As I reached over to switch off the bedside lamp I suddenly felt a wave of pain shoot across the middle of my back. I must have strained something the day before when I was gagging over an in date, but decidedly dodgy, raw egg. So I decided to lie down on the floor in the Alexander Technique posture, to let my back settle and realign the spine and muscles. Oh my goodness! It was like random fireworks of pain and muscle spasms shooting all over the middle of my back! I could barely breathe. No matter how I lay or relaxed or breathed, the pain kept firing. Then I wondered how I'd get up again.
This Christmas season, remember to find balance in your life by dropping into a place of peace. The Winter Solstice, or Midwinter's Day, occurs at 22:23 on Friday 21st December this year. The natural energies of the sun and earth are at their lowest ebb at this point. In Chinese Medicine, this winter period is described by the Water Element and is associated with peace, stillness and storing up energy. Take time to rest now.
The medical definition of shock is not what I expected. I remember discovering this years ago when doing an obligatory First Aid course to comply with the Craniosacral Therapy Association (CSTA) requirements. A paramedic explained it's all about blood loss or a dangerous reduction in blood flow throughout the body. The symptoms include dizziness, coldness, shallow or rapid breathing, fainting and even collapse or death. Physical shock can come from a serious bodily injury, or from an electric shock, which can cause a loss of consciousness. Emotional shock is the result of extreme mental distress following a traumatic experience of any kind.
"There's another little chick hatched..." I used to say, as each Pathway Balancing Kinesiology (PBK) student arrived on the morning of a training day. I picked up the phrase from my older sister many years ago. She used to say it as each of my nephews emerged for breakfast. It exemplified the joy of seeing the face of someone that you were delighted to see, as you started a new day together. Later in the training course the students picked up on this phrase as referring to eagles, as they each grew in stature and power on the way to being qualified to help others towards health and growth, with the tools in Pathway Balancing. Just as eagle chicks start life by hatching from an egg, we too sometimes make a fresh start by coming out of our shell. This month's theme among clients has been just that, with varying degrees of stuckness, frustration, inspiration, courage, freedom and strength to take new steps towards a new life.
Have you ever heard someone being described as needy? Maybe you've even heard the technical term of co-dependency, where you have TWO needy people in a relationship with each other. But what makes a person a needy one, rather than someone with genuine needs? And if we can't depend on anyone else, surely we'll be very vulnerable and isolated? The term co-dependency originally grew out of work with alcoholics, where it was observed that they often had a partner who enabled them to continue drinking. Then, in cases of morbid obesity, it seems that the overweight person often has a 'feeder' that keeps them fat. The most stunning case I've seen is the 'sofa lady' of Atlanta USA, who had sat on the sofa so long that her skin had grown into it and she couldn't be removed. The medics had to take the side off her house and transport her to hospital on the back of a lorry - sofa and all! So how did she get to the kitchen or shop for her food without anyone noticing the state she was in and getting her some help? She had a boyfriend.
So many people in life can look back at times of great success, real breakthrough and times of so much joy and promise but now things are different. For a whole month at Pathway Balancing, every kinesiology client was balanced on the Journey at Level 1 'The Individual', including me in my own session.
Many people in therapy, personal development or spiritual growth circles talk about peeling away the layers of the onion. An onion has a distinct outer thin skin, a tougher outer layer under that and then lots of fresher layers underneath. Having a course of therapy or development work can start with a surface layer, or mask, which hides the tougher problem underneath.
In 2017 I was a participant on a seven month long course called Celebrate Recovery. It was the third year I'd taken the course, which is run by my local church KingsGate Community Church. As the name suggests, it's about celebrating our progress in living our best life today and in the future. It's about moving on and overcoming life's hurts, habits and hang ups, whatever they may be for any individual. The course is based on accepting God's grace to release you from the past, because if you could have cracked your problems in your own strength, you would have done so by now. All sorts of people attend the course: Christians and non-Christians, men and women, youngsters and mature people. All you need is a desire and willingness to change things for the better, then just turn up once a week and follow the course through to it's end. Simple enough but the fact that there are people who will attend such a course - or settle in to a regular series of therapy sessions, or read books on personal development - and people who don't, makes a whole world of difference.
You may have heard phrases like 'This is soul destroying' or 'It's a soulless place' but do you know if you have a hole in your own soul? A group of friends recently asked me "What exactly is this therapy that you do?" At work I was asked "So your therapy - is it massage then?" Sometimes I wish I could just say "Aromatherapy" and everyone would just get what I mean. If I say "Kinesiology" or "Craniosacral Therapy" people usually reply "What??" although occasionally someone has heard of one or other of these. Recently, in reply to my group of friends and my new work colleagues, I've said "It's called Pathway Balancing. The 'Balancing' is your energy level and the 'Pathway' is your best way to live your life". This seemed to be something people could relate to and ask a few more questions to clarify their understanding.
People often embark on a course of therapy or personal development because of a sense of something being broken or something missing. Further along the way, this same problem has now become the best thing that could have happened. The years will pass anyway so we may as well choose to make every day a better one and head for the best personal vision we can come up with.
When I was a part-time administrator at an Estate Agents, the Lettings Manager passed round a little book called 'Who Moved my Cheese?' by Dr Spencer Johnson. It was a hilarious little tale about some mice who lived in a maze where they were fed on cheese everyday. They were all perfectly happy until one day when the cheese suddenly wasn't there anymore.
There are growing numbers of people like me and you who are looking for and finding a better way to live our daily lives. The search could start with a just a relaxation treatment of some sort, or perhaps, like I did, the quest begins simply with a food supplement to help with sleep. Others go all out as spiritual seekers, reading books, scouring the Internet, joining groups, attending courses or exploring modern day churches. As I see Christmas decorations going up earlier every year - November lately - I wonder if more people are simply desperate for some sort of meaning to their lives, something more satisfying than the High Street retailers can offer.
Last month's message was about dissolving old barriers that we no longer need. We still need to have clear personal boundaries though. Our boundaries can have lots of layers - our skin and hair, our clothes and make-up or grooming, our personal space a few feet or inches around us, our home or neighbourhood, our time, our sense of right and wrong - these are just a few examples. When our boundaries are over-stepped, or a line is crossed, it can have a minor or major effect on our happiness and health.
Last month I wrote about circles as patterns in our life and how this can help us see where we are and identify the next stage of our journey. Can you look back on your life and see a point where you would now make a different decision if you had the chance again?
Life is sometimes expressed in geometric patterns, like triangles, spirals, waves or circles. This month there has been a theme of circles in people's lives. For some it's been a case of going round in circles and not getting very far. For others it's been a time of seeing an old pattern come around again in relationships. Sometimes the end of a cycle is coming nearer. It's also been a time of coming full circle, back to a point that's been reached in the past, but now with a different perspective and as a changed person.
Last week's blog asked the question 'Are you headed for defeat or a breakthrough?'. One of the determining factors will be your degree of confidence in yourself and an optimistic view of the possible outcome. Our confidence is affected by previous experiences of defeat, loss, dissapointment or failure. It is a natural healing response to draw back or pull inwards after being hurt or let down. We need time and space to recover.
I recently had a conversation with someone who was trying to decide on a course of action. Eventually she said "Oh well, I suppose if it's meant to be it'll just happen and everything will fall into place smoothly". My response was "Not necesarily. Sometimes we have to push through things and overcome our resistence or a weakness." It's true that life unfolds all around us and we as individuals aren't in control of the whole universe, however we do have choices and are responsible for our actions, or lack of them.
Working with my webdesign and marketing company, we asked the question 'what do Pathway Balancing clients need help with the most?' After researching the past four year's practice records, we found the answer. The biggest problems are physical and structural ones and the area most affected is the head and neck region. People have been coming for help with headaches, neck tension, blocked sinuses, migraine, tinnitus, vision disturbances and a lost sense of smell. These problems can be helped with both craniosacral therapy and kinesiology, according to the client's preferences.
Paradise is an ancient Hebrew word that refers to a Garden of Eden state, a place of beauty, abundant produce, companionship and a close relationship with our God. The idea of a paradise experience will vary in each person's imagination but it will generally be something good or even wonderful and highly desirable. In the Pathway Balancing Journey, we face an imaginary mountain path that spirals upwards through seven Levels, with the top (Level 7) being called 'Paradise on Earth'. The practitioner uses kinesiology muscle-testing to find out how close you are to your own personal Paradise.
Would you want your healthcare professional to leave you immobile in a room without fluids or water for 24 hours? How would you feel if they did this to someone you love? In healthcare today there are two primary models of working: the medical, allopathic model and the holistic, naturopathic model. Professionals in both schools of thought often view the other methods with varying degrees of doubt about their effectiveness or value.