18 spalio, 2016
Journey Through The Bone: The Support of Eterenal Joy
Finding boundaries, grounding and being connected to the present moment has been the essence and aim of this year. To ground myself into the present moment is really challenging as my mind usually floats here and there from the past to the future. To generate enough income in my life, to do the job that really nourishes me emotionally where I can feel my growth reflected by my studies about structures and body systems has been important to me. This year I have gone through many challenges and changes, situations in my life have required me to concentrate on material surroundings and to discipline myself. Studying skin as boundary, bones as supportive structures, organs as boundaries and emotional support, muscles as body power ; I came into myself more structured and grounded into this moment.
By writing this paper I wish to explore ideas about how to implement bodywork and integrative movement practises into work with others giving the sense of structure and ground. I would like to explore how to give support and healthy boundaries in everyday life by understanding the human body as a material creation starting from the bones and going through all body structures as a whole system.
Bones seemed to me at first, so boring and so dull until I realised them as living beings in the body. Each one having a different sound and frequency. I started to enjoy them by visualising inside myself the image of a fun skeletal mexican goddess of death dressed with flowers constantly smiling, colourful and celebrating.
This image gave me the sense of eternity, impermanence, the very moment of laugh and joy, at the same time the sense of structure, architecture and support. Bones appeared to me during dance of the Earth as solid and precise structures
It all came as the vision of tibetan yogis practising the offering of the body called “chod – cutting through attachement to self” and blowing a trumpet made from a human thigh bone. Their practises were in scary places or in cemetaries. I have studied this practise in the Bon tibetan budist tradition and as a result of expierencing my own bone consciousness at IBMT it has made me realise how precious sounding this thigh bone trumpet. This image of offering all the body and imagining gathering all of its organs and tissues into a skull cup gave me precious expierence to think about bones as the symbol of our body after death. For now, as this body is alive bones rests for me as a the symbol of a human foundation and support.
My previous professional studies in architecture gave me a lot by sensing the space and what the humans body needs, how it needs to navigate itself in space and to find comfort, also how to make this space more beautiful and more pleasant for the eyes, emotions and mind. The architecture of the human being, the structure of inner space behind the skin can be identified like the layers of a house, but in this case the house that constantly moves. The support constructions in architecture can be compared to bones , the interior walls and separate rooms – to organs, colours and beautiful interior designs – to the fascia inside the organ. Exploring arches of ribs, I realised the structure of building bridges and “fish -bony” constructions. It was the sense of space and the sense of sound coming from these arches, sound going into them and vibrating all the body.
But as Dean Juhan writes in “Job’s Body” : “it is crucial to understand that our skeletons do not support our posture in the same way that flat blocks stacked on top of each other support a building. There are no flat surfaces or secure stacked members anywhere in our frames. The whole collection of over six hundred bones would simply collapse into a pile if were not held up by principles very different from those which support a stone wall or a marble column” (Juhan, 2003, 107)
It is for architects and constructors to learn the human structure and implement it more and more into the human environment as a humanistic approach to better life.
Skeletal system – sense of structure and body Archi – texture.
The very first primodial support of the human that was developing and slowly changing for millions of years is the skeletal system. When some injuries or misalignments happen here in the then they are affecting all bodily movement and structure.
As Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen writes : “Our skeletal system gives our body the basic form through which we locomote through space, act on the environment, and sculpt and create the energy forms in space that we call movement. Through embodying the skeletal system, the mind becomes structurally organised, providing the supporting ground for our thoughts, the leverage for ideas, and the fulcrums or spaces between our ideas for the articulation and understanding of their relationships. Embodiment of the skeletal system provides the foundation for the psychophysical qualities of clarity, effortlessness and form.”
Also Deane Juhan very beautifully and precisely describes all the evolution of the human body getting into support and developing structure:
“Indeed, since we have left the water and have become terrestial creatures, subject now to the special forces of gravity, we have become miniature earths in the same way that we first became miniature seas, we have added more and more solid features to support our containers of fluid upon the ground. We have river channels, we are mountains of flesh riddled with the caves and fissures of our pores and orifices;like enclosed valleys , we shelter our ancestral cultures, and like the open hillsides and plains, we teem with a microbial bustle of new citizens and migrants. We have become and ecology of earth and air, as well as one of water.
And before we could proceed very far in this development of terrestial elements and structures, subject to the inexorable pull of gravity , we had to devise the same sort of foundations and internal supports that prevent any earthy structure from flattening , any upright from toppling. We had to develop our own geology, and learn to deposit our own bedrock of solid bone. “ (Juhan 2003, 90 93 )
The feeling of bathing in the sea and then going out of the sea in crawling then slowly standing and climbing trees can be good excersize to experience the evolution by itself. Getting out of large water into land and crawling then standing on four and then on two limbs, reaching out the leaves on trees, trying to climb the tree. I wish to do that excersise in my village to get more of body information about ancestors and the sense of development. Something simple is there that contemporary Western human has forgotten.
Here Dean Juhan in Job’s Body descirbes this sense of permanence of bone and also the material strengh that is inside of each human being. This strengh to withstand the pressure. When we truly experience and know how it is for the bone we can truly sense the protection around for our organs and all the system.
“When everything is removed by drying and brushing, it is the “skeleton” which remains. But this remainder is really only the skeleton of a skeleton; it is a brittle, white substance that has little in common with the remarkable properties of living bone. What are left in the dried bone are the sedimetary deposits old mineral salts that have added their rigidity to the plasticity of our connective tissues, rigidity which allows our bodies to maintain their shape and stature in spite of the gravitational compression of their own weight. The mineral content and architectural properties if these dried remains are similar to those of marble. Their solid resistance to compressive forces is very impressive indeed, given their relatively light weight: The ends of the thigh bone will withstand between eighteen hundred and twenty-five hundred pounds of pressure. “ (Juhan 2003, 92, 93 )
Even though the bones are really tough and seem so solid Kathryn A. Stauffer in her book of “Anatomy and Physiology for psychotherapists” writes :
“the bones – seemingly the hardest and the most permanent formations in our bodies – have much to teach us about the wide range of plasticity that all of our tissues are capable of exhibiting . In spite of its apparent solidity, bone is always being formed and modified , added to and subtracted from, by a continual process- a process which normally lasts the entire lifetime of the organism. And all like all biological processes, this one has a wide margins of variability with any number of possible results. (Stauffer 2010,72,73)
Emotional support – straight support – “straight spine– nothing to hide”
Being in a straight position makes person feel the truth, the sense of connectedness with above and the ground from coxys to the top of skull. I would suggest also by visualising to extend this line into the center of the Earth and into the center of the Galaxy. The mind of fear or shock makes shoulders and spine bent into front. Straight spine is the “truth” even in difficult emotional states; to straighten the spine helps a person realise the truth and support of the present moment and to stay in the body. To understand this emotional bending pattern I would guide a client to slowly bend the spine as I touch each vertebra and suggest client to explore when emotions of grief, sadness or fear arise. And be there support the client to recognize what is present in this bending process and then slowly guiding to come back into straight position and to recognize what has changed.
A straight spine can teach us to recognise the naked truth and to find emotional support in that. This is the truth that comes from Nature and remains in Nature that is always present in the same way that ocean is present for the fish. To find real support in the structure of body during challenging moments and keep straight body witnessing life can help to train body little by little to go into a self trust position. I am reminding client to experience the true biology of their bones and how much pressure they can receive. This can help them to realise that there is strength and support in that structure and to gently come into this inner support of body from depressive emotions or collapse.
Training body to be relaxed but straight, noticing each time ones own emotional relationship to the body and spinal posture can help release some inadequate emotional reactions to situations and also help to find inner strength and self trust within the life force that Nature gives us.
Dean Juhan 2003 “Job’s Body. A Handbook for Bodywork”
Caryn McHose and Kevin Frank 2006 “How life Moves. Exploration in Meaning and Body Awareness”
Kathrin A.Stauffer 2010 “Anatomy and Pyhysiology for psychotherapists. Connecting Body and Soul”
Linda Hartley 1995 “Wisdom of Body Moving”
Debbie Shapiro 1990 “ The Bodymind Workbook. Exploring how the Mind and the Body work together”
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen 2012 “Sensing , feeling , action”