Body Dialoging

Photography by Luzia Maria Grob

What is Body Dialoging?

In addition to learning palpation skills and anatomy as craniosacral practitioners we also learn skills to dialogue with the body. Together the client and practitioner explore what the body is “saying”. Our bodies have the ability to communicate with us through sensation (heat, exhaustion, dizziness, etc.) and our emotions (a felt sense of anger, sadness, joy etc.). Images, thoughts, and memories may arise during this process as well because of what our tissues and cell memories store. By exploring our “whole” experience as listed above we can start to integrate and support all the ways our bodies have experienced life. For example, tension in the neck can be a result of fear experienced in the past. As muscles and nerves relax it is possible to remember or even re-experience the original emotion associated with your tension. Reconnecting this somatic experience with cognition allows for profound healing to occur with a deeper understanding of our experience.

Hakomi-based Bodywork and Neurobiology for Post-Traumatic Growth trainings have deepened my skills and knowledge of how our experiences and trauma are held in the body. They align with craniosacral therapy and are integrated into our sessions together to support your bodies process.

What is Neurobiology for Post-Traumatic Growth?

These trainings presented the newest information about the role of the autonomic nervous system in trauma as described by Steven Porges in Polyvagal Theory. It provided a deeper understanding of how the ACE study (Adverse Childhood Experiences study) relates to health and why health is affected so deeply by experiences of trauma. It illustrated and explained the physiology of different nervous system/trauma states and clarified how to work with people who are recovering from trauma. It explained the opportunity for post-traumatic growth and how to get there.

These trainings also brought in information based on Dr. Peter Levine, PhD; Dr. Dan Siegel, MD; Dr. Rick Hanson; Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk, MD; and others work about the nervous system as it relates to trauma.

What is Hakomi-based Bodywork?

Hakomi-based Bodywork is an approach that invites and explores our body’s way of held experiences and beliefs that affect our relationship with ourselves, others, and the world around us. Hakomi is a Hopi word for “How do you stand in relation to these many realms?” and borrows from body-centered psychotherapy as well as Buddhism and Taoism.

How does Hakomi-based Bodywork work?

By slowing down, being in the present moment and mindful, Hakomi-based Bodywork allows your body’s unique experience to express itself and naturally unfold at its own pace with its own wisdom. For example: this can be a letting go of something that doesn’t serve you anymore or receiving a form of nourishment and attention that wasn’t available before.

It is also about learning how to appreciate and honor the resilience and adaptive capabilities inherent in us to survive. Like the tree that bends from the wind, our bodies have adapted to that accident, injury, emotional impact, and other stresses. With this knowledge we can begin to embrace our own uniqueness and way of being along with what is common in all of us.

Hakomi-based Bodywork is based on these 5 principles:

Mind-Body-Spirit Wholism: Wholism recognizes that body, mind, and spirit are interacting subsystems of the larger whole. For a deep and lasting transformation to take place, the body, mind, and spirit must be attended to and integrated.

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a state of being that allows awareness of the present moment without judgment. It is an internal state, where we simply notice “what is” without needing to “fix” or do anything about it.

Organicity: Each living organism and each living system exhibits an inherent unfolding and has its own organization, its own integrity. The Organicity principle is about recognizing and trusting this integrity.

Unity: Unity is the understanding we are all interconnected in this world from cells to the cosmos. Each individual part affects the whole and all the other parts.

Non-Violence: When we live within the principles of Organicity and Unity, we are being non-violent. We honor the body’s protective strategies and resistance by engaging and accepting those aspects of ourselves instead of forcing change or seeing it as a “hurdle”.