Removing Trauma from the Body

Emotional Resolution is about balancing your feelings by addressing the emotions that are embedded in our bodies, replaying when triggered by similar situations, enlarging the scope of the current circumstances and keeping us in a seemingly endless cycle of drama and pain.

Neuroscientist and trauma researcher, Bessel van der Kolk, MD has spent his career studying how children and adults adapt to traumatic experiences. He has some very interesting things to say about how trauma affects our bodies and compensating behaviors.

“The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies” — Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score

He says that we commonly think that trauma is a story about the past, but in fact, trauma makes changes to our brain, so that the person sees and experiences the world differently than other human beings. Research shows that “it is almost impossible to become a drug addict/alcoholic without having a prior history of childhood trauma.” Addiction is the result of these people desperately trying to manage unbearable physical sensations.

Peter Levine, PhD has also spent a career working with trauma. He developed a body-awareness approach to healing trauma called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE focuses on the physiological responses that occur when someone experiences or remembers an overwhelming or traumatic event, in his or her body, rather than only through the thoughts or emotions connected to it. His method is to allow and encourage the body’s sensations, trapped by the trauma, to discharge using a number of “resources” to ground the person in the present moment, that reinforce the client’s inherent capacity to self-regulate.

“The bodies of traumatized people portray “snapshots” of their unsuccessful attempts to defend themselves in the face of threat and injury. Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time… Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word- they have become stuck in an aroused state. It is difficult, if not impossible, to function normally under these circumstances.” — Peter A. Levine


I find it affirming, and corroborating, that these two world renowned and respected experts in the field of trauma research both agree that unprocessed emotions are trapped in the body. And that the best path to recovery is by working to release the frozen emotions from the body.

Connecting Trauma and Chronic Pain

In my own work, I’ve found that my clients who are struggling with the repercussions of trauma have issue on two fronts: Emotional and Physical. Often times they are in traditional therapy of some kind, but find it hard to make headway because of chronic body pain.

Traumatic emotions are buried in the body and resurface as pain and named disorders when left unresolved over long periods of time.

Bowen Technique is a system of gentle bodywork, that brings equilibrium to fascia (connective tissue) tension in the body. It is very relaxing and stimulates the body’s nervous systems to re-balance, prompting a healing response on structural and energetic levels Short answer: it feels really good and takes the pain away.

When pain is first and foremost in a person’s mind, it is very difficult to work on anything else, even if “anything else” is critical to relieving emotional pain, which is also critical to recovery. I’ve found that applying Bowen to chronic pain is a necessary first step. When the body calms down, after a session or two of Bowen, clients find their traditional therapy much more productive. They can remember, focus and do the work with out the distracting onslaught of pain.

Adding an Emotional Resolution (EmRes) session before Bowen is a powerful advantage. Emotional Resolution is a simple method of releasing buried emotions, regardless of the circumstances around their internment. The client recalls an emotional situation of note, and the practitioner guides them thru a protocol of physical sensory awareness which releases the triggered emotion that is buried in the body. Immediately afterwards the clients receives a Bowen session to help the body finish processing the emotion release and do the primary work of balancing the fascia to release and ignite a healing response.

The combination of Emotional Resolution and Bowen is amazing. There is a synergy and reciprocity between the two disciplines that coordinate responses between physical and emotional bodies. They literally talk the language of the limbic system that is holding the emotions, the body memories, in stasis and provides portals for their discharge and release.

Emotion work and Body work, individually, can be an asset to any recovery process. But together in the same session, they have produced headway and breakthroughs in my clients. These cases reinforce my enthusiasm and desire to champion this work. It’s so important to those of us that need it.

Are you ready to release your buried trauma and chronic body pain?

Book your Emotional Resolution and Bowen Session today


Video with Bessel van der Kolk

Youtube with Peter Levine

Reiki Really Works!

My first Reiki experience was purely by accident. I wanted to feel better and a friend recommended this woman that does this stuff…”it was great”.  So I booked an appointment and went to her.  That one session was amazing.  I didn’t find out what she did until after the session was over and the Reiki part was really only about 20 minutes long. I was in love with the work and ended up taking it on as a new career.

Back then-10 years ago, when I offered people a Reiki session or told them was a Reiki Master, literally no one knew what that was.  So I was left to explain about a metaphysical process–passing life energy thru my hands, when received would feel really good, like a heating-pad, and that energy would help them heal. All I could tell them was anecdotal stories about experiences of my clients and my friends clients successes.  “Just try it, you’ll love it”.  It was a bit of a stretch for many people.

Starting a few years ago, there was enough Reiki-awareness, in general, that when I told people, “I’m a Reiki Master”, almost everyone has heard the word “Reiki”. They may not know what it means exactly, but they’ve heard the word. It wasn’t just a strange combo of consonants and vowels. It had some context. It made my explaining job easier, because people are more receptive to hearing about the semi-familiar.

And in the background, there have been researchers trying to prove or disprove the effectiveness of Reiki.  Does it really help healing, when measured scientifically, double-blind studies and all that stuff. Or are the anecdotes of my clients just one-off successes?

They are validating the Reiki table experience: It does feel good, it does help, it should be part of standard practices of healing. 

Articles such as this one are being published in respected journals. This article reviewed the results of a collection of clinical studies on Reiki.

Reiki Is Better Than Placebo and Has Broad Potential as a Complementary Health Therapy

Placebo? They measured getting Reiki [Reiki from a Reiki attuned practitioner] versus getting fake or sham-Reiki [an actor that mimicked the hand positions and procedures of a real Reiki session]. The sham-Reiki served as the placebo, the sugar pill, that will have a neutral effect.

What did they measure?

  1. Physiological responses to Reiki
  2. Use of Reiki as a complementary therapy for a chronic condition
  3. Use of Reiki as a treatment for a chronic condition
  4. Use of Reiki as a complementary therapy for an acute condition

I’ll let you read the article for detail information and jump to the results 🙂

What did they find?  Reiki can be effective in

  • “Activating the parasympathetic nervous system, as measured by reduced heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and increased heart rate variability”
  • “Reducing pain, anxiety, and depression, and for improving self-esteem and quality of life”

‘These effects are due to higher parasympathetic nervous system activity, mediated via the vagus nerve”.

” Reiki has the potential to provide valuable support for a broad range of chronic health conditions”

“Reiki should be regarded as a complementary therapy that can be implemented alongside all other medical and therapeutic techniques.

Further research is recommended to help optimize the application of Reiki for specific health conditions and to examine the benefits arising from provision of multiple Reiki sessions over an extended period of time.”

Lovely! Yes, this is what most of us in the Reiki community have been saying for years.

  • It’s a wonderful (and powerful) complement to any treatment or medical protocol that a person may be under.
  • There are no-contraindications–everyone can benefit from Reiki.
  • Reiki can happen anywhere, literally anywhere, home, hospital, clinic, barn, etc
  • it feels like the best massage you’ve every gotten without all the rubbing 🙂

Don’t hesitate to try Reiki and add it to your current wellness regime, especially if your challenge is tackling pain, illness or disease.

Also I’m sending out a big thanks to all those Reiki Researchers who are proving it’s validity! 🙂

Are You Ready for Reiki’s Help?

Book a Reiki Session Today

Releasing Wounds of Scars

The effect of scars on the body can not be overestimated. It doesn’t matter whether the scars came from an accident, war, conflict, personal attacks or other traumas or due to a necessary and required surgical intervention or elective procedure. The results of scars never just go away.

The scar itself is a miracle of our body’s repair system. It is the remnant of a living tissue bandage that plugged a hole in our skin, preventing further fluid loss and maintaining a hygienic seal over the area while transitioning from scab to scar.

The fact that there is a visible scar means that the damage was not just superficial wound. It is the result of deeper tissue damage, sometimes thru all layers of the skin, sometimes involving the underlying soft tissues, muscles and organs.

Collagen, laid down as part of the repair process, resulted in a thickened fibrous mass. Thick scar tissue can impede proper circulation of blood, congests lymph flow and can impact range of motion. Severed nerve tissue, in the immediate and surrounding areas, can result in a kind of dysthesia–unpleasant, abnormal sense of touch that runs from numbness to pain. A fibrous and non-elastic scar can have a bio-mechanical dragging and pulling effect on all neighboring physiological systems particularly the fascial membrane covering muscles, bones, organs and glands.

And really one of the biggest problems is that we are unaware of these issues. After the largest portions of pain and trauma of the site have passed  and it is mostly healed, our concerns go elsewhere and we become unaware of the disability that remains stuck in our bodies by having and untreated scar. All scars represent:

  • the emotion that was present when the injury took place. Even elective surgeries and planned c-sections have embedded emotions related to the need for them — self-worth, anger, anxiety, shock, guilt, etc.
  • bio-mechanical restriction of the fascia where the scar prevent free-gliding of muscles and nerves. Interconnected fascial lines and synergistic and antagonistic muscles groups all rely of easy movement and elasticity of tissue within and adjacent to them.
  • bio-energetic impact of scars is most noticeable when the scars cross body mid-lines and the body meridians as used in acupuncture. When scars are released in these areas and the flow of Qi/Chi is re-established, client often report that they feel more energized after the scar work was performed.

The treatment of scar tissue is a vital element in restoring maximum function of our musculoskeletal and myofascial systems. Pain in these systems are reduced and range of motion increases.

Continue reading “Releasing Wounds of Scars”

Bowen called out as Remedy for Fibromyalgia pain

I don’t know David Wolfe, but I follow his page/blog.  He commonly touches on topics interest that are thoughtful, compassionate and informative. Fibromyalgia3 So I was delighted to read his blog today and see him call out Bowen for the chronic pain relief associated with Fibromyalgia.

This is very exciting to see Bowen mentioned and recommended by those outside the Bowen community.  It really is a wonder technique that works wonders on all sorts of acute and chronic issues.

Give it a try!  It is one of the best natural healing techniques to use.

http://www.davidwolfe.com/10-remedies-fibromyalgia-pain/

Fascia, Fascia, Fascia

It seems that I can’t see it or hear it often enough: Fascia is amazing.  It holds us together.  It is our body’s silent communication system, more rapid FasciaImbalancesthan nerves. It transports fluid between muscle, organ and circulatory tissues, keeping them supple.  It collects fluid around damaged tissue like a bandage.  Think of healthy fascia as a series of fine net stockings or cobwebs that surrounds every fiber, bundle of fibers, groups of bundled fibers, tissue groups, organs, separating body compartments in large sheets or diaphragms, supporting and holding everything in it’s place. It’s everywhere.  It’s pervasive.

Fascia can be physically damaged by injury or as a byproduct of some medical procedures, just like any other tissue. Fascia also reacts to our emotions by contracting over the trauma that is energetically held in the body like a bandage.

“Damaged” fascia is not the fluid flexible net of fibers that functions fully.  Injured fascia is tense, jumbled and convoluted, like a fisherman’s net that has gotten balled up and tangled.  Over time these areas, will become tightened, knotted and kinked, stiffening into armor like hardness.

In this compromised condition, fascia can not transport fluid nor relay messages as is normally found.  The tissue is it supports become dry and brittle and incommunicado from the rest of the body.

Injured fascia can cause severe, disabling, chronic muscle pain.  It affect not only the tissue that is armored, but all muscles and tissues that have to work differently because of this restriction.

Click here for another great video explaining why fascia is important

When there is a restriction in one area of the body, there will be compensation on the other side of the body in a diagonal direction. That “overworked” area will cause another area, diagonally across the body to compensate.

Pretty soon there is a zigzag of stressed body areas. So often what hurts is not the originating point of the problem.  Neck injuries can become hip and leg issues and vice versa.  Ankle issues can show up in the shoulders. So what needs help the most? Where it hurts now or the original injury?

Bowen to the rescue!

Bowen works with fascia as it’s target.  When skin, muscles and tendons are moved, the fascia they are connected to moves.  If gently and methodically done, the fascia will again separate into it’s beautiful web-like structures. The armor will soften, the tissues are hydrated and the information highway is connected again.

On the other hand, tissue and it’s associate fascia is moved  quickly, hard and fast–it resists and stays in it’s armored state.  Remember the corn-starch and water experiment?  If you handle it with too much force, it resembles a solid brick.  But if you handle it slowly, it feels more like sand or liquid.  The same is true of fascia–the slower and gentler the better.

In my opinion, almost all all chronic pain announces an underlying fascia issue.  The longer the pain has been in place, the more compensating patterns have been erected. And the more hardened armor, locking it into place will be present.

A series of Bowen session will unwind these patterns. By gently manipulating fasical sheets through their connections to other tissues, the elasticity is returned.  Relaxed fascia loosens it’s grip on muscles, organs and other tissue allowing the communication and fluids to flow at more appropriate levels.   Oh, what a relief!

Pains from the Rear

Even if you don’t have sciatic pain yourself, chances are you know someone that does.  Sciatica can manifest as mild to severe pain, burning, tingling etc from the hip down through the foot.  It develops when a nerve or nerves traveling from the lower lumbar and sacral spine get pinched, rubbed or otherwise compromised on its way to the tissue it’s servicing.  On the journey, it must weave a path through and around bones and muscles.  If the path gets too small whether from the variation in human structure, injury or pregnancy, these nerves have to problem telling us they are in trouble.

SciaticaNervePain

Sciatica Causes

The good news is that many of these issues can be addressed with Bowen Technique.  Most Sciatic pain originates in the hip area. The hips have lots of big strong muscles trying to keep us upright and balanced, whether we are sitting, standing or bending over. Any stress to one side of the lower body can setup a pattern of imbalance in the work load, in order to maintain our “upright posture”. Over-worked muscles on one side, can lead to continuously tight muscle on that side.  The other side then has over-stretched (too loose) muscle on the other side.  This then ends up twisting the pelvic bones and legs, contributing to irregular paths for nerves and vessels, twisted again. [Chubby Checker would not be pleased :)]  We end up in pain and discomfort. Commonly with shooting lightening down the legs, we are aching for relief.

Bowen to the rescue. By addressing the fascial sheathes of the hips, buttocks and legs, Bowen Moves help the muscles relax, re-balance and the nerves are freer to normally along their paths. Targeting paths of the sciatic nerves, the gentle procedures reinstate flexibility and adjust the tone of surrounding tissue.

There is relief in your future with Bowen Technique!

Un-nerving Fibromyalgia

Many of my friends and clients with Fibromyalgia have shared with me how frustrating their disease.  Their frustration comes whenfibromyalgia-mosaic1 they reach out for help and feel like they get nothing or get treated like they are crazy-making it up.  And it is confusing stuff– how can you feel bad all over and nothing is “broken”.

But there is work in the scientific community that is explaining how that happens.  From my understanding is boils down to too many nerves all in crisis–sending signals that something is wrong. I’m sure that’s a gross oversimplification 🙂 but it’s a model I can work with.

Fibromyalgia-Cause Discovered

It turns out that Bowen Technique addresses nerve pain, where ever it is.  By relaxing the fascia which cradles nerves and all other tissue, nerves get to relax too.

 

 

 

Shaking off Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s is a favor topic of mine.  It turns out that regardless of which route is taken in the Parkinson’s battle, Bowen Therapy Parkinsonscan help with a multitude of symptoms.  This is good, because Parkinson’s seems to be very individual as to what, when, how severe the symptoms become.

Bowen gentle works fascia and muscles to increase fluid transport and communication throughout the body. And gentle, is a key word here.  Fascia is kind of like corn-starch paste: if you try to move it hard and fast, the paste (fascia) resists like it’s make of  hard clay. If you more the same paste (fascia) slowly and gently, it gives and relaxes in the most delicious way, allowing extracellular fluid to flow more freely, delivering nourishment and healing.  Muscles and nerves will act more “normally” as their neighboring tissues become more balanced.

Parkinson’s Dilemma Article

Results using Bowen are best achieved from multiple sessions, schedule a week or two apart.  Each session builds on the last.

Bowen Practitioners who display gentleness, patience and love, will be skilled and supportive companions on Parkinson’s journey. Parkinson’s disease has no cure but I’m sure the symptoms can be managed to promote a better quality of life.

 

Emotional links to Menieres Disease

tinnitus2

Tinnitus is represented as a range of similar symptoms, such as ringing or buzzing in the ears. The intensity of these symptoms also fall across a large range.  Each person’s experience with the disease is unique and personal.

A new study shows that the location of activity for emotional processing happens in the brain,  is related to the intensity of Tinnitus symptoms.

Emotional Link to Menieres Disease

Bowen Therapy is a great tool for addressing Tinnitus.  Due to the nature of the disease and usual long time suffering by clients before they try Bowen, it may take a few sessions before seeing relief.  But for those that trust in the work, Bowen Therapy’s holistic approach will bring a welcome liberation from debilitating symptoms.

 

 

 

Removing the Buzz of Tinnitus

tinnitus1Ringing in the ears so loud you can’t hear others talk, or just a irritating ring or an added dizziness and disorientation that sends you to the couch or bed?

Also known as Tinnitus,  Menieres Disease can range from a bothersome irritant to a totally disabling phenomena in a person’s life.  There are many ways an individual comes to this place, from traumatic head injuries, to surgery, to infections, drug or alcohol use, to immune system issues.  It can be a bewildering guessing game as to how to get free of it.

What is Menieres Disease

Fortunately Bowen Therapy can help.   Bowen has procedures that address the fascia, muscle, bones, connective tissue of the head and shoulders. By relieving stressed tissue points, relief is bound to be felt.

Often clients come to Bowen Therapy after years of suffering in chronic misery, having tried many approaches and therapies.  While we all want instant relief, chronic issues most likely will not disappear immediately.  But they have come to trust the work and after just a few Bowen sessions they have some real relief.  After more sessions they have great relief. No drugs. No invasive procedures. It’s a holistic approach to recovering health.