traditions, so that is what I am referring to here.

Are there examples of spiritual teachers using mantra to heal?

I have heard stories of many Tibetan Lamas (monks and teachers) who use mantra to help their students and families heal.  There are stories of high Lamas chanting mantras and then blowing on butter, and having their sick students rub the butter on the sore parts of their bodies.  And there are countless stories of Mani-Drupchen(s) where millions of mantras get chanted around the clock.  Tiny little medicinal pills are created especially for this ceremony, and in some Drupchens, these pills actually multiply on their own (a miracle to be sure).  That is why these pills, called Mani Ribu, are so sought after.  And finally, Tibetan doctors use mantra to imbue their medicine with additional spiritual healing qualities.

Why does mantra work?

There are four inconceivable powers in Buddhism, that is, we as ordinary human beings cannot conceive of the complete possibilities of these four.  These are 1) form, 2) mantra, 3) samadhi and 4) karma.  We cannot conceive of all of the manifestations of any of these.  When we chant a mantra with faith and conviction, then there is no end to the healing potential of it.  And even better, if we have received a transmission of the mantra from an authentic lineage holder in a living lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, then the mantra may have more potency.  I have heard that if we have faith in the Yidam, or Buddhist Deity, of whom we chant the mantra – for instance, if we chant Green Tara’s mantra with faith and reverence – then an actual Green Tara deity (wisdom being) goes out from us and performs benefit for others in the world.  If you believe it, then that sounds pretty powerful indeed.

Do I personally use mantra for healing?

Personally, I use mantra in my practice of healing facilitation.  When I work with someone, they will typically request a specific modality – either Craniosacral Biodynamic work or Somatic Processing or a combination of the two.  But I will usually ask if it is okay to silently use mantra in the session.  The client never knows I am doing it, but if I get a “Yes,” that it is okay to use it, then I quietly chant a few mantras and then blow on my hands, giving them additional potency and requesting for the wisdom beings to also benefit the client on the table.  I find this to be a powerful supplement to my practice.

As seasoned readers hopefully know, I am not attempting the foolish attempt to compare myself to the individuals I mention above.  I am just an ordinary human being, but I have been trained in legitimate (empirically based) healing facilitation modalities such as Craniosacral Therapy, Visceral Manipulation and Somatic Processing.  And if I include a tiny bit of mantra, perhaps it helps, perhaps not.

I have received multiple initiations into certain lineages of healing practices such as Medicine Buddha and White Tara (longevity), along with other practices.  Therefore I hope I have received authentic transmissions of these mantras, which might benefit my clients that much more.

I just recently moved into a new office which is beautifully decorated with colorful and soothing abstract artwork.  It is a soothing environment for healing and resting down.  I offer sessions most weekday mornings and by appointment only.

If you want, come visit my new-to-me-office and receive a treatment, which can include the healing power of mantra.  I offer Craniosacral Therapy (more biomechanical – good for more gross levels of healing), Craniosacral Biodynamics (for healing more subtle layers of trauma and stress) along with Somatic Processing (working with the Vagus system and helping the body to relax and release further trauma and tension).

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Recently, I started assisting a friend of mine as she taught a Craniosacral class. It is a class for beginners, looking at the basics of healing touch, alignment, self care and of course going through the fundamentals of Craniosacral work.

For anyone out there who does not know what Craniosacral Therapy (or Craniosacral Biodynamics) is / are, they are modalities that work with balancing the cerebro spinal fluid, deepening awareness as energy, as body and as fluid awareness. CST has been very beneficial in treating a number of issues associated with head injuries, headaches, back problems, pelvic issues and many things in between. In particular, Craniosacral Biodynamics, which is the more holistic of the two (Craniosacral Therapy is more mechanical in orientation), is extremely potent for those people who are sensitive to it. The layers of contact and healing touch are simply extraordinary. Each day I practice, I realize more fully how one could spend an entire life practicing CS Biodynamics and be learning up to the day of death. Wow!

And what I am becoming aware of, having now assisted with two three-hour classes, is that my personal experience and awareness of the Craniosacral rhythms is deepening to points I did not think were possible. To clarify, the tides or rhythms at which the cerebrospinal fluid ebbs and flows are known by three names as 1) the Cranio Rhythm (once every 3 – 5 seconds), 2) the Mid Tide (once every 20 seconds or so) and 3) the Long Tide (once every 50 – 100 seconds). These tides can be tracked and perceived once a practitioner has a lot of hands on practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Sometimes when a client goes into a deep state of healing relaxation, these tides cease altogether or become so slow as to not be perceivable. This cessation is known as a “still point.”

For most practitioners, they must put their hands on a client to feel these rhythms. I am beginning to notice that as I walk around the class, holding space (being aware of the vastness of the sky above and bringing my attention out to the horizons behind me and to the sides), if I focus on someone’s table – students work in pairs, one giving a practice treatment and one receiving – I can tell if / when someone goes into a still point and when they come out of it. Plus I have the same breath changes as they do. Pretty amazing!

It seems my depth and intensity of practice is starting to pay off. Also, when the students were working on each others’ occipital bones, I felt mine open and widen and appreciate the change in the energetic field. Similarly, when students started working on each others’ sacrum, I felt a shift in my own as it opened and began to loosen its strong attachments. Very cool!

I will keep tracking what I notice and keep y’all updated. Thanks for reading!

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