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Norman Allan
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A Professional Biography

Neuroscience: neuroscientist. was my first career. My Ph.D. thesis was titled "The Central Control of Vocalization (in the chick of the domestic fowl)". It was a study of the motor organization of an expressive behaviour. You will find details at "The Chirping of a Chick".
Biology: my first degree was a B.Sc. in Zoology and Comparative Anatomy (University College, London, 1965). I specialized in Genetics and Embryology.

Chiropractic: I studied Chiropractic at CMCC* in Toronto. I graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic, a D.C., in 1986.
     I am particularly enthusiastic about the sagittal manipulations practiced in the Gonstead Technique of Chiropractic (I took eleven Gonstead seminars/workshops, visiting Wisconsin five times, to learn this wonderful technique).
     I also took several Thompson Technique seminars, learning to use "drop-pieces". At CMCC I learned the Diversified Technique and Motion Palpation. I also attended numerous Motion Palpation Institute seminars to augment these skills.

Research in Alternative Medicine: while studying Chiropractic I meet Toronto University Professor, Bruce Pomeranz. Dr. Pomeranz is the scientist who showed, in the mid seventies, that acupuncture causes the release of endorphins in the nervous system. I was the Professors research associate (part time) from 1984 through 1991. During that time I was involved in studies into the electrical behaviour of acupuncture points, bioelectricity, wound healing, food sensitivity, and homeopathy. You can read more about our fascinating investigation of homeopathy in my essay, Beyond Substance.

Acupuncture: the first needling that I did was in the lab, in our research. But further, while I was: working in Dr. Pomeranz' lab, there was an elective in clinical acupuncture taught at the University of Toronto Medical School that was organized out of our lab. I audited that course, twice, and that was my introduction to clinical acupuncture. I have been practicing acupuncture since 1986. I also studied with Anton Jayasauria, Xhuo Lan Ziou, Yunan Hu, and others. I am registered with the Canadian Society for Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Homeopathy: as with acupuncture, my work with homeopathy started with research. I have been working clinically with homeopathy since 1986. In the mid nineties I audited the Hahnemann Schools accelerated course for professional. As mentioned above, you can read about my scientific involvement with homeopathy in Beyond Substance.

Bach Flower Remedies: when I was an intern at the Chiropractic college in 1985, I asked my mother to bring me over a set of Bach Flower Remedies from England, where they were quite well known in "Fringe Medicine" circles. I reasoned that, at least sometimes, one aspect of being ill is that the patient feels they should be ill. If so, then giving them medicine, or giving them a potion, we take the matter out of their hands. "I know I should be ill, but, I took the potion. It's not my fault if I get better." So I first started using the Flower Remedies as a placebo, but I soon found out that the Bach Flowers are much more than that. They work, often subtly, and the subtler the patient, the more sensitive, the more obvious the effects. But even the grossest of us can come to respect Dr. Bach's Rescue Remedy.
     One of the advantages of the Bach Flowers is their very gentleness. You can't hurt yourself with them. You can misdiagnose yourself, but even there you'll cause no damage. Bach Flowers are something the patient can start working with for themselves, so they are empowering.
We can say the same for Reflexology. This is a therapeutic modality that anyone can use.

Reiki: in 1990 I studied Reiki with Anita Levin and Eleanor Moore. Anita and Eleanor do "cathartic Reiki": which is to say, where there are emotions to release, this work can often help released those emotions.
      Soon after this I was doing an exchange with Joy Gough. I was doing Reiki with Joy, when she said, "You should study CranioSacral Therapy. It will tie together everything that you are doing." It does.

CranioSacral Therapy: I started studying CranioSacral Therapy in 1991, got very enthused, and quickly went on the study all the levels including the Advanced Level, with John Upledger (December 1993). In tandem with this I also studied Visceral Manipulation.
     CranioSacral work has become an important part of my work, pulling it together and bringing a deep, healing, calmness. The theme that runs through the Cranial work is a gentle facilitation of the bodied own release and unwinding of tensions, physical, emotional, energetic. Take a look at my brief essay on CranioSacral Therapy.
     Facilitated and Spontaneous Mobilization (fsm). In one aspect of the Cranio work, we induce spontaneous movement. Upledger calls this somatic-emotional-release (s.e.r). In the mid nineties, for a year or so. I was doing exchanges with the wonderful Feldenkrais practitioner, Christine Olm. A large part of the Feldenkrais work is "facilitate mobilization": moving a body part in the direction of ease. Incorporating this with the "s.e.r" work we get what I call fsm. Fsm is a great tool for all sorts of body ailments: trauma, repetitive strain, etc.

Counseling: I do eclectic counseling work embracing Bioenergetics, CranioSacral dialogue and imaging techniques, Psychodynamic (NeoFreudian) work, Buddhist meditation, AutoSomatic Training .
     "Therapy" has always been a part of my clinical work - there was a year when I had five MPDs (multiple personality disorders) patients in my practice. Counseling was where I started out, and I have enjoyed incorporating psychotherapeutic work into my practice (when appropriate).
     My dysfunctional parents sent me to a therapist, a psychoanalysist, when I was twelve. Where others might be raised Catholics, I was raised a Freudian. As a teen I aspired to study the mind. "But don't study psychology at University," my mentors said. "It's all Skinner boxes. Study ethology." Ethology is the zoological study of animal behaviour, the science invented by Konrad Lorenz (and his geese), and popularized by Jane Goodall (and her chimps). So I did. For those who appreciate the jargon, I'm a "neuroethologist".
My professional and scholastic travels have brought me back full circle, through many links, to the study of the mind. Some of this is explained in my treatise, "Pattern and Resonance in the Natural World" see Beyond Substance, Neural Nets (scroll down to "C) integration and iteration), and the conclusion).
     My father was a bit of a psychotherapy junkie, and whenever he found someone of interest he'd recommend them to me, so I did work with Ted's "main man", Claire Russell, with David Cooper (RD Liang's colleague), with sundry Reichians, and others.
     In the nineteen nineties I studied Lowen's Bioenergetic for three years first at the Wychwood, then with the "Bioenergetic Institute". I was bounced out of both course (If you want o graduate from small private schools, don't question your teachers too searchingly And never, never fall asleep in their classes!). When I was at the Wychwood, my instructors were moving away from Reich and Lowen. "There is no such thing as drives," they said. "There are no formal developmental stages or phases." For the Wychwood folk these were archaic constructs, and they had moved on. I wrote my instructor, Carl Moore, a poem I titled "The Baby with the Bath Water", about drives and stages/phases. I like this poem and recommend it to you. (It starts off in a cockney accent, but that fades.)
     Since the spring of 2000 I have been practicing Buddhist meditation, Vipassana, and this is now an added theme informing much of my counseling work: as is AutoSomatic Training (AST). AST, Phil Walsh's therapeutic method, is a close kin to Vipassana. I will be posting an essay on AST on this site, shortly.
     Sum up! I do eclectic counseling work embracing Bioenergetics, CranioSacral techniques, Psychodynamic (NeoFreudian) work, Buddhist meditation, AutoSomatic Training.

Herbs: I studied herbology with Michael Vertolli in 1994 1995 1996. Since that time herbs have been an important part of my practice.

Trigenics uses reciprocal inhibition (and resisted movement) to melt away muscle pain. I worked with Trigenics inventor, Alan Austin, working out the science behind Trigenics, and I was the first Registrar at the Trigenic Institute.

Pain Management: For eight years, from the mid nineteen nineties into the new millennium, I was an unofficial member of Dr. Angela Mailis' Comprehensive Pain Investigating Unit at the Toronto Hospital. I attend rounds there weekly to discuss patient management, and on occasion saw patients from the unit. This was a wonderful learning experience. An opportunity I'm very grateful to have had.

"Energy Medicine": When I started practice as an Alternative Medicine Therapist I thought in terms of technique. "Specificity" in the chiropractic work. Precision in homeopathy.
     My father, Ted Allan, was always one of my most enthusiastic patients. Soon after I started practice he told me that I was a "healer". I don't think I really knew what he meant back then, but it wasn't too long before I became aware of "energy", started working with reiki, and with energy in the CranioSacral work.
     In the mid nineteen nineties I works for three years with a healer, and learned a whole lot more.

Teaching: I taught neuroscience at the Chiropractic College, Embryology at the Naturopathic College, Anatomy a Homeopathic School, all for brief periods. I used to set the science examines for the Ontario Massage Board and participated in setting the curriculum for the Massage Schools.