Life is all about balance; and about communication between the parts of our whole organism. Different regions, different systems of the body all need to be, and are, in constant contact with each other – at least that is so in a situation of healthy balance. When, however, there are imbalances, compromises to the communication channels between regions, between systems, the body is attempting to demonstrate, to gain attention for those imbalances, disruptions and/or distortions in those communication pathways.
In this way, it is very important to look at the presenting situation – of symptoms or challenges that arise physically (and mento-emotionally) for us – for they can be seen then as problems to understand and address. The best way I know of to facilitate a reading of what exactly needs to be understood and addressed, is by osteopathic assessment, palpation, and the treatment process itself.
So the body is a finely tuned instrument. It constantly expresses and reflects its state, and the psycho-emotional state of the mind. It is inexplicably linked to, and expressive of, how one sees the world. If we feel criticized, isolated or judged, for instance, that will be reflected in our posture; how we breathe and talk; how we hold ourselves; how we move about in the world; whether we meet the eyes of others around us; whether we allow ourselves to take in, and feel the support of the ground beneath us, the chair we are sitting on; whether we feel the natural world around us – or not.
Having some conscious awareness of how these interactions between our view of ourselves and the world around us, take place, can be very freeing. New neurological research (well represented by the book, The Upward Spiral, by Alex Korb, PhD) indicates that there is a regulating influence, or an improvement in one’s health that follows simply from acknowledging to oneself how one is feeling. So, if I am feeling sad, and I attempt to move around it; if I don’t want to admit it to myself that I’m feeling that sadness (or angry, desolate, fill-in-the-blank with any uncomfortable feeling for you), then I’m going to tense up against even trying to feel it. Now, the tension itself has become more of the problem than the sadness, anger or whatever I was failing to acknowledge feeling. Note here that I ALREADY AM FEELING the uncomfortable emotional content, but I am trying not to “see,” “hear,” taste,” or “sense” it in any way. If, on the other hand, I simply acknowledge what I’m feeling – it doesn’t have to change – there is already a shift in my brain chemistry toward a healthier perspective toward myself and “the world”.
A big part of the work I do as an osteopath is to share with the people, parents of young children, or animal care-givers seeking my help, the perspective that is so evident to me from that person/child/animal’s body, so that they can use that understanding to work with me in re-establishing a more harmonious balance and regulation within the communication networks that are always functioning in a live physical body. If we are alive, that network is functioning at some level. Our level of health and wellness is largely determined, however, by how clear and unimpeded those communications are, and the extent to which they are acknowledged.
If you are an osteopath, physician, chiropractor, physiotherapist or massage therapist and would be interested in exploring ideas like this in a practical and experiential way relevant to your own practice please get in touch with me directly, at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please use the subject line “Professional Workshop List”
I am presently in planning mode for course offerings to begin in the next couple of months. I may also offer some other forum for discussion and sharing amongst my patients and the general public. If that interests you, please send me an email to the same address, but use the title: “Public Discussion”