by Hans TenDam
When did you last time refer a client to her doctor? When did you last time got a client being referred to you by the doctor? ‘Never’ is the probable answer to both questions. Only a few colleagues get referrals from doctors, only a few refer to doctors, I guess.
In an ideal world, the two groups would not only mutually refer clients; the two groups would work pretty often together. (Unless your image of an ideal world is a world without problems, without suffering, without patients.) In an ideal world, we even would collaborate with the pharmaceutical industry. Why do I think that?
The body plays an important role in regression, both in ferreting out the problems and anchoring the solutions. Clients wriggle, sigh, cry, get spasms, cold feet, red spots in the neck, goose pimples, pressures and pains. Clients breathe deeper and slower, wrinkles disappear, limbs stretch and relax, skins become rosy, feet become warm, empty body feelings fill up, and heavy body feelings fall away. In an hour, years may fall away like leaves. Successful regression is rejuvenation. And in between, clients sometimes rush to the bathroom like they discovered a new sport.
During massage or acupressure or simple physiotherapy, patients may enter in early childhood experiences or in past lifetimes – even when neither patient nor therapist believe in such imaginings.
And the body helps to induce and to deepen regression. Where do you feel that burden? On my shoulders and somewhat lower on my back. Within a few seconds the client feels the leather strips of a wicker basket, filled with stones, and the iron supports pressing to his back. It’s halfway the morning and I am already dying of thirst.
To put it more precisely, we don’t work with the body, but with the body feelings, with all those internal sensations of warmth and cold, pressure, weight, posture, movement. What we call altogether proprioception (inside perception), as opposed to (outside) perception.
Proprioception, I think, is what gives a recollection a now-feeling. Seeing yourself as a horseman riding out of a wood is one thing; feeling the horse underneath, feeling the exhaustion after a day’s journey, feeling the simmering heat of late afternoon, is another thing.
I know the idea, coming from neurolinguistic programming, of dividing people into visual, auditory and kinesthetic types. It is safer to assume that all people are all three at the same time, so always go for the combination, especially for the combination between visual and kinesthetic.
When Roger Woolger has his clients assume the posture of the original traumatic situation, he is strengthening the kinesthetic sensations, countervailing the often-dominant visual, more mental mind-set. Gestalt is doing such things. And it’s the essence of bio-energetics.
Often, the somatics don’t start with the session; they are there already for years. The body is carrying the shadows, the echoes, and the imprints of body experiences long ago, experiences from bodies long dead.
In fact, we don’t deal with the body as such; we deal with the living body, apparently penetrated – and probably surrounded – by an energy body. Name it chi (Japan), prana (or rather akasha) (India); call it the etheric body (theosophy), the vehicle of vitality (Crookall). Think of aura, of kundalini. We usually call it energy, the energy body. A pretty vague name, but also a pretty neutral name.
It strongly and intimately influences the body, but the body returns the compliment and influences the energy body strongly. The last body feelings before death, for example, can make a deep and lasting imprint. And our most inner conclusions and decisions affect the energy body and so, sooner or later, our physical body. The main channels of interaction seem to me to be the nerve system, the hormone system, and the autoimmune system.
Now we are stuck. The people who deal with the body, deal only half-heartedly with the mind and have no idea of what’s in between and how that works. They cut ulcers, but miss the energetic reality that is often behind that. They prescribe pills for depression, without knowing what it is and whence it comes. They give names to often vague syndromes without knowing what they are: fibromyalgia, whiplash, low back pain, chronic exhaustion, and ME. Even migraine is in this category.
We could do a lot there. Some of us are doing a lot there. But we could do much more if we could collaborate. There is a world to discover. But they won’t have us; we are amateurs at best, crackpots and weirdoes more likely. And we won’t have them. Many of us have a dim view of doctors and see the medical industry as the devil incarnate.
We work in their shadow and they in our shadow. Guess whose shadow is bigger.
In that ideal world I was mentioning, visualization would interlock with medication.
What should we do? I have a revolutionary suggestion: we should start where we are.
Why don’t we establish a Chapter within EARTh of those members who are doctors, paramedics or trained nurses? Or who are in massage or alternative body treatments, like osteopathy, acupressure and the like? I think also of midwives. I am personally interested, because I have a body, but I have nothing to offer.
Anybody out there to take this up?
Meanwhile, let’s shrink some more tumors.