I have recognized over the course of my development as a healer, both working with myself and others, that different tools were needed at different times.
I began my path as a bodyworker and was able to do powerful work in that modality but I recognized that I could only go so far because I didn’t have the context with my client to do more emotional or spiritual work with them to address some of the root causes of their body issues.
Around that time, my father was terminally ill with Cancer and I began to explore transformational movement and Shamanism which helped me to have a context for the experiences that my clients and I were having in the spiritual realm. I began to do powerful spiritual work with client’s and with myself but recognized that if I didn’t include the psychological realm along with physical body, it could only go so far because we were not addressing the realm of relationships.
In caring for my Father during his illness I began to see the importance of our births on our whole lives. The Cancer caused him to become much more dependent on the family for his care and well-being and he began to access more child-like states near the end of his life. It was a precious time to be able to tenderly care for his well being, (floss and brush his teeth, give him baths, etc) and I was able to quite clearly feel in his body the residue of his experiences as a baby which were exposed in this more vulnerable state. I could feel a guardedness and defended quality to his body that was able to gently melt as we cared for him. After my Father’s passing, I began doing Hospice massage and became more interested in the impact of our births on the quality of our life and that interest led me to the work of a Russian Midwife named Elena Tonnetti-Vladmirova. Elena’s work is a powerful synthesis of a lifetime of working in the birthing field that has guided her to create a process to clear the body/mind of any negative residue from our births and to imprint a new and more life-affirming experience into the limbic system.
We are trying to heal trauma for the sake of our vitality and life force. And since trauma takes so many different forms, we have to be able to address it at the different levels at which it occurred. We have a physical body, a relational body, an ancestral body, a social body, a psychic body, a cellular body. And we need different tools to address the wounding to those different bodies.
When I realized that trauma can happen on all these different levels and that each one requires its own healing techniques, I began a process of exploring as many healing techniques as I could.
• Physical acting techniques, which includes vocal expression, actor’s warm-up.
• Modern dance
• Body mind centering and developmental movement
• Alexander technique
• Contact Improvisation
• Bodywork (massage therapy: Swedish, deep tissue, trigger points)
• Polarity therapy
• Shamanic tools. FSD (spirit based tools: grounding, protection, psychic reading, intuition development, chakra control, healing). It was training in shamanic tools.
• Hospice (and hospice massage) which is cultivating my ability to be with people in intense and life threatening situations.
• 5Rhythms and authentic movement, and ecstatic dance. Using movement as a healing modality
• Sound healing
• Personal and group encounter work. Contemplation- explorations into the nature of being (Jed McKenna, Rallston). Who or what I am.
• Martial Arts (tai chi, effective body being)
• Permaculture and farming
• Birthwork (apprenticeship with Elena. Birth into Being)
• Ecology of Leadership (social technology for creating village)
• John Eisman. Recreation of the self.
• Attachment theory.
• Yoga. Anusara and Iyengar traditions.
• Family Constellations.
• My own journey into family and fatherhood (getting married and having a child)
• Burning Man. Teaches me so about civics, personal responsibility, and teamwork, and cooperation. Acceptance. Self-expression.