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I want to briefly describe four important psychological benefits we can get, just from the physical Bodywork manipulations alone. And I want to emphasize that these benefits, along with many others, get even better when we add in the Body-Mind Therapies introduced in the next section of this article and described in many other articles on site.
Remember that even when we’re just removing what
we think are physical tightness and pain, with this approach, we are also
directly affecting the parts of the person we usually think are
psychological, mental or emotional. These four aspects are inseparable,
because we are really “one thing” and we just look at ourselves
from different perspectives.
When the Bodywork releases the tightness in the outer layers of muscles, these inner energies can be felt and the information about the past events can more easily come to mind. A lot of times, their emotional content can be reached and the person can get a catharsis, or release, of feelings that have been stuck inside for decades.
A second benefit also helps in psychotherapy. People find themselves more willing and interested in making positive changes in their lives. This is because the “stuff” that was influencing us to act negatively got removed when we pressed on it and spread it out. But when it was there, a lot of people would just keep going round and round on the issue and never seem to “get off it.” Many people would even keep doing the negative thing when they agreed with the therapist that they’d try to stop. That’s because the part of them that agreed and truly wanted to change, was not the stored energy from the past “battling,” repression and hopelessness.
As I explain in other articles, when the Bodywork squeezes this material out of the tissue and it dissipates out of the body, the ideas and behaviors from the past events no longer exist in the body nor in the mind. Neither do the tensions and rigidity.
What I want to add here is that the person’s consciousness can now think more deeply and clearly about the issue. As the Bodywork removes the negative stored material, it also removes our muscular hardness layer after layer. That allows our minds to actually feel more of us inside ourselves. In fact, the Bodywork has moved the “place” of “our consciousness” deeper inside us, literally. The tissues are obviously clearer of the garbage and tensions so people “live pleasurably” from deeper inside their emotional and awareness centers.
Even when measured scientifically, the tissues actually have a more positive and “enjoyable” energy. So the quality of who we are “improves.”
A third benefit is a true “psycho-somatic” one. Psychological characteristics get better along with physical characteristics. Different areas of the physical body actually affect different behaviors that we usually think are only mental. The arms and sides, for instance, are used for “reaching out,” either to take in or push away. The legs give us a stance and get us around. The depth, breath and ease of breathing can give us an “inspiration.”
If we can’t breath deeply and our bodies don’t move from neck to pelvis, and if our sides and back also don’t move much either, how much inspiration will we be able to have, either physically or emotionally? If the legs are tight and restricted, and they lean on such a tilt that we have to use our torso muscles to stop from falling, what kind of stance do we have in the world and how well do we move ourselves around? On the other hand, if the legs feel light, but they also feel sturdier than before, and our stride is longer and freer, what kind of stance and movement will we have then? If our arms and the sides of our torso are much more flexible than before, and we can move around more freely, won’t our abilities to reach out and make contact be better?
It’s been demonstrated over and over, that when we physically improve each of the sections of the body, we are indeed improving some of our behavior characteristics as well. They are psycho-somatic functions. And again, the quality of who we are improves this way, too.
The fourth benefit has to do with being able to express our wishes, and our inner desires, out into the world, and get them acknowledged better. I’ve explained that the Bodywork removes physical and psychological blocks. Here is how the removal of those blocks lets us move forward in the “flow” of our “life’s direction.”
To take action in the physical world, we conceive of what we want to do in the forebrain. The rear brain then transmits the way to carry out these ideas by sending motor signals down the spine and into our various muscles and organs. Then the structure works in a sequence, first the small muscles deep down initiate the movement, and then the big, doing muscles on the outside of the body carry it out. This will occur for doing and accomplishing movements and it will also occur for contracting and protecting movements. It even occurs when we speak and sing, and blink our eyes.
When we’re bunched up and chronically tight, this pattern of muscle movement doesn’t happen as well as it's designed. The muscles don’t move as much as they’re designed to move, and sets of muscle don’t move in a coordinated effort, the way our anatomy is supposed to be working. The various muscles next to each other are too glued together, in a block, with one muscle’s fascial sack stuck to another’s sack. So a lot of our differentiation and articulation can’t happen.
This same glued-up condition keeps the inner-muscle-to-outer-muscle movement from happening very well, too. So our inner expression doesn’t take the form in the outer, physical world the way we picture it, mostly because the bunched-up and glued fascia inhibits the nerve and muscle action from doing what it could do.
What Structural Integration Bodywork does is separate, or un-glue, those fascial sacks from each other at the same time we lengthen everything. And in the process, we’re putting the muscles, bones and joints more into the “organization” they’re designed to be in. Then the sensory nervous system will receive a more accurate picture of what’s going on in the body. And when the motor nerve system sends out its well-defined instructions, the body’s physical structure will do what we want it to do better.
A world record holder, Olympic athlete told me his control over his movements was noticeably better after I’d structurally integrated a lot of it.
Other people have said they’re able to give public talks better; they no longer have their old fears about “being out there,” and their presentations are more powerful. Loving feelings also come out better. In fact, when we’ve neutralized the restricting tightnesses from our traumatic events, people are able to express a wide range of feelings easier. As you’ve read, the loosening removes a lot of old traumatic energies that were stored in the tissues at the same time that it re-lengthens the muscles. So we’re “cleaner,” and the emotions we express are also more “accurate” for the current situation, or for the point we’d like to get across in our communication. One actor said only his character would now come out when he spoke his lines. “He” wasn’t in the way.
And because the neuro-muscular system works better from the deeper levels out to the surface, we can express our creative ideas and long term goals out into the world and more people will hear and acknowledge them. Many people find their career paths open up after getting their bodies “Structurally” Integrated.
In fact, at various times in our lives we want to expand, sometimes in a new, or just bigger direction. But the muscle and fascia system that make up our form, is still fixed in the shape and consistency of what we have been doing. So what we want to express from the inside gets modified, or restricted by the form it has to go through to reach the outside. Structural Integration clears out the old form along with its energies from past restrictions, and simultaneously gives us a new, higher functioning form that can adapt to a series of new expressions, and not get so stuck in any one of them. Many people say their lives open up better to their goals after this treatment.
And a lot of that has to do with freeing up our energies so they get out into the world better. We have a series of energy centers and energy flows inside the body, or actually, as part of the body. They’ve been measured many times and are used in various medical disciplines, including Traditional Chinese Medicine and various hospitals in the former Soviet Union.
These energies work along with our muscle movement, and were shown to be inhibited by bunched-up and hard fascia. (It’s like lead shielding; the energy doesn’t pass through it well.) So when Structural Integration makes our inside-to-outside muscle flows better, it is simultaneously making the energy flows better, too. People notice acupuncture and “energy healing” treatments affect them stronger, and they can feel the energy flows go much deeper and more fully into their bodies.
On the physical level, we’re made of atoms and the elements inside atoms are just flows of energy. The muscles, and the organs, all of which have fascia running through them, are now of a different consistency, and their qualities are better. They absorb nutrients and remove waste products better, and they absorb and transmit biological energy better, too. We know we can make this better with nutrition and cleansing, and with exercise. We give it a very big boost with Structural Integration, too.
This energy also
flows out of us, through the air and into
people and things around us. And we also receive
energies from people and things around us, too. When we were bunched up
and limited all the way down, that’s what people “got” energetically, no
matter what the information was we wanted to say. In fact, our message
out in the world was weaker. And on the receiving end, our inner
awareness and understanding couldn’t get a clear “picture” of what was
being transmitted from others.
After Structural Integration, other people get a clearer picture from our
own, deeper centers, and the inner centers get a clearer picture from
Other, very effective body-oriented release techniques enable us to remove a lot more residues of the old negative experiences that are still making us “unnecessarily” tight and stressed in our current lives. The techniques are relatively non-traumatic, comfortable to do and easy to learn, and they can be done over the phone as well as in person, and even combined in a Bodywork session. I generally call them my Netherton-Reichian Processing method.
This other releasing adds to the long-term physical relaxation we get from the Bodywork, at the same time that it performs the emotional and trauma release. The bunched-up fascia and the negative energy residues both cause the muscles to stay in a contracted shape.
Once the Bodywork removes the fixed shortness and misalignment in the shape of the fascia, these other methods can access and remove the even deeper energies still inside. The techniques can be done either in series, after a Bodywork session, or in parallel, right during the session. Often, many of these negative energies are of a “free floating” kind inside the body, and a lot of them can be removed with the techniques even before the Bodywork itself.
These body “recordings” can actually keep causing the same kinds of negative behavior, and negative experiences, to re-occur in people’s lives year after year. This is because their pattern of activity is still going on within us, just like a tape or CD playing over and over again. That “behavior pattern” will often re-create a lot of the same kind of muscle “tightening pattern,” the shape that was fixed in the fascia before the Bodywork neutralized it.
You see, when the traumatic event happened, the world was a particular kind of negative place and we had to behave in a certain tense, restrictive, or even angry way to handle it. We might even have had instinctive feelings of fear and hopelessness. Now, that whole behavior has become “attached” to us, including what “other” people did to us in the incident. Since that time, this “dramatic movie” has been operating in parallel with what we, consciously, would want to have happen, and it makes us feel things inside us that we’d prefer not to feel.
It is a “script.” At various times, we ourselves will identify with the victim role of that script, and at other times we’ll identify with the victimizer or abuser role. It’ll just depend on our particular circumstance, and whom we are relating with.
Obviously, when we remove the recordings out of the body, the patterns they were expressing will diminish, or even disappear. The events themselves are long gone. Erasing the energy recordings inside the body means the residues of the events are also gone. Then, however the brain was affected by this energy is also gone, too; and that includes the thoughts, flashbacks, emotional reactions and even what people call the “programming.”
These patterns that keep running in our lives are simply the activity of a series of similar episodes whose energies we absorbed a long time ago. And some of the most influential episodes happened when we were very young. Even when people have traumatic events happen in their teenage or adult years, we usually find similar or related events at much earlier times. These earlier events also added their negative energies, their physical tightenings and even the same kinds of sentences right into the “stack” of video tapes that keep playing the pattern.
Now, these particular kinds of emotional release techniques are quite different from what most people have tried and, based on my 20 years of experience, they are more effective in releasing this kind of material, especially when combined with the Bodywork..
With them, we can do things that other methods cannot. First, besides removing trauma and tightness from the events, we will simultaneously be removing the negative belief systems and negative commands that were forced upon us by others during the past negative experiences.
Words like, “You’re bad,” “It’s hopeless,” “I hate you,” “I have to battle you,” “I can’t handle this,” “I’m going to die,” and many others actually get impressed right into our bodies, especially when we were hit or otherwise caused to tense up, even if it was in a natural, scary event. Words of grief get embedded in the same way. And then, because we’re not conscious that these are past recordings, we may think the sentences and attitudes are still true today, and that they are our words now. Even if we realize the words are not true today, the sentences still keep coming to mind and the tension still keeps coming up in the body. These special release techniques can actually erase those words and tension patterns.
In addition, with these methods, we can make the clearing of the pattern that’s been running us more complete than if we just cleared one incident. We can connect our conscious awareness to the earlier events that got embedded in our bodies, many of which we don’t mentally remember. People can get in contact with the energies in their bodies, complete with the words that were said or implied, even from the pre-verbal, birth and pre-natal times, (where we always find similar, formative episodes). At these times, most of the “words” will be what other people said while our own bodies were being tense, hit or pressed upon.
Even though we don’t “mentally” know about those events, the experiences still left energy imprints inside the muscle and organ tissues of our bodies. And they do affect us, even though we usually can’t consciously see the connection.
By using this kind of body-oriented approach, we can sense and then express what we picked up at those times. And with these methods, we can stay conscious and aware while we remove the energies. It’s not hypnosis and it’s not an hysterical emotional acting out. It’s an awareness, feeling and expressing process. And it can be very thorough.
This process is surprisingly straightforward to do. And as the material comes through our consciousness and goes out of the body, we get to see, in the mind’s eye, the specifics of each episode. If we do a series of episodes from early time frames, we also recognize just how the pattern got set up.
Once material has been accessed and expressed, we still have the mental memories of what we saw coming out of the tissues, but the emotional charge in the body that initially occurred right in those past episodes is now gone.
Especially when combined with the Bodywork, this special method is also a fast
and relatively non-traumatic way to remove the residues from specific traumatic
events like auto accidents, muggings, experiences in war, severe illness, the
loss of a loved one, childhood or spousal abuse, long periods of stress, and
even severe upsets in a marriage, whether the event happened yesterday or many
years ago. It doesn’t take very long at all and people repeatedly say how much
freer, more relaxed and more “like themselves” they again feel.
Lou Gross BSEE is an electronics engineer who worked on the space shuttle program. Now he does “people engineering.” Lou has been a school certified Master Level Postural Integrator since 1983 and has been doing the release techniques since 1985. He has over 2000 hours specialized training. He is very experienced in improving athletic performance and the abilities of performing artists. And he is an expert in removing even chronic pain and stiffness, in increasing seniors’ mobility and aliveness, and combined with living food and other techniques, in creating exceptional personal growth, with improvements in our professional capabilities. Lou is in the process of publishing three books on Structural Integration including Back Fix Bodywork, Understanding the Cause of Back Pain, and How to Get it Fixed, and is writing another on Body-Mind release processing. Besides your coming to him, he will also travel. And many booklets and testimonials on all facets of his work are available. Lou will also consult with you on the phone. And he teaches the Bodywork to massage therapists, other health professionals and non-professionals as well.
Stress, Trauma & Emotional Release Processing