How to touch someone with finesse, skill and attunement in a way that is unattached to outcome, listening to both your needs and theirs, following the flow of what wants to happen... It's an art.
On one level, it's super simple to touch someone - you just do it.
However, we're complex creatures.
I'll speak for myself...
I want to be attuned to, deeply heard and seen. I want the person touching me to release what they think they know and to actually listen to my body, my energy, my words, my breath, my soul AND theirs. If they are not aware of what's happening for them and they're focused solely on me, something is missing.
What is attunement?
Speak to me, make contact with me in a way that has my body, mind and energy soften and clarify in your presence. When we are attuned, my body trusts your touch the moment you come into contact with me, and where you come into contact with me is not necessarily physical touch first. Here in this moment as you're reading, you are coming in to contact with my words, my thoughts, my energy field. The energy field spans distances and time.
Attunement is finding resonance where your body and mine meet. It's finding harmony between us.
Attunement is how a mother knows exactly what her baby requires, and giving it to them in a way that they can fully receive it. Attunement is not assuming you know what someone else needs based on past experiences, but being present with the being you are with in the moment, who may be different than how they showed up 10 seconds ago.
A guitar will need different tuning in dry and humid conditions. A living human is far more complex than a guitar. They may desire completely different contact now than you gave them 2 days ago, or different than you would like to receive yourself.
HOW do we attune to our partners?
First, know yourself. Become so purely present with yourself in this moment.
As I type this now, I feel tingly in the back of my head, tension in my jaw and teeth, distrust of people who may read this (I have a story that the more strangers know about me, the more they'll take advantage of me, in a way that takes and doesn't give), awareness of sounds around me - the dryer running, neighbors upstairs - my sleepy eyes, the ticking clock, the habit of my energy coming forward, then recalibrating and finding where my energy wants to be - naturally sinking in to my belly as I allow it.
What's the point of noticing and naming all of this? Why does any of this matter?
Because as I write, as I notice everything in my experience, I soften, settle, and relax. My energy expands. The pressure in my head releases.
How does this relate to attunement to a partner?
If I'm holding tension, or on edge, or not present and aware in my body, then some part of the person I'm coming in to contact with is aware of that, whether they are conscious of it or not. Their body, or their energy, or their subconscious knows. And the better that I can attune to myself, to become aware of my present state and to give myself what I need, I will be better equipped to make contact with another being in a way that is clear and mutually supportive in a clean, unattached way. If I were disregulated and not aware of it, not owning it, and then offering supportive contact to someone, I may actually be receiving more benefit by touching them than they are receiving from me. I may actually be subconsciously taking. This can create an energy imbalance - an unconscious way to pull energy. The more that I as a support person am aware of my experience, and am grounded, centered, and owning my experience, the more I can offer neutral, attuned, supportive contact.
Once you know where you're at, you're ready to start attuning to another... which I'll write about another day.
If you're not clear where you're at and what's happening for you now, reach out to schedule a session. Bodywork, somatic coaching, and Biodynamic energy healing will clarify the body, mind and spirit.
What is supportive to you in a bodywork and coaching session?
My work has become much more dynamic and interactive lately. I invite you as the receiver to delve in to your full experience, including the awareness and healing of the emotional, mental and spiritual, as well as physical. This includes more verbal interaction, asking you what you're experiencing as the session goes along, and guiding you to notice specific areas of the body. This is all in service of deeper, long-lasting healing, finding more clarity and pleasure in the body, and supporting integration of you as a whole being, including the mind and spirit as well as the body.
With this more complex work, I'm recognizing how everyone responds to dialogue differently. Sometimes it feels very clear and easy to follow my intuition in a session, and sometimes it helps both of us if you provide feedback as we go. What supports your healing?
Do you like to be asked questions to help you deepen in to your experience?
- "What's that sensation like?"
Or do you like to be guided more directly?
- "Notice if your breath is deep or shallow"
- "Tell me about a resource you have in your life that feels supportive."
Or do you appreciate more soft invitations?
- "If it feels good to you, I invite you to ask that part of your body, "what would you like to say?"
What you need today may be different than what you need tomorrow. How you respond to cues or dialogue in one session might be completely different from how you respond during another session. As this work evolves, I'm becoming more flexible in how I work, and open to your feedback as we go. Three different people in the past week needed different types of questions, cues or dialogue to help them deepen into their unique healing journey. It's OK to speak up for what you need.
I was talking with some friends last week about receiving massage. They said they don't like to speak up and "tell the therapist what to do" during a massage. They figure the massage therapist is a professional and knows exactly what to do... Well, yes, they are professional, and your voice and needs are important, and I've yet to meet any therapist who is perfectly psychic or 100% attuned. It can be a gift to yourself and to the therapist to voice what you're experiencing and what you need.
I've received bodywork from countless professionals, many who have been working in the field longer than I have, and I often play an active role in receiving - either moving my body as I receive (think of how a cat or dog moves when you pet them), requesting specific contact in a specific area, requesting a pause or change of pace, letting them know what I'm feeling or acknowledging memories that are surfacing (this can help the feelings or memories transform or heal), requesting more space, or more contact... Sometimes it feels weird to be so active when it's not the norm, but it feels true to me, and feels like what I need to access what I want - deeper healing, aliveness, body awareness, safety and nourishment.
Becoming a more active receiver is certainly a practice. It's taken years for me to become more comfortable speaking up in a session, or even knowing what to ask for. Sometimes I want something different, but I'm not sure what. It's ok to voice that, too. It's true that some therapists have a difficult time hearing feedback or requests, and to be honest, I've struggled with that in the past. It's a practice to receive feedback, too. Now more than ever I value hearing your voice, hearing your needs, knowing what works and what you need to feel safe, comfortable, expansive, and open to receiving and healing. I look forward to serving you and discovering your unique blueprint to health.
Want to talk before a session? Call me at 720-432-3032
In craniosacral therapy, the sacrum is a bone traditionally contacted. It's located at the base of the spine, back of the pelvis, and it's part of the structure that's affected if you have SI joint dysfuction, which relates to low back pain. Why am I introducing you to the sacrum?
In this line of work it’s important because when I work with it, clients are typically lying supine, or face-up, and I ask them if I can hold under their sacrum, then request that they lift their hips so I can easily rest my hand under them. Many people ask, “where’s my sacrum?” I’ve also worked with people who think craniosacral therapy means a head massage, because the only part of “craniosacral” they recognize is “cranium.” Craniosacral therapy was developed by an osteopath who worked with the cranium, sacrum and primary structures that connect them - the spine and cerebrospinal fluid.
Personally, it’s important to me because I’ve had pain or dysfunction in my SI joint at least since 2007, if not before unknowingly, and I’ve been affected by anxiety and depression throughout my life. The sacrum contains the lumbosacral waterbed, a reservoir of cerebrospinal fluid that affects the health of the whole body. This fluid supports and protects the brain. If the structures that contain the cerebrospinal fluid are aligned in good health, the fluid can flow easily and the brain is healthier. If the sacrum is compressed at any of its joints, because of its connection to the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid, it directly affects the central nervous system.
The sacrum is also connected to the pelvis and sexual organs, so it plays a role in sexual health, which in turn plays a role in creativity and overall wellbeing (read or listen to Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf for more details on the correlations between the pelvis, sexuality, creativity and well-being).
The sacrum is affected from sitting too long, impact injuries, repetitive strain, irregular gait, and emotional holding. What can you do today to improve flow and health of the sacrum? Ask your body. How does it want to move? What is being held in the sacrum? What does it need? If it's not clear to you, maybe it needs contact. Reach out for support if you'd like help in accessing better flow in your body: (720)432-3032.
Fear. Anger. Sadness. Joy.
What do you want from emotions? To learn from them? To love them? To see the value in them? To avoid all but joy?
I want to find allowance of them. I want to access joy as much as possible. I want to be aware of the value and lessons in fear, anger and sadness, and I want to be able to let them go with ease.
Do you ruminate in one of these? Do you repress one, only to have it come out with a strong intensity under pressure? Do you repress one and feel as if your life is missing something? When I think of repressed emotions, I think of a child who eventually acts out after not being heard. At first the child may gently ask for what they need. If they aren't heard, they may cry. Then scream. Later on, if they're still not getting what they need, they may act out violently toward others, or "misbehave," in order to get attention in an attempt to get what they need. If emotions are held in and not allowed to move, they'll act up later on. The body holds on to them and reveals them as pain and discomfort.
How do you personally want to relate to emotions? If you want help dealing the more challenging ones, talk to me. If you want help accessing more joy, let's work together. Call me for a free consultation, or go ahead and schedule a session.
Have you noticed any correlations between your emotional state and your physical body? Do you have any tricks to help you release or move challenging emotions? I'm curious - please comment!
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
Intuitive energy healer, massage therapist and somatic coach in Asheville, NC, bringing you insight and inspiration on healing and conscious living. Formerly in Boulder, CO.