Bodywork is an umbrella term for a constellation of related techniques developed to correct whole-body structural dysfunction. Instead of solely focusing on muscles directly experiencing the pain and discomfort, and relieving ambient tension, a Bodyworker takes a step back and looks at the whole Body for clues as to why that area hurts. Lo and behold, often there is a maladaptive postural holding pattern that the sore muscles are merely a symptom of. Voila! Begin exploring the nature of that holding pattern and you will relieve the pain as a byproduct.
So here is what a typical Bodywork session looks like. After an initial consultation to assess your concerns and goals for the session, I will have you lie comfortably on the table under the blanket. There is no need to undress, but I do recommend that you wear jogging shorts and a sports bra for women, and jogging shorts for men.
The session will usually begin with some light neck or foot massage, to help you transition from the Mindworld and begin to enter the Bodyworld.
Once we are comfortably settled in, I will begin to Feel into your Body, acknowledging specific ares of tension, noticing subtle emotional states, breathing patterns, or any other physical or non-physical cues.
Then I will utilize a variety of techniques to address the physical issues that present themselves. These typically include:
SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION: This is where the process usually begins. Focused on discrete muscles, we are coaxing looseness and length into chronically shortened muscles. Quite often, these muscles have been stuck for a very long time, and are resistant to change. So we just keep at it, never using force, but always residing at the edge of contraction, inviting Consciousness to break the feedback loop of chronic tension. Once the Mind-Body connection is deeply established, and individual muscles have regained their elasticity and elongation, we can move onto the next phase.
CROSS-HANDS STRETCH: A much more subtle technique, here we are not focusing on specific muscles or muscle groups, but whole regions of the Body. By gently stretching the fascial tissue, we can induce old postural dysfunction and emotional holding patterns of tension to finally begin to release. These releases can be somatic, such as trembling, jerking, or whole-body softening; or non-somatic, such as waves of heat or cold, flashes of color behind the eyelids, sudden emotional up-wellings, or racing thoughts. You are not going crazy!
UNWINDING: When we experience trauma, overwhelming emotional states are encoded somatically within the tissue of the Body, while simultaneously being walled off from the greater Consciousness. Therefore the position the Body occupied during the traumatic event becomes inextricably linked with that emotional state. As these emotional states are repressed and unhealed, the whole Body constricts, refusing to release the tension. Unwinding allows the Body to re-experience these meaningful postural positions from a location of safety and release the stored emotional charge. These can be some of the most dramatic releases, as whole episodes of trauma arise to be purged, never to return.
MERIDIAN CLEARING: From the physical point of view, the meridian system acts as the “high power lines” of the Body, supplying bio-electrical energy to various other systems and organs of the Body. Many of the meridians follow fascial planes of interconnected muscle groups so it makes sense to address meridian issues while treating fascial dysfunction. Running just above the skin, meridians can be unblocked with direct digital pressure into the body at the site of the blockage, or by holding two related meridian points to “short circuit” the system.
Once the Bodywork session has been completed, you may request a sage smudge if you wish. Remember to ground before leaving and make sure to hydrate well throughout the day. Often times a nap will help with the integration process. Sometimes, once you are at home in your safe place, emotional releases can occur, as well as having vivid dreams that night. Be easy with yourself.