The Body Never Lies by Dr. Nicky Silver

September 17, 2012 9:57 PM | Admin EBCAMFT
When I was in my early 20s I went to a bioengergietc therapist.   She watched me walk and told me specific accurate info about myself.  That experience blew me away.   Now I teach this.

What seemed mysterious to me at that time is actually a learnable skill once we start to look for the somatic signs.

For example, we generally unconsciously feel drawn to someone who approaches us with an open posture and a buoyant walk.   Conversely we may unconsciously shy away from people who carry “heavy energy” as illustrated by their posture, their facial expression, their walk and their demeanor.

These same reactions affect us in our role as therapists when we are working with our clients.  As therapists, our task is to make the unconscious conscious.  When we fail to pay attention to these subtle and not so subtle somatic cues in our clients, we are not only missing an essential diagnostic tool but we are also relinquishing the opportunity to present the client with an irrefutable truth.  

The body never lies.  As we know, we can all verbally deny.   But our bodies never lie. 

For example, a woman came to see me for complaining of right hip pain that she had since the birth of her child some 15 years ago.   I watched her walk and saw that her gait was compromised such that the optimal rotational mechanism of a healthy joint was altered.   During treatment I worked to balance her imbalanced musculoskeletal system using chirppractic skills, craniosacral  therapy and mind body awareness.  Therefore, while I was working with her, I continually explored her responses to the treatment, both physically as well as emotionally.   During the third session, as I loosened some very tight muscles in her hip, she burst into tears as she remembered the origin of her injury.    

During the birth of her daughter 15 years prior, she was delivering in a teaching hospital.  While under spinal anesthesia, a resident doctor innocently and inadvertently pressed on her left thigh pushing it beyond its normal range of motion, causing the pain that she had suffered for all these years.

What a huge and surprising discovery.  The rest of our session focused on her rage at this pain that she suffered from for so long as well as the corresponding cost to her sexual pleasure.  .She admitted that she and her husband have had significant sexual issues that began after the birth of her daughter and finally now it made sense that it stemmed from this hip injury. 

As a psychotherapist, you might meet this woman in couples counseling.   The sexual issues may have become elaborated into believes about either her or her husbands inadequacies, loss of self esteem, and/or verification for shutting down in the relationship. .

But if you looked at her gait, it would become obvious that her two hips were not moving synergistically.  Her left leg was rotated outward while her right seemed normal. 

While you may not diagnosis the source of her gait, a relevant question might be to ask if she has pain in her leg.  And if so, how long has it been going on?  

The point of all this is to encourage therapists to begin to see their clients and look for meaning not just in the words they say but also in their physical actions. 

Here are some simple guidelines to look for:

How does someone walk in to your office?

How does someone sit down?

How do they hold their head?

How do they hold their chest,?

What are the position of their shoulders?

What story is their posture saying?

Just this little awareness can make a big difference in the way you see your clients and can significantly open the lens through which you can see this person.   By doing so, a greater potential exists to incorporate the integration of the  mind and the body in your treatment.

Dr Nicky Silver will be offering a presentation to The East Bay Therapists Association on Wednesday October 3rdfrom 10 AM -12 PM. at  St Mark’s Methodist Church at 415 Maraga Way in Oriinda, CA

Dr Nicky Silver has been a practicing chiropractor for over 30 years.  She has studied extensively with The Center for MindBody Medicine with Dr. James Gordon as well as with holistic health pioneers, including Dr. Bernie Siegel, Dr. Carl Simonton and Dr. Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Dr Silver uses gentle chiropractic care, craniosacral therapy and creative processes to support her patients in living a life with less pain and more vitality.   A main focus of her work is teaching skills for self care.  Her office is located in Oakland.   Website is drnickysilver.com

 




 

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