NERVOUS SYSTEM REGULATION
“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”
As human beings, we are complex ecosystems: brain systems, tissue systems, organ systems, neural networks — biospheres that can hum and dance together, meant for harmonious interconnections. A human being can be a symphony of systems, or it can be out of tune and out of synch.
Nervous system regulation is the nervous system’s ability to rise and fall with life’s challenges. With regulation comes greater capacity and resiliency to meet the day to day ups and downs of our lives in such a way that we remain flexible and adaptive in our moment to moment responses.
Regulation, capacity and resiliency are in our DNA. If we look at animals in the wild, although commonly subjected to life threats, they do not suffer the debilitating after effects that humans often experience as a result of overwhelming experiences.
Prey animals pause to shake off the intense energies that arise in response to threat. Human beings have the same innate ability to self-regulate, but this process requires time and care to allow the natural cycle to complete. For many of us, this sequencing has gone off-line. Nervous system regulation is the whole body coming back on-line so we can meet life, thrive, celebrate and enjoy all its gifts.
Trauma results when the body is not allowed to complete its natural responses. When this happens, we tend to over or under react to life events and are not able to be fully present in our lives. We survive the fall, car accident, earthquake, etc. and yet have lost our sense of well-being. A difficult situation has passed, but our thoughts return over and over to the same old story. We feel “stuck”, and that “stuck-ness” has a physiological basis. Sometimes, even life’s joys can be overwhelming!
With greater regulation of the nervous system the body begins to renegotiate the response to stress, leading to the deactivation of the stored survival energies of the past. Now our whole body is able to respond by expanding and deepening the entire range in which it functions. From this perspective, trauma can be seen as a gift, for the very act of surviving and returning to balance leaves us with a stronger capacity to be present in our lives.
Nervous system regulation is very important for maintaining overall health in our often overstimulating and stressful world. NSR is necessary for anxiety, depression, hypervigilance, sleep disturbances, eating problems, numbness, chronic discomfort and other symptoms of PTSD. NSR also benefits our day-to-day relationships, at home, parenting and at work. It aides in confronting disappointments and dissatisfaction in all life’s transitions, and with pre and post pregnancy, birth trauma, pre and post-surgery, falls, accidents and injuries.
As a Rolfing Structural Integration Practitioner my goal is to attune with the natural healing process of the nervous system through listening, communicating and following its natural trend toward health. I have found by working from a nervous system approach that clients are able to integrate the work more quickly, offering more ease in movement and function and greater capacity for living.
Rolfing®, Structural Integration
What’s Gravity Got To Do With It?
Our bodies react to constant influence of gravity like every other physical structure on the earth. When we are out of balance, gravity drags us down, just as it drags down a building that has lost it’s structural integrity. Whether from poor posture, injury, illness or emotional distress, an unbalanced body is in constant tug-of-war with gravity. The result is an accumulation of tension and strain within the body’s muscles and surrounding connective tissue that gives rise to pain, rigidity of movement and depleted energy. Rolfing’s primary aim is to permanently release this tension and to overcome deeply ingrained physical restrictions- balancing and realigning your entire body in relation to gravity. While Dr. Rolf originally called her revolutionary work Structural Integration, ‘Rolfing’ is the popular name the public first gave her work. Unlike every other form of contemporary bodywork, Rolfing is the only manipulative system whose ultimate goal is to evoke highly integrated and efficient ways of moving that enable your body to remain effortlessly balanced in gravity. “One individual may experience his loosing fight with gravity as a sharp pain in the back, another as the unflattering contour of his body, another as a constant fatigue, and yet another as an unrelenting threatening environment. (Some) may call it ‘old age’; yet all these signals may be pointing to a single problem so prominent in their own structures and the structures of others that it has been ignored; they are off-balance; they are at war with gravity.
The CranioSacral System plays a vital role of maintaining the environment in which the central nervous system functions. It consists of the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord as well as the attached bones – including the skull, face and mouth, which make up the cranium, and the tailbone area, or sacrum. Since the brain and spinal cord are contained within the central nervous system, it is easy to see that the craniosacral system has powerful influence over a wide variety of bodily functions.
By working with the CranioSacral System the therapist essentially helps the body release restrictions, which it has been unable to overcome on its own, which inhibit the body’s normal, self-correcting tendencies. Rather than deciding how these changes should be made, the therapist follows cues from the body on how to proceed. When the therapist follows this gentle approach, the method is extremely safe and effective. The few contraindications to CST are aneurysm, intracranial hemorrhage, and other conditions where altering intracranial fluid is not recommended.
“To receive spiritual direction is to recognize that God does not solve our problems or answer all our questions, but leads us closer to the mystery of our existence where all questions cease.”
– Henri Nouwen
Spiritual Direction is a process that supports your attuning to the presence and movement of Spirit in your life. Unlike counseling or coaching, the director’s main role is to be a witness and a mirror for your personal exploration towards a deepening relationship with the invisible and ineffable dimensions of being. Depending on your personal path and faith specific spiritual readings, reflective writing, meditation and prayer practices may be offered to inform your direction.
Sessions are 75 minutes and fees are sliding scale.