Some theory about Biodynamic Massage
Biodynamic massage thinks about health and illness as a reflection of how we relate to our bodies’ energy. Eastern models see this as a gauge of how energy is stuck or moving. Western models theorise these movements in terms of whether we are in the fight flight or freeze mode
Humans possess a self-healing capacity. We are energetic beings and are motivated by life energy or life force. Illness and emotional upset may be a manifestation of being out of balance with our life energy. Many of us in Western Society spend most of our time ‘over-thinking’. Biodynamic massage seeks to re-engage us with embodiment, helping us integrate as whole beings. It may be the beginning of a journey in which we digest and process old emotional material held, within our bodies.
Unique features of Biodynamic massage
Recent neuroscience has highlighted that, the body has the ability to self-regulate, that is to absorb experiences from the environment, to take in whatever is needed and to dispose of what is not needed. Bodily self-regulation plays a huge role in processing trauma and other emotional difficulties. Due to life experiences some of us have lost the ability to self-regulate efficiently. Biodynamic Massage seeks to help with self-regulation.
Biodynamic massage links self- regulation not only to chemical and neuronal processes but to also to the movement of life energy. The theory is that energy moves in a cycle known as the vasomotor cycle. The cycle has 4 stages: Charging; action/expression; discharge and relaxation. It is mirrored by what happens in the autonomic nervous system in the movement between the sympathetic nervous system (upward, action, charging, adrenaline, movement) and the parasympathetic nervous system (downwards, relaxing). Some people have a tendency to get stuck at a particular point in the cycle. Some seem to be forever on the go and unable to relax whereas others never seem to be able to motivate themselves. These patterns may be caused by or exacerbated by childhood or recent traumas. Neuroscientists have extensively researched the role of the autonomic nervous system in Post- Traumatic Stress Disorders.
Peristalsis is the mechanism by which food is digested. The biodynamic theory is that this process also allows for the e motional digestion of experience helping with self-regulation. It does so by balancing the vasomotoric cycle which may have become chronically unbalanced due to difficult emotional experience. Biodynamic massage practitioners therefore sometimes use a stethoscope to listen to the rumblings of the belly. These belly rumblings can give clues to where energy may be stuck in the cycle and guide us as therapist as to where to turn our attention. Listening to the psycho peristalsis can be seen as a conversation between the therapist and the less conscious aspects of the client.
The Practice of Biodynamic Massage
In the first session we spend some time talking about what you are looking for and taking a brief medical history. After that the sessions will take place on a couch or a floor mattress. I will choose from a range of techniques which I have assessed will suit your needs. You will be invited to participate in the decisions and to voice your needs. You will be encouraged to give feedback but need not if you do not wish to. I aim to provide a space where we both get curious about what is happening for you. Through either verbal or non-verbal communication, we explore and maybe find a deeper sense of connection promoting health, well-being and vitality.
One or two sessions may help if you are feeling particularly stuck but a set of regular sessions over a period of time will have longer lasting effects.
I usually combine Biodynamic Massage with psychotherapy but I am happy to see you for a Biodynamic Massage only contract or to see you for ‘embodiment’ if you are already having talking psychotherapy. If this is the case, please speak first to your therapist and explore what you are doing.
Here is a brief description of some of the techniques I use:
Connective tissue Massage
We develop bodily defences in parallel with mental defences. These may involve solidification of our natural energy and fluids into solidification and rigidity at a cellular level A result of the heat generated by the massage is that the tissue softens and becomes more fluid filled. With this softening the life-force can move more freely through. There may be a corresponding exploration of how psychologically rigid or open you may be.
Our muscles may reflect our personal style. When we have poor emotional boundaries, this massage encourages strength within the muscles and helps contain difficult emotional charge held in the body
Sometimes in difficult circumstances our bodies structures as well as our mental structures give up and the muscles become resigned. This massage encourages strength in the muscles bringing more life and energy into your being.
Some people become rigid and are unable to access and feel their emotions. They may have body armour which assists them in their mental rigidity. They want to feel more and breaking in to some of this armour can help them begin to be able to feel and to tolerate some of the feelings which were bound up
Energy may feel stuck and expression limited. Energy distribution helps the flow of energy from the core of the body to the limbs. This may reduce internal conflict and promote relaxation and harmonisation