Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Coherent Breathing, Embodiment Practices, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Metabolic Syndrome, Mindfulness, Therapeutic Presence

What is Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Part 4

Question:  You experiment most probably with different hand positions i.e. the palm up positions. You touch with the back of your hands instead of the palms, Or only with one hand, and the other rests on your lap or knee. What’s the idea behind that and which experiences do have with them?

Answer:  I am not sure when I decided to turn my hand upside down but I know it works well to restore continuity in the fluid body. The basic idea came from a CD by Jim Jealous DO that I listened to some years ago. He said that many clients and especially babies have lost the continuity of their fluid body between what’s below the skin (he calls that zone A) and what’s above the skin around the body (he calls this zone B). This is the area called the biosphere according to Dr. Becker. I think of this area as a warm, wet, electric cloud breathing with PR because it is filled with water evaporating off the body. 3-7 liters of biological water evaporate off of the skin of our bodies every day. It generally condenses in a space around the body up to around 30cm. So there is a continuity of the fluid body and I found it is breathing with PR. Recent research indicates this “cloud” as it is called by the researchers contains a rich microbiome. This area is also known to be monitored by sensors in the fear center of the brain called the amygdala. Thus it is a very active biological zone of our body.

Dr. Jealous said that the window between zone A of the body and zone B around the body has been closed due to stress and needs to get opened for its continuity and wholeness. The skill that’s necessary is the ability to sense the cloud around the body breathing with PR and moving through the hands. I initially taught skills with the palms down on the client and placing all the attention on the back of the hands. Then one day when I was sitting at the ocean studying the fluid body of the planet I suddenly saw quite clearly the biosphere of the ocean as a warm, wet, fluid cloud filled with heat. Of course it was the summer and I live in the tropics, so I thought to myself why not turn my hands upside down as if holding this same warm, wet, fluid cloud around the client’s body? Now with the back of my hand on the surface of the client’s skin it became much easier to restore the continuity above and below the skin of the fluid body by sensing the transparency of PR moving through my hands and the skin of the client. This opens the window of the fluid body according to Dr. Jealous and I have had this experience.

It must also be noted that embryologically the fluid body of biological living water is our original body and all there is in the embryo in the first two weeks post fertilization. Then in the third week the heart starts to form and in the fourth week the brain. So I simply teach palpation skills based on this developmental sequence. I call it bridging, which means the skills of restoring the fluid body, then de-pressurizing the vascular system back to normal and finally occasional traditional skills impacting the brain via the cranium and sacrum which most all practitioners are familiar with.

 

I will be teaching a course titled:  An Introduction to Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy: A Training for Health Practitioners. This course will take place in New York City at the New York Open Center, February 1-3, 2016.  In this introductory course we will focus on applying craniosacral therapy skills to the cardiovascular system and learn new techniques to reduce systemic inflammation and reduce cortisol and stress levels.

Visit this link for details and registration:  http://www.opencenter.org/events/an-introduction-to-biodynamic-cardiovascular-therapy-a-training-for-health-practitioners/  I look forward to seeing you in the Big Apple.

 

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Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Coherent Breathing, Embodiment Practices, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Metabolic Syndrome, Mindfulness, Therapeutic Presence

What is Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Part 3

Question:  In Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy we do not concentrate on symptoms, pains or deficits. We rather learn to establish “embodied wholeness”. When I think about that philosophical path I ask myself why do we use specific hand positions on special body parts? Wouldn’t it be enough using the pieta position? And if I go even further the question comes to me: Do we need any hand contact at all to establish this “embodied wholeness” in our clients to support them?
Answer:  My feeling is that every single biodynamic practitioner needs to own this work and develop it as much as they can. I do not want people to become a “Michael Shea clone.” I’d much rather provide new research and information that can be applied in clinical practice if the practitioner desires to do so. Secondly, it is absolutely true that Dr. Still said “Find the health, anyone can find disease!” Up to now we’ve been talking about symptoms and so forth. Yet, when we actually make contact with an artery the intention is to synchronize with PR and Stillness. It turns out that the heart and all the blood vessels develop in relationship with certain types of cells that are dynamically still. They are called “quiescent cells”. At the same time PR moves locally in the blood throughout the body as well as globally throughout all the tissues of the body including its continuity and interconnection to the natural world outside.

The contemporary client has a much greater challenge in their metabolic/cellular processes than ever before. And I believe it is important and ethically necessary for biodynamic therapists to be informed of current information on metabolic syndromes and their causes. At the same time, we still apply the same perceptional process with PR and Stillness, particularly towards the cardiovascular system. Same skills, different palpation. In this sense, the part is always a part of the whole.

Since I believe everyone practices differently, it is certainly possible to work off the body. I know of several practitioners that work off the body biodynamically for a whole session. It’s interesting because I teach and practice in a way that the first few minutes are spent without making contact. I use my whole body to receive PR and then I sense PR moving between my heart and that of the client. So in this way anyone who practices like this is working off the body. Of course I have a few friends that claim they can do a biodynamic session through the phone. But I have not been able to find that APP in my IPhone yet!

 

I invite you to join me for a special course on working with head injuries.   This course is based on new research.  The course will take place at Cortiva Institute in Scottdale, AZ.  Course dates are Jan. 22-24, 2016.  Contact kgough@cortiva.com to register.

Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Coherent Breathing, Embodiment Practices, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Metabolic Syndrome, Mindfulness, Therapeutic Presence, Uncategorized

What is Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Part 2

Question:  Being a lymph drainage therapist myself the idea of working with the lymph system craniosacrally looks quite appealing to me. Mainly because it is also a vast body system with many branches all around the fluid system of our body. Also the lymph should be moved by the Primary Respiration. What do you think about this? What experiences do you have?

Answer:  That’s a very good question especially because of the new research that the brain has a lymphatic system. It turns out that the lymph system of the brain is attached to the major arteries of the brain. And of course this relationship between the vascular system and lymphatic system continues throughout the body. Once again there is an important relationship in the nature of the molecules and cells of the immune system as they are transported between lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. The contemporary client needs a lot of help in shifting the metabolism of the vascular system because this will shift the lymphatic system and thus also the immune system towards normal.

Of course a lot of this research states that the core of the problem is in the intestines where 80% of the immune system is located. Most metabolic problems originate in the lining of the gut as it becomes inflamed due to food sensitivities and emotional stress. It must be stated that important neuro-transmitters like Dopamine and Serotonin are produced principally in the gut more so than the brain. Once again a good starting place for this new emerging model of biodynamic practice with the vascular system is the arteries of the intestines.

 

I invite you to join me for a special course on working with head injuries and is based on new research.  The course will take place at Cortiva Institute in Scottdale, AZ.  Course dates are Jan. 22-24, 2016.  Contact kgough@cortiva.com to register.

Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Coherent Breathing, Embodiment Practices, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Metabolic Syndrome, Mindfulness, Therapeutic Presence

What is Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Part 1

Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting questions and answers about the new direction of my teaching: Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy.  I invite you to explore and reflect.  

Question:  Michael, the heart and cardiovascular system is becoming popular in the field of craniosacral therapy, already A. T. Still the founder of Osteopathy had mentioned treating the cardiovascular system (CVS), but it was nearly forgotten for some time. You have been reviving it. Where lies the big potential of this wonderful concept?

Answer:  Traditional models of Craniosacral Therapy (CST), and even the different styles of biodynamic practice, tend to interface with the physiology of the body and its fluid systems. The contemporary client however is suffering from a disturbance at a deeper lever in the body. This level is the metabolic level. The metabolic level is where substances especially from the immune system travel across and through the membranes of the body, especially through the walls of all cells, the blood vessels and in the blood itself. By applying the principles of biodynamic perception of both Primary Respiration (PR) and Stillness while in contact with an artery, excess pressure in the cardiovascular system (CVS) can start to relax which allows the immune system to reduce its transport of inflammatory chemicals. New research points out that trauma survivors have inflammatory conditions in the vascular system of the brain. So traditional trauma resolution skills need to be supplemented with metabolic skills.

This is one reason for the shift in focus towards the cardiovascular system in my work. It is where we can get our hands on the client’s metabolism. Another good reason to work with the CVS is that the blood is a carrier of water. Contact with the fluid body and normalizing its tone with Primary Respiration and Stillness can also happen with arterial work. As I use the term fluid body it means the sum of the biological water in and around us. This means the natural world that is inside us and around us connected through living water.

Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Therapeutic Presence

The Four Fulcrums of Embodiment – Part 4 of 4

4. The third ventricle.

a. The perception of the third ventricle is an important piece of biodynamic practice. I first teach students and practitioners to find the middle of their brain. This is the space between the eyes and the occiput. One simple technique is to roll the eyes up to the middle of the forehead for several seconds which puts a slight tug on the interior third ventricle.

b. Once attention is located in the third ventricle, then I synchronize my attention with Primary Respiration as it moves back and forth between the third ventricle and the horizon or edge of nature. It is very important to establish this practice because it is like doing a biodynamic atlanto-occiptal joint release. It re-establishes a correct head righting reflex.

c. Over time it is important to purposely shift attention between the fulcrum of the third ventricle and the fulcrum of the heart. This is because, in practice, there is a hollow column of stillness between the third ventricle and heart. This so-called central stillness is vital to the heart-brain connection, especially for repair of both organs. In addition, this central stillness has the clarity to recognize a more global stillness that deepens in the middle of the blood flow all around the space of the workroom and all the way out to nature. The stillness in this case is an aspect of the midline that is constantly translocating and is known by its stillness.

Again, I invite you to join me for the course titled CST for Head Trauma at Cortiva Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona in January and February 2016.  Please CLICK HERE for information on enrolling in this course.  I hope to see you there.

Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Therapeutic Presence

The Four Fulcrums of Embodiment – Part 3 of 4

3. Heart

a. The first place of observation is simply the movement of the heart, whether it’s the muscular contractions, the flow of the blood, the biochemical and nervous system relationship or any other numerous movement possibilities. As I begin to sense the movement of my own heart, I can begin to distinguish dozens of different sensations. The next task is to identify how large of an area in the trunk of the body can one actually sense this pulsitory activity. There is a Sufi practice in which the practitioner is trained to sense this heart pulsation throughout the entire body, from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head and out through the fingertips. So this is important to allow the area in which the pulsation is sensed to expand.

b. There is an important place that we observe the heart from. It is called the dorsal pericardium, or the back of the heart. It is here where the nervous system first began to interface with the heart during the embryonic time. This area of the posterior heart and the dorsal pericardium also derives from a different type of mesoderm and the rest of the heart. In the newer scientific model of heart development called ballooning, this is the place in which the balloon is blown up – the dorsal pericardium.

c. Wherever we are seated during a session with a client, but especially when seated at the head of the table, we need to build a perception of the space in back of our body. It is like a shifting fulcrum as we move attention from the dorsal pericardium to the back of the body. This is the ground of establishing a relationship with Primary Respiration as it moves through the heart. Sometimes, it is possible to sense Primary Respiration as if originating from the heart and expanding and contracting out beyond the skin. Sometimes, it is possible to sense Primary Respiration originating from the world of nature outside and intersecting with the heart. But there is a third possibility and it is the experience of the original heart even before the dorsal pericardium. It is the experience of complete transparency when the heart looked like a fishnet and it was surrounded by water flowing through and around it.

d. The experience of Primary Respiration moving through the heart is called transparency. Gradually, the whole body of the practitioner becomes transparent and Primary Respiration is observed to simply be moving back and forth. I like to keep my attention around the back of my body to observe this quality of transparency. Gradually, the next step is to simply make a heart to heart connection with the client. By feeling the transparency of Primary Respiration through my own heart, I place my attention on the heart and trunk area of the client. The electromagnetic fields of both hearts are interacting, just as are the autonomic nervous systems in both hearts. In the literature, it is called interpersonal cardiovascular systems. With this biodynamic practice, we simply become conscious of this pre-existing reality and allow Primary Respiration to be part of the heart to heart connection. Gradually, as the practitioner becomes more skilled with making contact on or around the arteries of the body, then Primary Respiration may be perceived to be moving locally through the arteries.

I will be teaching a course titled CST for Head Trauma at Cortiva Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona in January and February 2016.  Please CLICK HERE  for information on enrolling in this course.  I hope to see you there.

Attunement, Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy, Biodynamic Terminology, Coherence, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Therapeutic Presence

The Four Fulcrums of Embodiment – Part 2 of 4

2. Respiratory diaphragm movement.

a. I am not so concerned about breathing exercises initially with myself, students or clients. What’s important for embodiment is to simply sense the movement of the respiratory diaphragm. Almost every book illustration I’ve seen does not match my own inner experience of the movement of my diaphragm. This exploration needs to be done free of preconceived images and notions of anatomy and physiology. For example, the first instruction I give is to simply sense the circumference of the diaphragm as it moves. Is there movement in the front or the back or the sides of the rib cage? Where are the areas in the body at any given point of attention in which I consciously sense the full body’s response (or partial body’s response) to the movement of the respiratory diaphragm?

b. Gradually, this movement may be felt as a type of expansion and contraction. This is simply noticing that the movement is a cycle with two phases. As I begin to notice more movement, I can also notice those moments when the movement changes. Perhaps there is a strong full inhalation spontaneously. So the point of observation is the movement, Once again from the surface of the skin.

c. As above in #1, we want to gradually dedensify what we know about the muscular tendonous respiratory diaphragm. I invite students to imagine that it is more gel than stiff fibers. This dedensification of the diaphragm allows us to begin a sensibility that the diaphragm is simply just a wave. It either makes waves or is the biggest wave in the body. But nonetheless, I invite students and practitioners to simply sense the movement as a wave, affecting the fluid body from the bottom of the feet to the top of the head.

d. Gradually, the movement of the respiratory diaphragm will be combined in a perceptual process with the movement of the heart. The heart sits on top of the diaphragm and is firmly attached via the pericardium. Together, the movement of the heart and diaphragm as a conscious awareness lends itself to a greater wholistic feeling tone in the whole body.

I want to invite you to a FREE lecture on January 29, 2016 at the New York Open Center in NYC to introduce my Biodynamic Cardiovascular Therapy: A Training for Health Practitioners. CLICK HERE for more information on this lecture.

NOTE:  This course is designed for health practitioners of all stripes, including body-centered therapists and psychotherapists/psychologists; massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, as well as physical, occupational, and Craniosacral therapists.