Permission to Heal

I am currently reading and working through three outstanding books:

Somatics by Thomas Hanna,

Pelvic Power by Eric Franklin

The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process by David Berceli.

These are three books about Healing.

Books authored by different human beings from rather diverse backgrounds seeming to have written about three separate ways of healing. The deeper I dive and swim the more I understand that these ways of healing are not separate at all, they are simply approaching from alternate routes.

The end result is the same: Healing through the body.

Watching and listening to those around me I see and hear that we should now all find ways to heal – there is so much available to us. The catch is that any healing we choose (whether it’s taking a vacation, staying in bed for 3 days, practicing self-healing or or weekly Feldenkrais Method sessions) it shouldn’t interrupt or change the lives we move through. It’s ok but it’s not really ok, as if, in theory it is understood that we all need healing but the unspoken truth is that we regard that need as a weakness.

Real strength, on the other hand is “sucking it up”, “powering through” – not needing help or healing at all.

I know that every experience we have is processed through the body. I know this through my own personal experiences. I know this through sensation. Matthew Sanford (Mind Body Solutions) talks in an interview, about being unconscious during the car accident that caused his paralysis but still has skid and impact memories. He calls is a “physical narrative”. During a motorcycle accident at 18, my eyes were closed after the initial impact but I have physical memories of repeatedly hitting the ground after going over the car that pulled out in front of us. Hitting the car had a different impact sensation than hitting the ground did.

These memories are stored, like memories of birthday parties that we fondly remember as they march across the screen of our mind’s eye. How they are stored can dramatically affect how we continue to live in our bodies.  David Berceli sites an important mechanism that our nervous system uses to releases the chemical responses to an event is shaking. Do your hands ever shake when your nervous? Or your legs? That is your body burning off the adrenaline it produced to deal with the “threat”.  Berceli suggests that if we don’t allow the shaking, tremors, trembling that follow response (not necessarily event), then we hold on to the tension – the physical narrative of the event. The body is not allowed to return to homeostasis – to balance.

That shaking, the tremors and the trembling are all part of our nervous system’s way of returning us back to “normal”. The response is natural – relieving ourselves of the effects of an experience – perhaps not unlike sweating…

Shaking is awkward. There are negative connotations associated with shaking or trembling. In a culture of “tough it out”, trembling is considered showing weakness or vulnerability. I am particularly prone to shaking. (Interestingly I also sweat profusely – is there a connection ?) When I first started teaching fitness I could hardly control my movements – even my voice shook. Dr. Berceli writes of people suppressing the trembling. I read his examples and wondered how they managed to do that – I have never been able to. I feel a pleasant sense of relief discovering that it is a normal response and that it’s actually good for me (and you too!) and that by accepting it, I may be ensuring my healing process.

So, let’s review:

1. Life is deeply lived through the body, whether we choose to be conscious of it or not.

2. These marvels of tissue and sentience are designed to self heal.

3. Our minds create obstacles for healing that don’t actually exist –  such as social constructs – silly rules for behavior that contradict the needs of our bodies for health and well-being.

4. Shaking after stressful conditions is natural and conducive to healing.

Give yourself permission,

Be your own fairy godmother.

Be your own miracle.

Give yourself permission to Heal.

2 thoughts on “Permission to Heal”

  1. What a fascinating article! I remember coming out of hip replacement surgery and having massive body shakes and having to be covered with many warm blankets. Little did I know that the body was trying to heal itself.

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