Softly Softly

We have long known that we have both a fight or flight system to deal with danger and an opposing system which calms us and relaxes us when not in danger, called the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems respectively.

However, we have now learnt there is a third system of response to our environment, buried deeply in our ancient heritage. This system switches on when we believe we cannot overcome the danger in front of us. It shuts us down, immobilises our body and prevents meaningful communication. It can be triggered by something happening at that moment, or by a resurfacing memory of a traumatic event earlier in life, possibly all the way back to childhood.

For the therapist this immobilisation means effective communication with the patient is all but halted and it is vital that initially a softer, slower approach is adopted before considering more conventional western medical techniques.

I call this the softer arts of medicine.

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Our ancient medical healers worked artistically on an energy system of healing. This included such skills as acupuncture, acupressure, body work like myofascial release, massage, reflexology, shamanic reiki and shiatzu. I like to describe this way of clinical practice as using the softer arts of medicine, where we silently and truly listen to the patient and treat through the body, heart and mind. This approach recognises that the mind receives information about how we feel through the body and through our heart. Equally, when we are experiencing strong emotions, we send messages from the mind, back to the heart and body.

In terms of modern Physiology there are three systems of physical response to our environment.

There is a system that enables our body to respond to a fearful predator, a dangerous situation. Which means,that we need to mobilise all muscles and move out of the way of that danger. Hence, we need to breathe more deeply, and we need to give more blood to those limbs that need to power us out of the way of danger. This excitatory, firing up process is the sympathetic system,our fight or flight. It physically activates a system of ancient behaviours that enable us to escape danger.
The opposing system to that is the relaxing, soothing,healing, digesting, parasympathetic system.
Then there is this third, very ancient primitive part of the vagal tree nerve, which  switches on when we believe wecannot overcome the danger in front of us. We shut down, we feel paralysed, we cannot move, cannotfunction.

In other species that often saves lives. For example, if a small rabbit is in the jaws of a large cat and the cat believes the rabbit is dead, instinct tells the predator to drop the dead meat. When the predator disappears, the little rabbit can shake and get up and get out of danger.

When a patient has been traumatised in the past, there arestrong emotions that can be triggered by a therapist’s touch, or even just tone of voice, simply by memory association. Whenthat inner child within us feels fear, like sitting in front of a doctor, therapist or surgeon, we can feel so powerless that our ancient, third system can kick in. We shut down, no longer able to listen or remember anything being said.

What may appear to be a straightforward sports injury or back strain can never be further from the truth

When dealing with those who have been through trauma as a child, a war, or perhaps have witnessed a terrible accident, the softer arts are so useful in gently enabling the person to feel safe. A journey with the softer therapy arts can get us ready for western approaches of stronger physiotherapy exercises,surgical intervention, or stronger medical drugs. That is, once the mind feels safe and can feel well enough to cope.

Hence, this softer approach and the knowledge of treating energy centres called acupuncture points or chakras, accesses a powerful mind-body connection for a better outcome. It is awonderful way of opening the door into people's minds to gently allow them to process emotions and past trauma. An experienced therapist will make the patient feel safe, allowingold traumas and memories, locked away long ago in the body to resurface.

So often, what may appear to be a straightforward sports injury or back strain can never be further from the truth, as it is interwoven with a whole library of emotional baggage. It can be more like an archaeological dig.

Here in the West, we can be very arrogant in our thinking to believe these amazingly simple old ways of healing have no foot hold in science and thus no right to sit within the fraternity of medicine. Thanks, however, to recent clever live functional microscopic scanning techniques of the brain andbody, and especially the previously unseen fascia [the bodies bubble wrap], we have clear scientific evidence which justifies a meaningful relationship.  These new discoveries have enabled us to discover that there is a strong correlation between the chakras, the positions of these energy centres in our body and the organs that they are associated with and the nerves that run through the areas.

All just as described by ancient healers.

In a future article I will delve deeper, wearing western scientific glasses, into what we believe these energy centres could be.

If you feel you have a condition which is not improving and this might in part be because of memorised trauma, then call us. We can help.

Call Now 01889 881488 Jean, Erica & Charlotte will be happy to help.