I have often observed in my own practice, that a similar applied technique can yield completely different results. One client walked away feeling almost “healed” and another, well the impact in that session was no greater than that of a fart in a tornado. So, throughout my journey I have have been searching for techniques that might bring greater results. A technique that may have nothing to do really with the tools from either of the two disciplines that I practice. Rolfing has specific ways to apply tools of the trade, and cranial work brings a whole completely different set of rules and tools. In cranial work we talk about field dynamics and the practitioner fulcrum from which all the work unfolds or streams forth. Rolfing requires a quality of attention because fascial envelopes move throughout the body and our touch must be able to discern far from the place of contact. Those who know very little about Rolfing miss the subtleties of her art form. Cranial work is often thought of as purely energetic and also miss the subtle awareness of the practitioner must embody. When I was first taught cranial approach from the Upledger Institute there really was no emphasis on practitioner fulcrums. It was essentially following the purported moves of the bones, and then “adjusting” them sequentially. The Biodynamic Cranial training changed most of that.
When I was just started to ‘wear the healer’s robes” at the Rolf Institute, I heard a story about Dr. Rolf who had been involved in a study conducted by Dr. Valerie Hunt at UC Davis in the 60’s or 70’s. I am not sure of the dates. Roselyn Bruyere, who is the famous healer intuitive, was asked to observe various healers perform their art during this study. Roselyn’s part was to observe the flow of energy from the hands and field of each participant. She said, that she had never observed anyone “run” so much energy out of their hands as Dr Rolf. Hearing this story while I was a newbie at the Institute, I intuitively understood their was much more going on in the work then just techniques that could border on harshness, especially since many of my teachers also practiced cranial and visceral work.
I repeated this story to a beginning class of Deep Tissue students at the Utah College of Massage Therapy in the early 90’s. The look on their faces was worth the price of admission, as you could perceive a slight shift in their paradigms around the concept of bodywork, especially those who came to school to learn energy work!
So, what I would like to share with you is a technique that I believe can impact your ability to help those who lay on your table. And this is a heart centered technique that I promise will also bring your life into more balance and coherence. In its simplest of form there is nothing complicated, just focusing on your heart throughout the session. Breathing in and breathing out. Now for those of you who have followed some of my work in the past, you know that I have shared a tool that I use to stay centered called the Shaman’s Breath. This is really no difference between the two with the exception that you are not lighting up the grid. They can be used together, and melded into one technique.
There is a great deal of science these days around the heart and its field, and plenty of scientific support for prayer and how our collective thoughts impact the greater field. Researchers are talking about a positive “collective intelligence” as human communities evolve towards higher order of complexity and harmony. This concept is taken from the work with the Heart Intelligence folks, a work that was started years ago by Doc Childre. He says, “In the early ‘90s, our research center found that negative or stressful emotions threw the nervous system out of sync, and when that happened our heart rhythms became disordered and appeared jagged on a heart rhythm monitor. This placed increased stress on the physical system and negatively impacted mental functions. Positive emotions like appreciation, love, care and compassion, in contrast, were found to increase order and balance in the nervous system, and produce smooth, harmonious, sine-wave like (coherent) heart rhythms.” Obviously, we don’t want to be impacting our client’s nervous system negatively because our minds are all over the place with the myriad of problems that we are facing daily in this increasing hectic world. Creating these coherent heart rhythms through attention on the breath, impacts the field that your are holding/projecting and ultimately impacts the client’s experience. Its a very simple technique. But, don’t disregard it because of it simplicity. Martial art’s most simple techniques are often their most effective, they just take time to cultivate.
Did you know that the heart forms before the brain in the fetus and has four distinct pathways to the brain? Why is this so important. Just take this concept for a “spin”, the more we focus and breathe in our heart center during the day, and especially during a session, the more our fields becomes capable of “holding” our client’s field during a session with compassion, love and understanding. More on the this and the technique in the next post.