The body holds onto a lot of trauma. Be it physical, mental, or emotional. Add psychic or spiritual to the mix if you want. Our very flesh will imprison it. How long of a sentence it has is anyone’s guess. Sometimes, it’s gets an abrupt release. No parole hearings, no rehabilitation, no warning. BAM! Get the fuck out! Depending on the trauma and the person who’s been holding it. It might stay gone, or hang around to be picked up later. These things are strange and I don’t pretend to know much more than what I’ve learned from experience and lessons.
let me begin with a personal experience, or two.
In massage school, we had a craniosacral, intensive weekend. That’s when I discovered a new kind of magic. Most of us fell in love with the new technique. We paired up and practiced on each other. One of the sessions had to deal with the jaw. A masseter release. Now, for some background. When I was 5 I broke my jaw. I was on my bike. Trying to do some Evil Kenevil type stunt. I jackknifed and went down. It was very traumatic and I won’t go into details, other than, I’m glad the doctor on call that day was a plastic surgeon. Okay, back to the class. The teacher explained about archaic wounds and how trauma can be locked into out bodies. I warned my partner about my accident and how I might have a freak out moment while she was working on me. She said she understood and we proceeded. Now, this is where I get a little pissed off. During the session, I had an intensely, vivid flashback and began to cry. My partner, who had been warned, got all upset and butt hurt by my outburst. Some people have to take everything personally. The teacher had to sooth me while little miss, pants on fire sulked in the corner.
Now, this was a learning experience for both of us. Not sure what she got from hers, but she was a cunt to me the rest of the day. As if I purposefully, threw a monkey wrench into her idea of how the session should have gone. I discovered the power of the Archaic Wound. I thought I had gotten over that experience a long time ago. Apparently not. Now, I am very careful when working on people. I warn them that things might come up that they’re not expecting. Sometimes, that warning isn’t enough.
Bodywork in all its forms can bring shit up.
I had a client who was sent in for craniosacral work by a friend. I wish she hadn’t told him all about HER experiences. She pretty much poisoned the well, so to speak. During the interview, he mentioned a recent cancer diagnosis. He was scared. I didn’t know what type of cancer, but I found out during the session. I felt this heavy, creeping darkness and it spooked me. The session was intense, for both of us. After it ended, he stayed in the room for a long time. When I went to check on him, he was in the fetal position. When I asked if he was alright. His answer was a smile. “Yeah, what did you do to me?” Well, it was an interesting chat about what came up. He came back again, in a better frame of mind. Apparently the work dredged up a ton of stuff that he worked through.
I’ve worked on women who have endured sexual abuse as children. Their bios were almost identical. Both responded beautifully to the work. Their sacrums both released with an audible *CLICK*. There was a flood of tears and laughter. Good medicine.
Being kind and supportive is also a disarming gift. I had a client who was very, Walter Mitty. Timid, lives with his aging mother and brow beat by two, ex-wives. He kept saying “I’m sorry.” He apologized for his need to make noises during the treatment. For his breathing, for.. being. It made me feel very sad that this person felt the need to apologize for being himself and having needs. I told him he was allowed to do what he needed to do, within reason, to make the treatment work for him. He was in a safe place. He burst into tears. A 64 year old man was sobbing like a baby on my table.
To the tissue box!
If I had a magic wand.. I’d make everything alright. I don’t, so I have to chip away at people’s armor.
I have a tendency to get weepy on the table. I have a trade buddy who is very nurturing and brings out things I thought I had well hidden. I feel safe with her. Not so with most therapists. What’s up with that? Oh, some are so burned out or disconnected that they can’t offer a bit of sanctuary. Too bad. The rewards are beautiful.