A Return to Your Essential Self
In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it. -- Michelangelo
Last week I sat on an outcropping above Lake Awosting taking a breather from an afternoon hike before continuing onward. It was a perfect vantage point from which to welcome the landscape of conifer, maple and oak as they sang their praises to the birth of spring and to watch the beautiful dance of sunlight chasing ripples on the surface of the lake below. I reflected on my life’s calling and my twenty five years in practice as a chiropractor. A quarter-century of harvests brings a lot to the table. Through that cycle of seasons I’ve learned a great deal from the teachers who have guided my journey, from the thousands of appointments with those who have sought my care and through self-reflections on my calling as a practitioner of the healing arts.
During my early years as a chiropractor I found my work to be effective in helping people with pain and many manifestations of illness. People receiving regular chiropractic care also felt more balanced emotionally and had more mental clarity. This is because chiropractic adjustments help to optimize the flow of Innate Intelligence, our vital force which is fully capable of running all the functions that constitute life. I had the great opportunity to meet a mentor early on who guided my practice as it took root and developed a life of his own. Dr. Cerasoli dedicated his life to chiropractic and after 40 years in practice continued to draw crowds of people to hear him speak until his death at age 98. While the expression of my work has changed over time, the chiropractic principles he instilled set the tone for my practice and helped me master the art of the chiropractic adjustment.
As my practice unfolded something very interesting began to occur. When I worked with the physical body, many people had emotional releases and insights about things that were important in their lives. I realized that our bodies are storehouses of information, that everything I touched in the human body has a voice, a story, sometimes an unfulfilled longing. It became clear to me that my work as a chiropractor would be greatly enhanced by further creating an environment of safety and trust in which these expressions could unfold.
Around that time I was introduced to Cranio-Sacral therapy by a colleague of mine. Within the cranial field there was a strong emphasis on creating relationships in which deep healing could occur. I was interested but skeptical. The practical application of Cranio- Sacral therapy involved very light touch and I was accustomed to fairly deep and forceful work. “How could a modality that employed such a light touch be an effective tool for healing?” I questioned.
That query has since been answered, but what was most convincing at the time was the experience I had receiving Cranio-Sacral therapy. My first session was a profoundly pleasant experience and ultimately deepened my understanding of what constitutes health and well being. After a few minutes on the practitioner’s table I fell asleep. In this state I left my body, something in my system reorganized and when I returned I felt something different than I had felt before: a great freedom of movement and deep relaxation.
With successive treatments I began to feel more settled within myself and had more of a sense of clarity and understanding. I felt healthier in general. Within a few weeks I noticed that these sessions were not only helping me personally but were also adding a new dimension of subtlety, intuition and depth to my work. I embarked on a course of study in Cranio-Sacral therapy and integrated it into my practice.
I was intrigued with the basis for cranial work. All living, healthy tissues "breathe" with the motion of life. Cranio-Sacral therapy encourages the return of breath to places that have been cast out, walled off or isolated. Before these areas were a drain to the system, now their trapped energy is released and is available for health, creativity and the experience of abundance. It fosters a return to our essential self. The body deeply relaxes and the mind and emotions calm down giving us greater access to our spirit, the internal reference point from which we can be a benefit to ourselves and all of life.
Working in this way has been a great privilege for me. In addition to improving health and well being I have seen how Cranio- Sacral therapy helps relieve suffering by changing the way we relate to ourselves and the world. “The deepest healing processes are those that occur within the context of relationship,” says Franklyn Sills, the founder of Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy. This sets the tone for a cooperative and sustainable world.
One of the great benefits of having been in practice for twenty five years is that there has been ample time to develop the artistic nature of healing. Using the chiropractic adjustment, Cranio-Sacral therapy, deep tissue work and dialogue I can respond to the needs of each person in a way that is creative, effective, present and meaningful.
I can perceive the gifts that are at the core of each person as the process of healing unfolds. “The walls that imprison the spirit” dissolve and our divine nature is revealed. What had been a vision in the artist’s eye is now manifest and we become capable of using our inborn qualities of wisdom, power and love in the best ways possible.