WORKING WITH THE BODY & THE LIFE FORCE

 
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My specialty is body psychotherapy and energy psychology. For those of you who are not familiar with the work of Core Energetics and other somatic therapies, it is beautiful work, that incorporates the whole person —- body mind, spirit, and emotion. Let me start with the story of a client (name changed) who came to me for help.
Fred had tried everything: traditional therapy, self-help books, group therapy, toastmasters meetings, and public speaking classes. Some things helped a little. Nothing significantly. Sick of his paralyzing shyness, he wanted help quickly.
Meeting Fred for the first time, I noticed thin arms appearing undernourished, stiff shoulders that made it difficult to reach out and make contact, and a torso that leaned back and pulled away from the people his legs want to move him toward. Because I am a body therapist, I ramped up Fred’s energy level in order to prepare his body for change. Then by agreeing to engage in simple physical exercises, designed specifically to unblock energy, create flow, and return his body to its natural state, Fred broke through his resistance and began to form meaningful relationships with other people.
After a few weeks of practice, Fred socialized more at school and joined a fraternity. He asked a girl out on a date and she accepted. The energy exercises triggered his desire to lift weights and build up his strength. He joined a gym and acquired arm and shoulder muscles.
Like Fred, most of us would like to be free of self-defeating behaviors. We would like to replace them with life patterns that lead to success, love, and fulfillment. So if we hold our shoulders stiffly, pull then up in fear, or roll them forward to protect our hearts, simple, practical exercises that focus on the body and create energy flow, can restore our bodies and our lives
 When Beverly came to see me, she described herself as an emotional mess, because she would cry or erupt in anger if someone looked at her the wrong way. Looking at her body, I saw her energy fragmenting and scattering around the room, as if someone had emptied a jigsaw puzzle box and let the parts fall where they may. Imagine a young, beautiful face attached to an awkward body –disconnected body parts moving in different directions.
Beverly’s body mirrored the early rejection she experienced-her mother left when she was nine months old. Simple, energetic exercises helped her change.
Her neck and shoulders straightened and relaxed. Her chest pulled up so she could breathe more fully and her arches released allowing her feet to touch the ground. For Beverly uncontrollable rages and emotions became a thing of the past.
Energizing body exercises can help you defeat unhealthy life patterns and change self-defeating behaviors that result from unpleasant, unhappy, and sometimes abusive life experiences, even those you may have forgotten because they took place in early childhood or before you could talk.
Somatic and energy therapies give you tools to release emotions, remold your bodies, and establish new, life patterns. For those of you who want to change your lives so you don’t  repeat dead-end relationships or unsatisfying jobs, exploring holistic, mind-body techniques may be the correct path.
Please contact me for more information.

Exercises to Open the Chakras

These exercises will help to energize your body. At a time when most of us are at home and sitting way too much, these tools are very useful. In Eastern psychology the chakra system is known for bringing fresh energy into the body to restore balance and equilibrium as it flows through the body and enervates organs and muscles. For a variety of reasons, the chakras sometimes close and fresh energy cannot enter. These exercises are known to reverse the process and open the chakras.

 

Grounding Exercise – for the Root Chakra

The following exercise is designed to help you contact your root chakra and feel more grounded.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes straight ahead, and knees slightly bent. Now bend your knees deeper, dropping into a squatting position, but keep your feet on the floor. As you push against the floor strongly with the bottoms of your feet, push yourself back to the original position, feeling the tension in your calves as you rise out of the squat. Do this 15 to 20 times. If your legs begin to vibrate or shake, consider that normal, a sign that energy blocks are releasing.

Exercise for the Sexual Feeling and Behavior Centers

The following exercise is designed to engage both your sexual feeling and sexual behavior centers. It involves lying on a mattress and kicking.

To begin, lie down on a solid mattress and kick about 100 times, while keeping your legs straight out. Next bend your knees, place your feet flat on the mattress, and pick up your pelvis as high as possible. Bounce your pelvis down on the mattress 20 times, each time saying the phrase: “I will never give it to you.” Do this as fast as you can to energize your body and open the flow of your feelings. After you bounce your pelvis, lift your legs up, with your heels pointed at the ceiling and your toes pointing at your face. Hold this position while you slightly bend and then straighten through the knees, stretching the hamstrings. Do this 20 times allowing your legs to shake and vibrate.

 

 Exercise for the Self-Center

The following exercise will help you improve the energy of your solar plexus and release the fear and the pain associated with blocked feelings there.

Swing your right hand in front of the center of your solar plexus from left to right. Do this several times, cutting through the energy field above it. Then, rest your hand on top of the solar plexus for thirty seconds, palm down, giving it healing energy from your palm.

 

Exercise for the Healing Center

You can use the following exercise to energize the healing, as well as the sexual, center by kicking or moving your legs. (The healing center is found at your spine, slightly above the sacrum)

Stand and engage in a series of karate kicks, about 10 per leg. As you kick out in front of you with force, lift your leg as high as you can, point your heel at an imagined other in front of you, and point your toe toward the ceiling. At the same time, as you kick and look at an imagined opponent, allow the energy to flow out of your eyes. Feel your power as you release this energy.

Now repeat this exercise, but kick backwards behind you, and at the same time, look forward sending fire out of your eyes.

 

Exercise for the Heart (Love ) Center

You can use the following exercise to energize your heart center. Place your hand immediately in front of your heart, lightly touching your chest. Then, begin to make small circle, with your hand, moving it very quickly. Keep up the circular motion for one or two minutes. When you finish, shut your eyes, allow your hands to drop gently to your sides, and breathe slowly, staying centered. Then, as you breathe, contact your heart center and set the intent to have more love in your life.

 

Exercise for the Will Center

To work with the will center and bring it into more balance with your heart, you need to release and mobilize the energy in your upper back and chest. You can use the following exercise to do so.

Stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Make fists and begin to throw some punches at the wall in front of you. Make good eye contact with the wall as if it were a person. Continue to punch and stare with good eye contact, saying at the same time, “I will never give it to you.” Now continue to mobilize the will center by hitting backward with your elbows, at the same time looking straight ahead and saying, “Get off my back.”

 

Exercise for the Throat (Voice) Center

You can use the following exercise to unblock energy stuck in your throat. Use sounds such as “ho, ho, ho” and “ha, ha, ha” when you breathe out to unblock this energy.

To begin the exercise, lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat. Then, breathe in deeply through the nose in short sniffs and at the same time arch your back. When you exhale, say “ho, ho, ho” with as much intensity as possible to release the voice center, At the same time roll your shoulders in toward your heart and lift your pelvis one inch off the floor. Do it 10 or 15 times, and after every few breaths, stamp your feet saying “no” to ground the energy. This is a good exercise for people who need to learn to express feelings and talk about important issues.

 

Exercise for the Executive Center

You can use the following exercise to energize the executive center situated in the center at the back of the neck.  It will release tightness in your neck.

Lie down on a mattress or on the floor and kick with both legs, either straight out or bent at the knee and at the same time turn your head from side to side, very quickly, letting go of control. Do this for one or two minutes. Then sit up, and use your hands to massage the long muscles in the back of your neck. Do so for another minute, pressing your fingers into these muscles with as much pressure as you can tolerate. To finish, shrug your shoulders a few times loosening the muscles around the neck.

 

Exercise for the Third Eye

To open the third eye, located at the center of your forehead, take a deep breath in through your nose. Open your mouth and exhale in short blasts, “huh, huh, huh.” At the same time, place your hand in front of your throat and shake it back and forth several times as you move it up over your face to the forehead.

 

Exercise for the Spiritual  (Cosmic ) Center

The following exercise will help you improve the energy flow of your highest spiritual center.

Raise your hand to the top of your head and make three circles. For the first circle, spin your hand clockwise; for the second, spin it counterclockwise; for the third, spin it clockwise again. Do this several times to create movement and flow. Then gently rub the top of your head.

 

An Exercise to Stimulate All of the Energy Centers

You want to have good energy flow in all of the energy centers for optimal functioning. The following exercise is designed to improve the energy flow to all of the energy centers. Use the picture below to identify the centers.

Start by placing the palm of your hand about 2 or 3 inches away from each center and leave it there for a few seconds. If the energy is circulating well in the center, you will begin to feel a slight stirring of air or heat on your palm. If you feel nothing or if the air cools your hand, that center needs to be rotated or spun. Next, move your hand to each of the front centers starting with the base and ending with the crown, and spin your hand very fast in a clockwise motion as you breathe. Keep a quiet mind and a grounded stance, with your feet facing forward, shoulder width apart, and knees slightly bent.

 

 

 

Message to Pregnant Women During Coronavirus Pandemic

Stressful times affect everyone including the fetus inside you. Research shows that even prior to birth the fetus can suffer consequences from the stressful events and situations it experiences. Your baby in the womb is experiencing whatever you are experiencing. Because fetuses share their mothers’ bloodstreams, what their mothers eat and drink affect them, emotions their mothers feel affect them, although differently because they do not have words or thoughts to help them identify what they are experiencing, and health hazards, such as the current  pandemic and the stress it has produced, impacts them as well.

So what can you do if you are pregnant during stressful and turbulent times such as this one. It is most important to free yourself from stress, fear, anxiety, and negativity using whatever means you can. Research results show that a healthy diet, fresh vegetables and fruits in particular, yoga, exercise, meditation, prayer, and self-care have helped pregnant women in other stressful periods give birth to healthy babies. So if you like listening to podcasts, enjoy watching funny television shows and movies, or love to exercise, engage in as many positive experiences as you can to balance out the stress you are under. Don’t stop yourself from dancing around your house wearing pajamas, talking to your baby or telling it stories, or taking long bubble baths. Tell your baby how much you love him or her and work on your relationship with your partner as well. You need your environment to be positive. If tension exists in your relationship, stop arguing, give your partner what will make him or her happy in order to change the vibe in your house. Have love in your heart as much as possible. Stop each hour of the day to feel your heart and experience gratitude for the person growing inside you and for all that is.

 

Doctor Body Reader

Your body tells your story. It holds your entire history within it; it can even remind you of parts of your life you don’t consciously remember because you were too young or too traumatized. My goal is to help you understand what your body is telling you about your past — in order to support you in letting go of aspects of your childhood or young adulthood that may be holding your back and getting in your way. I teach you to read your body in order to discover the hidden aspects of yourself that sabotage you and make it harder for you to attain your dreams and your goals. By teaching you how to change the way energy flows through your body, you can reach your highest potential and live the life you desire.  

If you were shy as a child, or frightened, or aggressive and quick to anger, those are your past stories, but on a cellular level they may still be affecting you now, since the body holds onto experiences and events that happened to you in the past. That is not in your interest. You are living in the present and moving toward the future, so you don’t want to be shaped by the past. Through energy work with your body, you can release the old patterns and stories that get in your way. I will be reading your body to see which stories you hold onto so you can change them.

 

A Look at Core Energetics and other Somatic Therapy Approaches

Aylee Walsh found this article I wrote a while back comparing Core Energetics with other Approaches,

The first part of this article is excerpted from an article by Karyne Wilner https://www.coreenergetics.org/about-core-energetics/articles/a-therapy-of-bodily-energy-and-consciousness/

 

“Differences exist between Core Energetics® and other schools of body psychotherapy, and between Core Energetics® and other spiritual schools of counseling. Examples include focusing, a method developed by Gendlin (1981), which requires clients to experience sensations in their bodies through deep concentration. This technique does not use movement to unblock energy. The Rubenfeld synergy method integrates Gestalt therapy and the Alexander method, emphasizing the identification of here-and-now feeling states and therapist manipulation of the client’s body (the client lies on a massage table), but it does not acknowledge or work with energy per se (Simon, 1997). The Hakomi school (Kurtz, 1990) recognizes sensations and currents in the body but fails to stress strong physical release unless it erupts spontaneously from the client. Hakomi practitioners are trained to be extremely accepting and nonjudgmental, so as not to elicit resistance. In contrast, Core Energetic therapists welcome resistance, using confrontational techniques to bring it to consciousness to release the strong emotion repressed behind it. Holotropic Breathwork (Grof & Grof, 1990), another body technique, emphasizes breathing to resolve spiritual emergencies. However, unlike Core Energetics, it is not based on a comprehensive model of personality, nor does it use the body to diagnose underlying problems. Holotropic practitioners generally work with energy in a group format, using a form of breathing, with music in the background, that produces a state similar to hyperventilation. Finally, spiritual schools such as Jungian psychology and pastoral counseling rarely emphasize action methods or focus on the body. Instead, they use strictly verbal interactions between therapists and clients, emphasizing dreams, thoughts, metaphors, allegories, values, principles, and myths.”

 

 

To Do A Common Thing Uncommonly Well

Rami receiving CEA two year diploma

Rami receiving CEA two year diploma

I love this poem by Rami, it reminds me of why we are all here, the lessons to be learned on planet earth. We learn them when we are humble, not when we are special. Picture of Rami receiving his two year diploma from the Core Energetics Academy.
Life is not Mundane

By Rami Nagel

Doing the laundry,
Washing the dishes,
Taking out the trash,
Driving your kids to school.
You hope that one day you will be recognized for what you do.
And you pray for the day when you finally will be seen for the song that you are.
And you wait.
And you wonder.
And you continue about your daily routines, looking forward to that exciting
Future while trying to move away from your unfulfilling past.
But nothing happens.
Is this all life is?
Is this all life has to offer?
And then one day you surrender and let go….
You accept that you
Are not just picking up the kids from school,
Are not just washing the dishes,
And you are not just doing the laundry.
As there is no longer any point to waiting for that magical event in the future
Where you can live, and where you can be free. Because you realize that you no
Longer need to wait to be recognized.
At that moment you stop holding back what wants to burst through you,
And you decide to forgive the past,
And you forget about the future
You let go of all that you strive to become
And
At last
You can drink from the nectar that the angels have been pouring into you.
And you remember that you are here to shine,
To live, and
To love.
In forgetting who you’ve become, you remember who you are.
Remembering…
You drive your beautiful angels to school,
You marvel at the laundry
And kneel before the sacred dishes.
And as the water pours out, it refreshes you and it reminds you, that life is not
Mundane.

Life Is Not Mundane

 

 

 

Life is not Mundane

By Rami Nagel

 

Doing the laundry,

Washing the dishes,

Taking out the trash,

Driving your kids to school.

You hope that one day you will be recognized for what you do.

And you pray for the day when you finally will be seen for the song that you are.

And you wait.

And you wonder.

And you continue about your daily routines, looking forward to that exciting

Future while trying to move away from your unfulfilling past.

But nothing happens.

Is this all life is?

Is this all life has to offer?

And then one day you surrender and let go….

You accept that you

Are not just picking up the kids from school,

Are not just washing the dishes,

And you are not just doing the laundry.

As there is no longer any point to waiting for that magical event in the future

Where you can live, and where you can be free. Because you realize that you no

Longer need to wait to be recognized.

At that moment you stop holding back what wants to burst through you,

And you decide to forgive the past,

And you forget about the future

You let go of all that you strive to become

And

At last

You can drink from the nectar that the angels have been pouring into you.

And you remember that you are here to shine,

To live, and

To love.

In forgetting who you’ve become, you remember who you are.

Remembering…

You drive your beautiful angels to school,

You marvel at the laundry

And kneel before the sacred dishes.

And as the water pours out, it refreshes you and it reminds you, that life is not

Mundane.

What Is Body Reading?

This work comes from a long history in psychology. It started with Freud. His student Wilhelm Reich showed that you could understand and analyze the personality by looking at the body. My mentor, Dr. John Pierrakos, a student of Reich, passed on the technology of reading the body to me. You can look at a person and understand his or her personality dynamics, behavior, and potential of change. Not just for therapists, body reading can be used for jury selection, sales calls, persuasion, improved communications, and greater understanding between people.

When clients comes for therapy, we need to assess them, so that we can help them by identifying the underlying issues. Some therapists use paper and pencil tests and others the Rorschach ink blot test. Somatic therapists get their information directly from the body: posture, facial expression, muscles, and energy flow. When you tell people about themselves on the basis of what you see in their bodies, they are motivated to work on themselves. When the client hears his or her story and see it in his or her body, it motivates that person to change. For instance, if you know that you give up too easily, but someone else can see it too in your posture, that is a call to action.

When I first started to assess the body, I was afraid to ask clients to undress, so I tried to look at them with their clothing on. However, when I got past my shyness and asked people to change into workout clothes, I could see changes in their skin color and body weight, I could see scars and tattoos. I was able to give a truer analysis. Clothes make it hard to see the more vulnerable parts of the body.

A lot of people say: “Well this is my body. It is just the way I am. I can’t do anything about it; this is me.” This is not true; research from the field of genetics and epigenetics shows an interplay between events and circumstances in a person’s life and one’s genetic heritage. For instance, posture is affected by lots of things: emotional trauma, angry parents, children raised in fear, lack of food, humility, and testosterone. When I look at posture, it tells me about the life wound. For instance the shoulders may roll forward to protect the heart or to help carry the burdens of life that weigh the person down. Your shoulders may have a certain width due to genetics, but how they are positioned, whether they sag, are raised up around the neck, are injured, hunch forward, or thrust back, is determined by life events.

I try not to overwhelm the person whose body I am assessing with information. I don’t want to keep secrets from them. So I only hold back what I consider superficial and I tell them the important things. Because people can handle only so much information, I share what I want someone to think about and work on. Body readings show parts of the personality that are unknown to the person being read. That the body tells their life story and that someone else can see it too, is very meaningful to them. Bodies show what people have experienced so far in life, where they have been, their past histories. Reich wrote that the body holds the frozen history of the person, that life wounds are frozen or fixed in the body, and that what a child has experienced even in the womb can be seen in the body years later. The body tells your life story. I suggest that the body will also expose your future and you can change it to attain a better future if you are so minded.

Karyne Wilner, PsyD 4/25/2018

 

 

Why I Became a Holistic, Body Therapist

Why did I leave talk therapy to do something different.  I was a humanistic therapist applying the work of Rogers, Perls, Gendlin, Erikson, even Ellis, in my practice. The experiential nature of the work invited me to be myself versus wearing the pro forma blank mask.

Then I met John Pierrakos, MD. at a Humanistic Psychology Conference. Everything turned rightside up for me and got even better. By looking at the body, I achieved a quick, dead on, ability to assess a person’s personality and behavior.

I didn’t throw out my DSM, but used this information to support traditional diagnoses and to question them. Body therapy techniques and exercises transformed my life, helping me love again, move my career in a new direction, finish my doctorate, adopt a child, and do all the things I secretly wanted to do.

If these tools worked for me, what would they do for my clients? So I changed my practice, not totally, but enough to help my clients find their core, move into their bodies, and way from the mind that led them to fear and self-judgment.

The bottom line —  I believe talk therapists and traditional therapists need to integrate the body and the transpersonal into their practice. Reasons:  boredom sets in; clients don’t change;  you experience less pleasure; your own life feels stuck; and when you want to help your clients experience pleasure, be in their truth, and open their hearts.

Warmly, Karyne

Rid Your Relationship of Cruelty

Love is the ultimate goal. Relationships can  be difficult if partners develop weapons to use against each other. Sometime stereotypes prevail. Men are supposed to be strong and women are seen as emotional and sensitive. Disappointment follows if men appear weak or emotional and women powerful and distant. People enter relationships burdened with issues: distrust, anger, hostility, passivity. They believe love is dangerous. Unconsciously they bring cruel behaviors and attitudes into the relationship, either by being passive and enduring cruelty or by being active and inflicting cruelty.

Behind the weapons lives an intense need to distance oneself driven by fear of life, fear of death, and fear of pleasure. So instead of respecting the life force–the core–and living in peace, without conflict, guided by the intelligence of the heart, they fall victim to their own fear, the negative energy that darkens their doorstep. Restructuring can only take place with self-care, sleep and healthy nourishment, love, and meditation or prayer. The two people must use both their outer and inner wills to correct their bad behavior, distinguish right from wrong, and embrace mutuality rather than running from it. They must choose the love force to overcome negativity.

When a relationship starts to fail, blame is often the culprit. They each say their unhappiness has been inflicted by the other. They believe themselves innocent victims. There may be a deliberate sabotage of the sexual  part of the relationship. Someone withholds or becomes too aggressive. The pleasure diminishes. One  person may initiate the negativity and the other may respond to it with  negativity. Victim versus hater.

At this point, they need to stop and separate from the negative beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and judgements poring forth from their fear-based brains and pay  attention to their conscious minds,  real selves, and true bodies. The body speaks the truth. When one listens only to one’s mind, one listen’s to fear. To listen to the heart brain and the gut brain is to know the truth. Rather than giving power to negative images, give power to heartfelt energy, pleasure, mutuality, and truth.

Three steps to take

  1. When your partner says something negative, do not respond with negativity, do not get defensive, and do not try to show why you are right?
  2.  Sit within the glow of your heart. Meditate on all that you love or have loved in the past about your partner, even if he or she is not acting that way at the moment.
  3.  Own your own fear of closeness and intimacy. You believe that if you can hate this person, you can run from the relationship and you will never be hurt again.

Thoughts of John Pierrakos M.D.  Expanded upon and written up by Karyne Wilner, PsyD