Reflections Massage Therapy

both/and – on embodying dualities January 12, 2012

Filed under: CranioSacral,Massage Therapy — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 11:14 pm
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It’s been just over a month now since my last CranioSacral training and it almost feels that it’s taken that long to digest and integrate the profound work that was undertaken at the beginning of December.

Part of why Cranio gets me all jazzed up is because it’s full of all kinds of interesting information (at least I, an anatomy nerd, find it interesting) about the human body. And I like to relay that information sometimes, so I’ll pass this one along to you, dear reader. Your mandible (the jaw bone) fits into your pelvic bone. That’s right. I said it. Everyone’s is unique to themselves, but each person’s mandible fits snug into their pelvic bowl. What?!?! Yup.

Now this happens to me a lot in Cranio training, I learn something about the body and then can’t get it out of my head. And this time, I am so fascinated by that design that I can’t help but ponder what the intention is and what the ramifications are that a place that is the facilitator of self-expression directly correlates to the core of our core, the basin in which all of our undigested experiences are held. To quote Stone: “In the pelvic basin at the bottom is the sum total force accumulation of sensory tension and emotional frustration.” I’ll give you a moment with that thought, but I will also say, this is no coincidence in my book and here’s where I go with it.

We hold an enormous amount in our pelvis, that’s not news to anyone who has attempted to do a yoga pose or hula-hoop. Our hips go on lock down, perhaps as an attempt to keep us upright, keep us stable, keep us moving through the world at break-neck speed, in essence keep us able to keep doing what we’re doing – regardless of whether or not it is actually serving us. And like-wise, what do you do when there is something that you need to say and you can’t say it for whatever reason? Clench down your jaw, grit your teeth, bite your tongue. Again, allowing the status quo to maintain, for better or worse. All of which result in capping off the top end of a chain that stems from holding deep in the core. Even if you haven’t actually been present at the birth of a child, I’m sure you’ve got some grasp of the birthing process and the screaming that often takes place. Think of that. The woman is trying to release something from her pelvis and her jaw loosens to allow her mouth to open and whatever agony she may be feeling in the moment to escape by means of a tribal scream. Release.

Do our jaws correlate with our pelvi (I’m not actually sure that’s the correct pluralization but I’m going to roll with it) to give us a means of releasing the experiences that we hold in them? Perhaps. It’s certainly something to think about.  Perhaps it is once again the brilliance in our design shining through that we have a built-in release valve. And a way to access trauma indirectly. Since the jaw reflexes to the pelvis, one might hold tension in the jaw that is a referral from the pelvis, but that also means that by working the jaw one could access a part of the whole that may be too activated to receive direct work. How brilliant is that?!

But I think there’s something deeper to it. I think there’s something in this design that speaks to embodying dualities. How, you may be asking, can I make that jump? But, hear me out. The north pole and the south both, up/down, top/bottom – we of course contain dualities (as a side note, I’m choosing not to delve into the possibilities of multiplicities rather than dualities – that’s a whole different entry), but this correlation of mandible and pelvis illustrate not only how those dualities are embodied, but how they relate to one another, how they communicate and connect and share the burden and joy of their roles in our design. And I think this is an important thing to consider when it comes to dualities – the ways in which they support each other. I won’t get into the clichés of light needing darkness in order to help it shine the brighter (see previous post), but I think you get where I’m going with this. So here in the body we have a beautiful example of two areas that are both highly charged and can be enormously sensitive, helping each other out.

I realize that I get really fired up about weird stuff, but I’m going to just throw it out there to you: maybe while you’re out walking or sitting or settled nicely into pigeon pose (or trying to convince your hip flexors to get on board to do a tele turn), invite your awareness into your pelvis, see what’s happening there – no judgment, just witness. And then move up to your jaw and see what you notice – move back and forth between to two with curiosity visualizing the shape of your pelvic bowl and your mandible. I have a feeling that amazing things are possible when that channel is connected. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to both give voice to your pelvis and give deep core support to your voice.

And maybe still there is the possibility of a deeper embodiment of duality and embracing of “both/and” rather than “either/or.” I think there is something intrinsically related to release and ease when we can open to the dualities that are inherent in our systems and recognize that there’s room for all of it. Sometimes creating space for something just means making connections.




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