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Posts Tagged ‘process-oriented bodywork’

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

I want to start out this post by saying that I love my parents dearly and by doing some deep psychological and process-oriented work on myself, I understand my parents better and I am so grateful that they gave me the chance for this precious human rebirth.

As Uranus (transiting) crosses the opposition point to my Hades Moon – Tr. Uranus is in Aries currently and it is about 1 degree away from exactly opposing my Hades Moon.  I have Pluto conjunct the Moon in my natal chart – less than a degree separates these two unlikely bed-fellows.  This conjunction falls in my 3rd house in Libra.

The most obvious layer, and when I say obvious – I have had several astrologers just glance at my chart and they say within seconds: “Wow, you have a lot of karma with your Mom, don’t you?”, of a Hades Moon is just that – my perception of my Mother or my relationship to the person I see as my mother is quite complex.  I am aware of the Hades Moon in my chart probably reflects the enmeshment which developed over my childhood years – an enmeshed relationship with my single mother (who did the best she could).

And my mother has Pluto squaring her Moon.  So there is a good chance that a pattern of enmeshment has been “handed down” from her to me.  This enmeshed relationship arose due to a number of reasons – first of which was that my Dad was not around much physically and when he was around, he was never emotionally or psychically present (sorry Dad – but you still have some psycho-emotional stuff to work on).  Therefore I clung to my Mom as my source of nourishment and shelter etc.

The roots of this enmeshment go all the way back to my birth.  When I was born, due to the Indigenous American Indian blood from my father’s lineage (a wonderful gift to say the least), I had a purplish rash on my back and butt.  The doctors did not know what was “wrong” with me so they put me in the NICU – natal intensive care unit where my mother could only visit for an hour at a time or so.  I was there for at least 24 hours – maybe closer to 36 hours and when I was deemed “non-contagious” and handed back to my Mom, something had changed in me and in her.  I have intuited that she felt some subconscious guilt for letting the medical personnel take me and that inherently changed our relationship, tying yet another layer onto an already fated and possibly tangled relationship.

I feel like I could write at length about what I have learned from my Hades Moon.  About all the different permutations my liberation has gone through in terms of putting healthy space between my mother and I.  But I am writing this post today to mention a new piece of information.

I received some powerful bodywork yesterday that really rocked me to my core.  Some sessions are like that, others are more maintenance oriented – less potent and more resourcing and relaxing.  But I had purposely scheduled

I received a session of Somatic Experiencing – a.k.a. S.E. (blended with process-oriented pre- and perinatal psychological understand and probably with some Craniosacral Therapy thrown in for good measure).  In S.E., the goal is to get the client (me) to feel the emotions associated with challenges to the polyvagal system – that is the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system divisions also known as the Fight / Flight / Freeze system (sympathetic) or the Rest / Digest system.  The goal is to strengthen and resource and turn on the parasympathetic or Rest and Digest system.  But the way to do that is to clear the trauma (or emotions or misunderstandings) which are stuck in various body tissues – clear where the body is stuck in Fight or Flight or Freeze status.  Obviously, this is very tender and vulnerable work, so I would only recommend going to see a qualified practitioner for it – someone who has done years of work on themselves.

What is wild is that we have a choice.  Once we determine what it is that is challenging the system or what misunderstanding or event is being held in the tissue (a fall, birth trauma, etc), then we can choose to do it differently in our minds – while being held by skillful, resourced, regulated, compassionate hands – and then this can lead to lasting neurological changes in the body.  And it is awesome and potent and nourishing when it is all over.  But I must say that occasionally the adage: “you must feel it to heal it” is appropriate, so sessions are not always comfortable – at least not all the way through.  But they are well worth it.

Before I mention what I learned yesterday, let me mention one thing: double binds.  A double bind is a psychological term for a situation in which we have two or more choices and all of the choices have difficult or challenging outcomes.  For instance, many double binds happen every day when we have elective surgery – if I get that mole removed, it means I will have to be cut and that is sharp and painful.  However, then I can get the mole biopsied and I will look better cosmetically.  So to keep the mole might invite danger.  But to get the mole removed means I will get cut.  This is a typical double bind – option A is painful but option B might be even worse down the road.

Likewise, many double binds occur for children.  As kids, we are stuck with one or both parents, not having any actual options for running away from inappropriate care-takers.  For instance, if we have the choice of suppressing our needs to prevent getting spanked, guess what?  Most kids clam right up.  This is a very common double bind.  Suppressing our needs, somehow learning to not say “No!” in order to avoid the pain of spanking and our parent’s anger or wrath, is terrible either way – we put our foot down and say “No!” and then we get whacked or whipped.  Or we learn to shut our mouths (and many people become pleaser / placaters / shape-shifters in the process of living these double binds).

So what did I learn in this last treatment?  Or what double bind did I discover?  As an aside, because Somatic Experiencing involves gentle, skillful hands-on time, when we do discover a double bind, we can slowly and skillfully help the client (in this case, me) to process it out of their system.  I discovered that my kidneys were holding onto a lingering piece of the Hades Moon karma – that is, when I was young, it was sometimes difficult to stick with my mother (and even worse to spend time with my father – see the paragraph above) and yet the other option – of leaving her would have brought up the worst, most unthinkable terror so it really wasn’t a choice.  Therefore, the essence of the double bind is that being with you is tough but any other option is horribly terrifying.  Imagine the baby part of me – there is no grey area for babies – it is either I am safe and content OR I am in pain, or hungry, or afraid, or I have a dirty diaper.  Therefore the baby part of me does not know how to ask for appropriate space.  I wonder how many kids go through this at least at some point in their lives?  Ack!!

But in my kidneys, and in my gut and in my meninges (around my brain) I felt this buzzing energy which only started to settle down when I admitted (acknowledged) this double bind and then using my adult resources – looking at the practitioner and realizing that I am safe, here and now, and looking around at the beautiful nature outside the windows – saying to myself, “May you (Kirby) be safe” and “May you kidneys be safe” – and bringing the session back to my child parts, saying now you have a choice.  Do you want to feel the way it was back then (painful) or are you ready to try something different (possibly a win-win situation)?  By realizing that my parents’ both probably suffered from this same double bind, I was able to compassionately hold them.  So they are really off the hook – it is my karma which led me to this point and which led me to choose them as parents.  They did the best they could with the resources available to them.  And they did a great job!  I was loved and well-fed and clothed and I was in a decent home throughout my childhood.

In the process of all this, I had to feel through several waves of fear.  Only once I felt the fear and slowly processed it and released it could I rest in a settled, less-reactive place.

And then my kidneys dropped down, resting back and relaxing; they both started to rock rhythmically back and forth indicating they were happy and grounded and felt safe.  My meninges (the shock-absorbing cushion layer around the brain) settled down, relaxed and the buzzing melted away.  And finally there was big spreading in my gut as the practitioner completed the treatment there.

Because it is still fresh in my system and because it involved childhood parts going way back, I expect the balancing to continue for at least a few weeks, possibly more.  I am being more gentle with myself and lying down when I have the time.  No use doing this deep work and then throwing a wrench in the works by pushing too hard or by doing an activity which causes my kidneys to clamp up again…  🙂

So just to reiterate.  This is extremely deep work.  I have been doing process-oriented work on myself since 2005, receiving hundreds of treatments.  I still have work to do.  But you should not dive right in and expect these kinds of insights and shifts in the beginning.  It is a process, there is a learning curve and lasting results will take time.  Especially if serious trauma is involved.  PTSD can be slowly resourced, but it will take lots of time.  Remember to be gentle.  Go slow.  Breathe.

And may all beings realize that they have a choice: we can re-do parts of our childhood which were less than resourced and move into an awareness of why it was and how it can be different.  And then re-orient from there.  It is a beautiful process if you are willing to do the work.

Thanks for reading!

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you want to support my blogging efforts you can click on the ads below or you can visit http://www.mkirbymoore.com to purchase Astrology Interpretations and see what else I offer.

For anyone new to my blog, in addition to writing about Buddhism (Dharma) and Spiritual Astrology, I also write about Healing Facilitation work as I have a private practice offering Process-Oriented Bodywork, Reiki, Craniosacral Therapy and trauma resolution.  This post is about the latter modalities.

I just participated in a class today where I was the teaching assistant.  I have taken hundreds of hours of Craniosacral classes, dozens more of other bodywork courses, so the teacher allow me to sit in her class and hold space for the students.  I occasionally coach them if they need it, but not so much today.

The class was Craniosacral level III – so all the participants are fairly advanced in their practice.  One or two of the students already have practices where they offer massage and / or craniosacral work.  Considering I am coming to this class from a very busy life – doing school (prepping for nursing school), working full time and trying to be present for a romantic relationship when I am able…  I needed to hit the brakes quick and this class provided just what I needed for that.

Due to this being a more advanced class, the teacher dove right in and started with some deeper topics.  Today the topics were two-fold: cords and the correlation of the physical vectors of the body, the energetic chakras of the energy system and the Hara or Dan Tien (of the deeper subtle body) – these three correlate to the three tides of Craniosacral therapy.  I could and probably should write an entire post about the tides, but suffice it to say that there are varying rhythms of the body’s energy – sometimes it is more relaxed and this might be a mid-tide (chakra correlation), or we might be in a go-go-go mode and this would be the short time, a.k.a. the Cranial rhythm (vector correlation).  And then if we are lucky enough to experience a deeper state of relaxation than most people are able to attain on their own (serious meditators can get here, or people who receive a lot of bodywork would also be able to drop down into deeper relaxation) which is known as the long tide, then this correlates with the Hara.

I realize I should probably unpack a lot of those words from that paragraph.  If you don’t follow, don’t worry, you will probably catch more in this next section.

The most poignant topic for me was about cords.  An energetic cord is a connection we have with someone but it is most often not a positive connection.  For instance, if our mothers used guilt trips on us as kids in order to get us to behave, there is a chance there is a cord lingering from that relationship.  Or if we felt the need to humor our fathers as children because we wanted to try to make him happier, we might easily be corded to him.  Here is the thing though – if there is an energetic cord to someone from when we are young, then even if that person leaves our life, that cord sticks around until we purposely heal it and release that energy (often less-than-ideal energy).  So if we have a mother who constantly energetically merges with other people (psychological merging is when, for instance, she can’t stand on her own – she is too flexible and is easily swayed because she “becomes” the people around her – and men can easily learn the less-than-ideal habit of merging as well) and she merges with us as children.  Guess what?  We will probably be merging types ourselves, no matter what our gender.

So what does this have to do with me you might ask?  To share a bit about myself, I am / was a merging type.  My astrology chart reveals this.  One of my parent’s is a merging type.  I learned it easily from them, not knowing any better.  I can easily charm people because I can feel what they are thinking, what they are needing – because their needs become my own.  How bad does this sound?  Well you are correct if you though that.  It sucks.  Period.  And I have spent years working to strengthen my psychological boundaries.

And I still have much work to do.  What I did not mention above is that if we have the pattern (the cord) ingrained in us as youngsters, then we will continue to do it as adults until we fully and completely heal it. And this can easily take years.  It depends on how deeply ingrained it is and how old we were when we learned it.

Also what I did not mention is that we will continue to attract that type of cord-like person into our lives until we heal it.  Say my father was a merging type.  Well he has not been in my life much in the past 18 years.  But someone will definitely come along to replace him until I lovingly cut, release and heal that cord.

You might ask what replaces a cord if we cut it – positive resources replace it.  If we do enough personal growth work on ourselves and on our developmental patterns, we are definitely working through some cord material – whether we say the word “cord” or not.  We are building in positive beliefs about ourselves, we are confronting uncomfortable emotions around that situation (if we have a hidden, deep reservoir of resentment toward our parents for smoking when we were tiny babies, then trust me, this is not comfortable to work through – but it is definitely worth working through it!!!).

It is also interesting to look at ways in which we react to different types of people.  When someone is angry, what is my first response?  Do I pick up their anger with ease?  Can I stay centered?  What is someone is down, sad or depressed?  Do I feel a strong yearning to pick them up – whether they ask for help or not?  This might be a cord from the past.  What is someone seems like a strong authority figure?  How do I react around them?  Can I hold my own energetically?  Can I stay confident and in alignment?

These were all questions I found myself asking in this class today.  What do I need to stay present, in my belly, in my Hara, in my chakras, in my heart and in my head in any situation?  What would happen if I said less and took more time to notice my inner process – even in novel situations?  How does it feel hold a higher (more empowered) frequency?

These questions are able to be answered through some spiritual paths.  And they are definitely able to be answered if someone chooses to do Process-oriented bodywork, or Spiritual Processing, or Somatic Experiencing, or Craniosacral Therapy.  I hope you get the chance to dip your toes into this subtle world one day.  🙂

Thank you for reading!

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you want to support Kirby’s blogging efforts, you can also view his website at www.mkirbymoore.com


 

Yesterday I was fortunate to receive bodywork from a solid practitioner of the modality called Somatic Experiencing (SE).  I have been doing this trauma resolution type work – both giving and receiving for at least three to four years, and in fact, if you count Biodynamic Craniosacral work as being similar, then I have been going at it for closer to eight or nine years.

I do not mention this “time-in-service” to boast.  I mention it to show how long it can take to truly peel away the layers for healing and renegotiation of trauma.  In previous posts I have discussed both of these modalities, but I am nearly always amazed at the creativity and uniqueness of SE’s methods of gently yet firmly going through the layers of frozen tissue and organ systems, uprooting misunderstandings and wounded emotions wherever it encounters them.

What I am trying to say is: “WOW!!!”  And “Holy Toledo!!!”

Yesterday’s work felt like a little culmination of a few years of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (read Birth Process) work I have been doing in addition to insights into my Astrology Chart in addition to this work in Somatic Experiencing.  Yes – you read this correctly; many pieces and many layers – it was pretty big!

I know I tend to say that phrase often.  Or at least I used to say that fairly often – I would come home from an SE treatment or from a class and go, “WOW!  That was big and amazing!”  And that was true.  Each layer tends to produce deeper and more complex discoveries and insights.  And you neither know how each layer will unfold, nor in what order the layers will unravel.  One of my fellow students said it best yesterday (it was an all day class in which I received such an incredible gift of open hearted embodiment):

She said, “Most people think that true freedom is being able to do what we want…  But actually, true freedom is being open to the mystery of the unknown.”  I think that sums up what is possible with Somatic Experiencing pretty darned well!  And she could easily be a teacher in her own right – these classes tend to attract some amazing and wise folks.

I am hesitant to describe the session without supplying some background context information.  Because how else could I possibly convey how big this is without doing so?  And I want to be compassionate about showing how much information and how many layers must be resolved before one can start to get to the “bottom” of the layers of trauma.  I mention I am getting to the bottom of my traumas, but I’m not sure.  I suspect I will be pleasantly surprised by all the discoveries still to come.  But once you are ready to start the deep mediastinum work (mediastinum is the complex matrix of connective tissue connecting and embracing and wrapping around all the tubes, nerves, organs and glands in the chest – the pericardium is a part of the mediastinum), it means that you have unglued many stuck parts and melted a number of frozen layers to get there!  So I must be doing something right.

So in a future post, very soon completed, I will elaborate.  🙂

Thank you for reading!

 

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This material is copyrighted by M. Kirby Moore.  Reproduction without permission is prohibited.  Thank you for visiting!  If you would like to receive a Spiritual Astrology interpretation or process-oriented bodywork, you can check out my website at www.mkirbymoore.com

As some of my readers may know, I have been studying process-oriented bodywork, pre- and perinatal psychology and Tibetan Buddhism for some years now.  I have been giving and receiving treatments since 2004, and every day, I am amazed at how many layers there are to plumb the depths of.  For instance, I recently received a treatment when the practitioner asked if I was a “forceps baby” – meaning were forceps used to get me out of my Momma?  Yes, I was.  So I am going to describe what happened next, but first some context.

I have been taking regular classes – at least 60 hours of class time per year since 2005, I have been giving and receiving regular treatments – I need my self-care / bodywork maintenance (!), and I have gone through some intensive birth process workshops and somatic process retreats.  So I am probably not a novice anymore, right?  I am blessed and yet I make stop-and-go progress which is occasionally frustrating.  So this is the context in which I was receiving this most recent treatment.

So yes, I was a forceps baby.  Keep in mind I am not a doctor, I’m not an obstetrician, and I am not licensed to practice medicine.  So this is just for entertainment purposes or to be used as experiential testimony.  After going through some basic listening stations along my body (feet/ leg bones / hip bones / ribs / paired cranial bones, etc) and then checking my sphenoid bone (the bone behind the eyes), she told me that my cranial bones were pretty locked up.  I was feeling that.  She asked if I wanted to try something.  I said sure!

So she asked me to put my hands on my head, above my ears, and then she put her hands on mine.  Keep in mind that this practitioner working on me has years of experience and she is certified as a registered craniosacral therapist, and on top of that, she is more of a listener and a healing coach than a “I’m going to fix you” type of practitioner, and that is why my body responds so well to these treatments.  I am not recommending this to be tried at home – if you want a treatment like I am describing, you should research who in your area has studied some solid modalities like Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, Somatic Experiencing, etc.

Back to the story, her hands were on top of mine, applying very gentle “pressure.”  Then she asked me to put all my angst and feelings about those forceps into my hands as I pushed hers away from my head.  She recommended I make some sounds.  So I did. I grunted and expressed my objection to anyone using a harsh, invasive, powerful force on my malleable baby head.  And then we did this another two times, each time I was moaning or groaning or saying “No!” with determination.  She resisted my hands a little, so this was not easy.

Then, after the third time, I told her I noticed a small, vulnerable part of me that wanted to cry.  She asked where I felt that in my body, and I said I thought it was in my gut.  Keep in mind that it is not easy for me to get to this baby part of me.  I have done years of work, and yet I think some non-verbal aged trauma (pre-one-year-old) is very difficult to touch and process.  So I was amazed at how such a simple exercise could do this.

Then she re-checked my cranial bones and she said I needed to take it easy for the next few hours as my bones had loosened up, but that I might feel wonky for a little while as a result.  And sure enough, that afternoon, I could really only do about half an hour of work before I felt a strong need to rest for the same amount of time.  It was like a magnetic pull to rest down!

I just want to express my little non-educated opinion on the subject of using forceps.  First, I am glad forceps was the “worst” intervention used to get my baby body out of my mother!  If a C-section was the next step, I’m glad they used forceps.  And apparently, for babies who are sort of “stuck” in the birth canal, the use of forceps can sometimes be forced to be done blind.  So I hope my doctor was very skillful!!  And I certainly hope doctors are still skillful using this technique today.

With that said, the use of such a strong force on a baby, even if done right is an invasion.  Therefore, I think it is necessary to talk to the mother and baby ahead of time – tell them what is coming.  And just as importantly, it is necessary to have someone (a nurse, a mid-wife, a doula, etc) present at the birth who understands how to adjust babies’ cranial bones so that they don’t internalize that loss of control.  I wanted to make my own way down the birth canal – but after 8 hours of contractions and pushing, the doctors decided things for me.

So there I was at the tender age of Zero, already developing a distrust of doctors, a fear of the medical system and I was already getting my sympathetic (fight-flight-or-freeze) nervous system geared up as I wanted to fight the doctor who had that horrible contraption around my head.  BLEHCK!!!!  No thank you!

And this is just one trauma that I experienced as a baby.  You know, I wonder if this (and other traumas too) is why I do not enjoy celebrating my birth day.  I always thought it was because I wanted to be humble or modest, but it might be more than that.  Why would I want to remember the most important day of my life when it was marred by complications, mechanical interventions and potentially insensitive doctors?  Yeah.

If you have read this far, you might need to take a deep breath.  I am fine.  Fortunately I have met with teachers and practitioners who know how to help me process all this “stuff.”  I have overcome depression and headaches and other issues and I am really doing well.  I am healthy and I continue to enjoy plumbing the depths of these psycho-emotional layers of what it is to be a body and be a human.  Yay!

Thank you for reading.

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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.

I had a new thought recently as I was working with a client.  I realized that everything I have learned regarding Craniosacral Therapy – protocols, techniques, etc – is fluid and should not be thought as being etched in stone.  What I mean is that my teachers taught in the best way they could and in a manner in which I could conceptually understand, and I am very grateful for them, holding them with deep respect.  However, it is only when we begin to practice and filter all of what we learned through our own experiences and perception, that we begin to realize those protocols are simply a road map.  They are not “THE” answer, rather they are one possible solution to get results.

I say this because individuals are so unique.  Sometimes I will have a client who wants more traction (when I drop in techniques from Zero Balancing for instance), so much traction that I am not able to provide enough – very rare but it has happened.  Then I will have another client for whom, say (arbitrarily), 10 lbs – not much when it comes to the legs – is too much.  And occasionally, to really throw a wrench in the works, the same client who wanted more space in their last session will now want much more contact and containment.  Therefore, as practitioners we must always be alert and listening, ready to change gears when it is requested of us – whether clients verbally articulate it or whether we feel something change under our hands.

We cannot rely on a checklist, rather we must listen and provide spacious presence to the client’s system in such a way that they feel safe, comfortable and relax with ease.  Then when we are ready and when their system is ready we can listen for their body’s unique healing plan and we can connect with that level of their being.  We can at this point, and possibly even should, ask “what is needed right now?”  “Now that you have dropped you typical patterns of holding and compensating, what would be of most benefit to you right now?”  “Please show me what you need.”  These questions are good starting points – and the last request is a great intention to set – because a powerful intention, when grounded in knowledge skillfulness and the wisdom of experience, often produces powerful results.  We must realize that everyone has an innate healing awareness, their own personal healing plan, and the ability to unwind and re-organize on their own.  This personal healing plan or innate healing wisdom which we all have is a vital piece.

We must let go of the (arrogant) thoughts that say, “Oh – look at what I have learned.  Look at my degree!  Look at how many years I was in school.  I am certified with hundreds of hours under my belt!  I know the ANSWER!”  Dear Lord!  This is erroneous and I believe this is one of the primary reasons people do not receive lasting results (when that unfortunate scenario occurs).  It is because someone else is trying to push the client / patient’s system to heal ahead of time.  Or the practitioner is so focused on relying on their own knowledge that they do not have the space (or compassion or wisdom) to listen to the client’s system or body.  And unfortunately, when this last scenario occurs, the client’s body has just shied away from the practitioner’s cold, judgmental gaze – and how can any lasting healing occur when at some level, the client does not feel safe with the practitioner – no matter what letters are after their name?

We must learn to drop the part of ourselves that diagnose, that judge, that says, “Oh look at you!  There is something wrong with you and I know what that is!  In fact, I can heal you.”  Bullshit.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Get off your high horse before you hurt somebody!  Get with the program and drop that old, derogatory story.  It is then, and only then that you will start to notice people getting up off the table saying, “Wow!  I don’t know what you did, but I feel so much better…”  When in actuality, it was their system that told me where to put the fulcrum, and besides that, all I did was hold space and awareness as they re-organized around a fulcrum.  So it is imperative(!) – we must listen for the client’s innate healing plan.  (See footnote at the bottom.)

It is at this point that we become a part of the solution, a fulcrum around which their system re-organizes and re-orients.  And it is only at this point that true, lasting healing occurs.  When I have the thought “I know what they need,” which of course is now a major red flag, when this monstrous thought wanders across my serene mental landscape I pause and check in, remembering I don’t actually do anything without their body’s permission and direction.  Because I could unwind someone’s jaw all day long – but if they are not ready to process the consciousness that is stored in that particular pattern, whatever is manifesting will never heal.  However, if they are ready, and if, after listening, I am drawn to work with their jaw, in a gentle, patient manner, then it might feel like butter melting under my hands and the issue could potentially dissolve in a few seconds.  Where on the other hand, if I “know” that they need something unwound, and I do not wait for their body to relax and drop its conditioned patterns of holding and compensation, it could take many minutes to TRY to unwind it, and it still might be fraught with tension (which is a lot of effort for no result – a disappointing proposition indeed).

There is a gift in waiting and listening – allowing the organic process to take effect.  This organic process can happen faster and faster if you maintain a [“hands off, I just listen, I just work with your system, I am not a healer, I do not actually fix anything that is not ready to go ahead of time”] attitude and continuously hold this kindhearted space.  Then client’s bodies feel your compassionate presence and move into a healing-receptive state with ease and grace.  It is at this point that you start to become a healing fulcrum just by being present. This takes time – do not go into a workshop saying, “You know, I’m ready to heal others right now.  I’m going to come out of my first (or second… or fifteenth) class and just heal the world.”  Baby steps.  Go slow, do a little and rest.  Learn a little more and rest and integrate.  Be gentle.  Then it sticks.  And it might not be until way down the road that you feel confident and wise with experience (I am certainly light years away).  There is a saying among my bodywork teachers: “When you touch 1,000 bodies, then you will have your answers.”  That is a lot of bodies to get your hands on.  But I think what this means is to trust that the process will take a long, long time to evolve and integrate.  But it will happen if you apply a gentle yet persistent work ethic.

Remember, less is better than more.  “We can never go too deep – only too fast” a timely quote by Hugh Milne.  And for goodness sake, relax your awareness, identify your stories and then let them go.

Becoming a gifted healing facilitator is an incredible journey.  And we cannot arrive at that destination without doing profound work on ourselves.  Providing expert healing facilitation for others and doing great work on ourselves goes hand-in-hand.  And please keep in mind that the journey is the most delicious part.

Footnote: There are times when we are in such a state of crisis or trauma that taking the time to listen is absurd.  That is the beauty of Western medicine – when there is a bone sticking out of someone’s arm, there is no time to waste.  I feel Western medicine does a fabulous job with acute issues, injury and disease.  However, it is the non-life-threatening material that could use more of a compassionate touch.  Not that I know what I am talking about…

This was hastily written by M. Kirby Moore, an ordinary human being, on May 14th, 2010.

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