I want to begin this blog by saying how grateful I am. There’s so much for us to understand about how our bodies respond to injury, however slight it may seem at the time, and of course the psychological component of that injury, and how that injury can truly heal.
My Body Before
Let me unpack that a little. I’m grateful to have been introduced to biodynamic craniosacral therapy by Heidi Lauber in 2010 as a client of her massage practice. I didn’t know what it was – I’d never heard of it – and didn’t really grasp the concept. And now here I am, 6 years on, and I am light years ahead in being aware of, listening to and knowing my body – most days! I’m grateful that my body is not so hidden to myself as it used to be. Before I was just stumbling around doing a little of this and a little of that, hoping that somehow it would contribute to my health. A little yoga, a little acupuncture, fairly regular massages, physiotherapy when I developed a frozen shoulder, and lots of hot relaxing baths. What I lacked was an awareness of the present health of my body to tell me what it needed. I usually waited for aches and pains to show up, and then believed that alleviating those was the path to health. But truly, most of the time I was pretty oblivious to how my body felt at that moment. I think that’s pretty common in our busy lives!
"It's nothing...get over it"
Injury (and insult) to the tissues of the body can be as simple as bumping my arm on the doorframe and getting a bruise, or as invasive as major surgery that cuts into deep tissues. Both are a trauma, physical and psychological. I was taught as a little girl not to cry at every bump and bruise – “it’s nothing, get over it”. I learned at an early age to stop being aware of how pain felt. As an adult, I’d rub it absentmindedly and carry on with my mission. Later I might notice a bruise on my arm and wonder how I got that. No memory remained - consciously.
I’m blessed that I’ve never had surgery. But I’ve touched bodies that have, and even years after the surgical incision has healed, I’ve felt the pull and strain of the scar tissue, how it lacked the flexibility of the tissues around it. I could feel how this scar tissue, say in the lower abdomen, was affecting tissues quite a distance away - in the shoulder for example. Using my craniosacral touch, their body has been able to ease that tightness of tissues and alleviate the strain.
Grief and How the Body Feels It
In 2010, I was getting craniosacral therapy treatments and my husband was suffering with cancer. A few days after he died, I had an appointment scheduled. When my therapist put her hands on my ankles, she remarked that my body felt like someone’s who had just had major surgery. Really? What did she mean? I hadn’t had any physical trauma, yet my body, my nervous system, was in shock. Okay, I knew about the stages of grief: shock and denial being the first stage. But really? There was actually a physical sensation that she could feel using craniosacral therapy by putting her hands on my ankles. I was intrigued. It was the beginning of a journey for me.
Healing as a Partnership
“You can’t heal unless you feel!” I’ve been told. Craniosacral therapy isn’t something I do to you. You are an active participant and creating your own body awareness. Part of the journey is learning to be present in your body, in this moment, and to notice the discomfort or pain, to notice the sense of relaxing and releasing, to notice the sense of heat or fullness or density or tightness or whatever. So when you are lying on my table, I am going to ask you what does that feel like – give me two words to describe it. And together we will find a path to healing. I happen to think it’s a pretty exciting journey.
Sample It for Yourself
If you want to get a sense of what it might be like, I invite you to take a moment and tune in to yourself. What part(s) of your body are you most aware of? What 2 words describe the feeling in one of those parts? Is there an emotion associated with it? Stay with that for a few more moments. Is the sensation already changing? How do you describe it now?
Ready to Learn More?
Is this something you want to explore more fully with my help? Contact me!