There’s nothing like getting "a sign" to write a memoir about your Polish family’s mindbending tale surviving Stalin’s mass deportations of the Poles during the 1940s—and then following that sign—to make your mood swing. Big time. What on Earth was I thinking?
Uncover an untold story? Experience some Growth? Some transformation? You know what they don’t tell you about transformation is that it’s not always comfortable. That’s an understatement. So, after spending more than a year unearthing historic details about what happened to my clan, taking Family Constellation workshops and spending countless hours going through notes and interviews with surviving family members, my mind, my psyche, my emotional weather were all, well, completely shot.
I had received treatments from Dr. John Amaral at the Well Being Center on a regular basis several years ago, and recalled how powerful those treatments were. John, who runs the Well Being Center with his wife and fellow practitioner, Dr. Christina Amaral, offers a variety of Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) services, classes and workshops aimed at steering people toward releasing stress and pain and stepping into a place of possibility and transformation. NSA, which has generated stellar attention from is chief advocate Dr. Donald Epstein, works through specific low-force touches to the spine and assists the brain in developing new strategies to “experience the world, adapt to stress, dissipate tension from the nerves and spine, connect to your body’s natural rhythms and create a more self-correcting and magical spine.”
Or … some would say, “develop the somatopsychic and respiratory healing waves.”
I was not certain why I had not turned to John earlier during my memoir writing process--a kind of madness and insanity took over (I'm so dramatic!)—which seemed to bring up a great deal of what I’d like to call stored trauma within the genetic / emotional DNA, but that was beside the point. At least, I had arrived at the Well Being Center in Soquel and this was good.
Mood going in: swingy. More specifically, I felt disempowered and filled with some grief, confusion and emotional and mental exhaustion.
Much like a community acupuncture set-up, the cozy treatment room houses a number of spots for people/patients. Individuals lay face down first on a massage-type table and John arrives and leaves and returns to the table at various intervals for what I’d like to call a "magic touch" or touches along various points on the spine—from the coccyx to the neck or base of the head and sometimes even on the feet.
During my first sessions last week, John addressed two different physical tension patterns, which he call "phases, that were taking place in my spine. He later informed that they were a result of my body reacting to stress and simply going into a “fight-or-flight physiological mode” as opposed to staying open and adaptable.
Perhaps we all experience this from time to time—or regularly? We’re too attached to the events unfolding at work or to the dynamic of our relationships, etc. We contract rather than expand. We get too entrenched into the "story" or our circumstances. You know the drill ...
John illuminated to me later that the phases are physical tension patterns in my spinal cord that are “associated with different subjective/consciousness patterns.” So, during my first session back, I went from a more "mental" state, where I was not fully present or associated emotionally, to a more emotionally connected state where I was more at with my body and present with what I was feeling.
How this all unfolds on the massage table is interesting to note—it's called entrainment—and I will report back on that in more detail in the future blogs, which I will post here weekly for several weeks. In the meantime, I encourage folks to take a peek at the research behind some of this online. Click here. And more soon ...
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