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.
david howe says
Yes the Heart Math institute provides goods research . I was on their electrical team to plant a measuring device into the ground here in Alberta. As you know, Heart Math uses a very old visualization to place ones awareness into the heart and feel gratitude. A great Heart opener. Similarily, the Gospel of Thomas verse 106 (extracted from bible in 4th century by Romans) explains how to make prayer work by marrying thought intentions with gut feelings and bring that forward through the heart. Interesting, how to talk to God. Other old school like Pranic Healers (whose lineage is PADME sambhava – you know Om Mani PADME Hum) develop the size of spiritual chord (from crown to God source and open the crowns lotus but only after the Heart is open) they have spiritual chords of two to four feet in width and even thicker. Imagine the download of energy with a 2ft wide spiritual chord- doing a temporal hold wouldn make your ears turn red! — this modality requires dedication to self-work cleaning and purification. Tibetan Cranial has the practitioner KNEELING and praying Mantras throughout the client session. They sense Occipital Pulse and whole body awareness and of course, more Mantra praying. Yup … you gotta have heart to do this work. And higher esoteric tools, I find, do protect oneself from client negativity. Self protection, I find is a missing chapter in most Cranial Sacral teachings. Yet if you read the book Tao of Physics by Capra, in it they observe the similarity between leading edge quantum physics and Eastern Mysticism and also remember the old schooling of Indo-Chinese teachings of two truths. One being “relative” truth, the same truth that justifies science and medicine and the truthful observation of cause and effect. The other is “absolute” truth – a oneness experience of nature (or is that God). Assume that practitioners feel their way in session from relative to absolute and experience profound changes. shouldn’t we recognize this as esoteric understandings to explain our findings rather than invent new words for an ancient knowledge? Yet going this deep into a client causes some problems too. I know of CST graduates who do not practice CST anymore because they are overwhelmed by client negativity, yet these are the same people with great sensitivity and awareness. Similarily, Reiki has a policy that there is no negative energy issue that harms practitioners and yet many Reiki practitioners burn out or just give up. Its the lucky Reiki Master who is humble or desperate enough to seek out a Chinese Master and learn Qi Gong to replenish their burned out Chakras. So what is the future of CST, you have clearly identified the benefit of “heart breathing” and how science is giving it credit. But traditional science is slow to acknowledge yet able to help practitioners of today. In my opinion, CST will be fractured yet again, and evolutionary growing pain, trying to find new ways to resolve the negative side effects. Its interesting, senior Chinese Health practitioner(s) “who see energy flow” with 50+ years of healing experience just shake their head and walk away when watching CST in action. Maybe they noticed a practitioner safety issue . Consider Chi Nei Tsang, Medical Qi Gong and Pranic Healing, they all have a active exercises to protect themselves from negative client energy. There are many practitioners who must take salt baths to discharge, else wake at 3am with severe energy congestion in their arms. As the negative energies accumulate in all practitioners, how do you expect them to ever finish walking the Yellow Brick Road alive?
Judah Lyons says
Thank you David for your powerful insights and teachings. This is exactly what Michael and I envisioned when we created this new site. We were hoping that others would share their knowledge of the work and by doing so “raise the bar” for all of us. In my first DVD series CST 1 we teach a technique that creates a safe relational field between the practitioner and the client, so that the work can proceed in a manner that is anchored and secure. It sounds similar to the Tibetan Padme Sambhava practitioners that you mentioned. My partner practices that lineage journey. We visualize a very powerful beam of light going through the center of our body into the ground and out the top head. It is the first tool I teach. It is one that should be constantly revisited when the mind wanders, which for most of us is quite often!
Its hard to imagine how someone who has been trained by a true master of energy, and has been practicing for 50 years, can see and feel into the cranial system. They are few and far between. I just hope when the walk away they aren’t feeling any condescendence towards us lesser mortals who are doing our best to touch as many people as we can with compassion. Because Spirit knows, that in these precarious times that we are all living in, touch is a powerful tool for transformation! And so many people need to be touched, even if it isn’t with the skill of those like Sutherland, Becker, Fulford and others who practiced for over a half of a century.
Many practitioners are woefully undertrained, and I can only blame the system which is now in place. I had hoped through my DVD series, that someone could use them and the myriad of books that are available to us form past and present masters, to journey with this work for a lifetime. Our TMJ series should be out in a month or two, and then the three series can be a strong foundation for those who want this to be their trade. I also agree that certain ‘technologies” should be taught to help cleanse, protect and replenish us as a necessity for being embodied. I practice Tai Chi and now I have embarked on an ancient Chi Gung sound and healing tool with Mingtong Gu. And in my classes when I teach again, I will emphasize techniques for clearing and building energy, you are right its imperative. I also agree with you also that the work is constantly moprhing and may return more to the ancient roots that your suggest. WE shall see. Again thank you so much for sharing your vision of this work!
Thanks so much for sharing or voiceing out, David.
I am so agreed with every words you put out. I felt so frustrated of my over sensitivity and silently blaimed my inablity to keep myself intact as a BCST practioner. Weekly salt baths and Violet flame meditation after sessions have been my savers. Now it is more clear what was going.
Excellent grist for the mill Judah, thank you.
David mentioned self-protection. I’d take issue with the concept that we always have to be “protecting” ourselves from negativity. Where there is darkness and fear, darkness and fear find a comfortable resting place. But when the mind and heart are full of light, intelligence and understanding, darkness and fear have no place.
It’s fear that allows a practitioner to be overwhelmed with a clients stuff. Hundreds of practitioners gain “qualifications” every week, throughout the world. However, it doesn’t follow (gaining a qualification) that they understand or can practice whatever healing arts to which they aspire.
As mentioned, there has to be an understanding of, and commitment to the principles of compassion, understanding, love (whatever that means and encompasses) and a child-like approach to the purpose and individual (in my case, horses) that present themselves.
Almost all “healing” fails because the teaching and laws that, Christ especially, endeavoured to teach, are ignored or even chided. Unless and until people acknowledge that all healing only comes by following true principles and light and acknowledge the source from whence that power originates everything is just vanity and conceit.
As practitioners we don’t heal anyone or anything. We are simply vessels of light (dare I say it) relaying “light/energy/healing”. We are streets signs to the individual on whom we work. It seems it is an activation process in which we engage; somehow activating the individual’s awareness, light and intelligence to follow good principles and practices to get on their own journey to grow, develop and progress within themselves.
Judah Lyons says
Wonderful post Robin. I find myself in agreement with you. I teach a very simple grounding technique in my first CST video. Its goal is to create a safe relational field for both client and practitioner from which all the work springs forth. You are instructed to revisit it often during the session, especially whenever you are aware that your mind is somewhere else other then the client’s field. I like doing chi gung and tai chi as a means of keeping myself grounded. I am working with a Chinese teacher who uses sound and motion to clear the organs and the body’s electric field. But, it has never been an issue for me that I know of (lol) when it comes to picking up others energy. That being said, there are those whose systems are so sensitive to the energies of others, that being a healer is inappropriate for them. just too draining. And I honor their feelings and needs.I also agree with you Robin, that we don’t heal anyone! We reflect back to their filed and give them information that hopefully creates a homeostatic response and healing ensues. Thanks again for you insightful comments. They are truly welcome Robin…stay the course.
Julie Campbell says
I know this post is a couple years old, but I am just reading it – along with the replies … I am so very grateful for your videos and mentorship! In reading your post, my heart skipped a beat because HeartMath is something that I am in the midst of doing (to help me with my daily meditations that sometimes feel stale). NOW, I am so certain that the biodynamic model is the model for me to follow! I am learning, also, that explaining in the most simple way to my clients (they love me practicing on them already and I just began) is the best way. They don’t really want to know the nitty gritty stuff… they just want to know the basics and they are on board for an extra 15 minutes with a smile and a felt sense of relief and relaxation at the end. Thank You again!!! For those of us who are not swimming in $$ to take these 2 year monthly courses (far away from home), you have been a Godsend – literally!! I am off to practice on another client – yay!