The Dialogue between Mind and Body in the Clinical Setting
by Norman Allan
Abstract: (click here)
Catherine pointed out to me once, apropos of body, mind and spirit, "It's
not a third part mind, a third part body, a third part spirit. It's a hundred
percent mind, a hundred percent body, a hundred percent spirit." She also
noted that spirit is intrinsically mysterious. Then again, so is mind - many scientists
feel they can reduce consciousness and experience to a pattern of electrical charge
and that, to me, is pretty mysterious. And that leaves us the body. We've learnt
lots about the body, except in that it is alive and there too is a mystery. We
are doomed then, and blessed, to walk and work in this mystery.
inside. Into this spot
" I was tugging on Lee's abdomen, lower left
quadrant, on this fascial locus of tension, contraction? that I identified and
labeled as the sigmoid mesocolon. "What do you see?"
this underlines and/or suggests the following: that we store our traumas in the
body, and in particular in the belly; that with trauma there may be a tightening
in the gut, and we anchor events, and reactions, constellations of experience,
in the viscera, first as a contraction of smooth muscle, a cramp or a spasm in
the mesentery or mesocolon, for example, and that as that knot or tension is held
the collagen changes its conformation, coils, shortens; and then, that contracture
holds a memory, as it were, or rather it is a key to an "association",
to a constellation, a pattern of event and issues. So, we have here a mechanism
for repression: store it in the belly and ignore it.
had a contracture in her gut, in the later third of her ileum, five centimeters
long on the barium swallow. She had not eaten, or passed stool, for eight days
and was scheduled for surgery. I was asked to visited her in hospital on the eve
of her operation. We talked, some about white flowers, her mother and white funereal
flowers. We also did some CranioSacral hands on "unwinding" over and
under that contractured spot in her gut along with "visualizing". Cyn
saw a prawn-like pink embryo, in her gut.
Ah! the "three inch" movement of my hands that appeared to accompany
the "unwinding", the release of the constriction? It had to be in some
sense symbolic - a ritual that I had unconsciously devised - or at the very least
it was a gross amplification. And the vectors, the direction was "wrong".
The release, very likely, was radial, of sphincter like muscles, not lateral.
Upledger, of CranioSacral Therapy, believes that we store our "repressions"
in the viscera because of a relative stability there, and the striate muscles
of the musculoskeletal system, the muscles of movement (and their fascia) move
about too much to act as storehouses. Yet there certainly can be restriction in
the locomotary fascia and these, like the tension in the visci, can be released
through intention "energetically". They will interact (as determinants
and products) with posture and attitude.
Another tangent: there's a "clever" thought I had about the gut long ago when I was young which I've never written down anywhere, and it's almost relevant here. As a child, and infant, like many I suffered on occasion quite nasty "stomach" pains, cramps. And from the age of twelve I was in therapy. I was raised a "Freudian". The thought was this: that the gut is experienced more as a sequence of events in time than as a spatial structure. The gut's rather randomly there inside in our somewhat amorphous bellies. So, I thought, what the intestines represent is sequence and consequence and that it is the archetypal snake, serpent, and dragon.
We should talk,
at least briefly, about safety, and about projection, and boundaries, and "copping
came to my office for chiropractic for low back pain, which we helped, but she
liked the CranioSacral work and she returned for more. So I was sitting with my
hands over and under her right thigh when a thought arrived which I felt called
to voice. (I've never said anything like this before or since.) I said, "It's
as though there's a microfilm embedded in your thigh."
might also have segued from "projection", to how often we may be "missing
the point" and from this to the danger of "copping out". My friend
Vanessa practiced a variety of mind body dialogue out in B.C. She had a male patient
with a pelvic cancer. He visualized the tumor as having five tentacles. After
surgery the tentacles were still there. Vanessa and he dealt with three of them
- they disappeared from Frank's image - but then they got into a bind. Frank had
abused his teenage stepdaughter. Vanessa and he felt that one of the remaining
tentacles related to this, however, when they came to address this issue, the
patient started acting out very suggestively in a manner Vanessa found she didn't
want to handle. The eminent innovator of the therapy Vanessa practiced was about
to lead a large seminar in Toronto. Vanessa raised donations in her clinic to
fly her patient to Toronto so the Eminent could work with him. The Eminent choose
to work with him in public session where the cancer told the patient that the
issue was around creativity. That what he needed to do was to give up his hack
day-job, editing, and work on his novel. Vanessa felt strongly that this was a
huge cop out. She felt let down.
feel I should tell you about Gorginski's mice: Greg Gorginski was a colleague
of David Ader, the author of psychoneuroimmunology. They were working with tumor-prone
mice and wondering why tumors manifested in some mice and not other. Using an
"Open Field Test" they found that the tumors manifested in the "emotional"
mice (the scored of micturation and defecation in the first five minutes of a
stressful experience, the open field, and probably a measure of autonomic sympathetic
tone). So Greg bred the most "emotional" and the least "emotional"
mice, for eight generations, till he had some very emotional and some very calm
mice indeed. Then in the ninth generation he cross-foster the mice: he gave the
"emotional" pups to calm mothers to raise, to suckle and the calm pups
to "emotional" mothers, and it's who gives you suck that determines
your emotional tone!
I'd like to tell you about Michael's liver flukes. After returning from the south
Michael was determined that he had parasites (though stool sample were negative).
In my office Michael visualized and dialogued with his flukes. They saw his liver
as a golden sun. There were dark patched in his liver. The liver flukes ate and
cleaned up the dark parts. They worship his liver and tended it, and if Michael
would give up junk food and coffee they would agree to pass on (through their
eggs, their progeny) to another host.
we described how:-
|see also: a meeting with marion woodman|
5th June, 2007 at the