by Penny Boreham
“In healing work this is a critical point to understand – no matter how desperate the situation, the information of the whole, its inherent ordering principle, or blueprint, is still available in each part. The blueprint of health is thus present in each part and is still available if it can be accessed” Franklyn Sills.
A fundamental principle behind what we call the “body up” approaches that we practise at Khiron House is the acknowledgement of an intrinsic health that integrates all cellular and tissue form and function.
It is present from the moment of conception until death, and it is always at work to maintain a balance and homeostasis, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
This guiding principle is evident at every level of the therapies we practise here at Khiron House. We approach the effects of trauma and profound stress in our systems by accessing and trusting the wisdom of that underlying principle.
The Original Matrix
From the moment we are conceived we are forming around a precise and primary design. It is amazing to reflect on how the first cells of the body start to form and differentiate. That very process has an order and an intelligence, those cells are moving towards creating a human being rather than something else.
Leading embryologist, Dr Erich Blechschmidt, has written that the ordering principle setting this development in motion is the fluids of the body. In essence, the “generative” forces of the developing embryo are identical to the “regenerative” forces used for healing in all of us.Genes, he says, don’t start to play a part until six weeks after conception. The osteopath, Dr James Jealous, has also focussed deeply on this ordering principle and calls it “the original matrix”. Others have called it “the original intention”.
Unresolved Stresses and Trauma
The new generation of therapies that we offer here at Khiron House recognises this “original matrix” and they work against the tendency to polarise talking therapies and body based therapies. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy integrates much we have learned from both talking therapies and body centred therapies. Somatic Experiencing is based on the new insights gained from the ground-breaking work done into the effects of trauma on the nervous system by Peter Levine.
New understanding about the biological basis of trauma means that those who suffer from it can now access therapies that tap into those “regenerative” forces, and treat the nervous system and the emotional and psychological trauma at the root of many mental health conditions, behavioural disorders and addiction
When we have experienced trauma our nervous system tends to be in a permanent state of hyper-arousal. This leads to our bodies contracting. We can freeze if any new danger is perceived. Of course when we have unresolved trauma in our body it means that there is also fertile ground for new stress to accumulate. Someone who is already traumatised may reach a point of being overwhelmed after what might seem to another person to be a relatively minor new stress or stimulus.
One of Khiron House’s therapists, Vijay Rana, says that it can be very helpful to those whose nervous systems are in a state of hyperarousal to concentrate on a tiny part of themselves that might not feel as difficult – “it might be their big toe, but with that you have the possibility of beginning a process towards a calmer state, even from such a seemingly small place, it is a beginning. It is not that you negate the part of you that feels difficult, you hold both together in your awareness. It might be that 95 percent of your system feels unbearable but there is 5% percent that does not, you accept them both and the process begins.”
Everyone at Khiron House is united in recognising that it is essential to have an awareness of the profound and fundamental part of us that is always seeking to achieve a state of balance.
It is deeply important for patient and therapist alike.
“In our bodies, in this moment, there live the seed impulses of the change and spiritual growth we seek, and to awaken them we must bring our awareness into the body, into the here and now” Pat Ogden.
This is part of our series of blogs which are telling the story of trauma treatment, how it has developed and is still developing every day. In this series our expert practitioners will be sharing their knowledge with you, we will be finding out what recent scientific breakthroughs are teaching us all about the nervous system, and we will be keeping you in touch with the latest news about the life transforming therapies that are becoming more sophisticated and responsive every day.
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