Forested Cliff

Paths to Healing

Body movement may be an important healing step and become a lifelong practice. Dance-like methods include Dance Therapy, Authentic Movement, Five Rhythms, and Shaking Medicine. Additionally, Continuum involves slow movement and sound, exploring the body as a fluid entity. Alexander Technique, Feldenkreis, and Rosenfeld Synergy offer correction for suboptimal habits of movement and posture. Qi Gong and T'ai Chi aim to balance the flow of Life Energy. In Yoga, one takes positions in order to foster spiritual development.

Hands-on methods may focus on bones and joints, connective tissue, the viscera, the flow of lymph, or the deep layers of muscle...all in efforts to relieve the body's expression of its systemic imbalance.

Energy Medicine.
Approaches that are directed at the most basic level of one's functioning, the bio-energy field, include Acupuncture, Reiki, Polarity, Zero Balancing, Chakra Balancing, Healing Touch, and Shamanic ritual. In different ways, they each make use of the energy field of the practitioner.

Healing Energy.
Through intention and materials with healing properties, bio-energy practitioners discharge toxic influences, correct imbalance, cut problematic energetic bonds, and infuse the body with fresh energy. Vocal or instrumental sound, aroma, physical vibration, crystals, or flower essences may be involved.

Releasing Trauma.
Arrested autonomic threat responses, the hallmark of the trauma state, are rarely, if at all, reached through language alone. Experiential modalities are needed. These include Somatic Experiencing, which works through bodily sensation, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, which works by enhancing left brain-right brain connection. Other modalities, such as Craniosacral Biodynamics, can be modified to impact trauma. For ages, of course, shamans have successfully treated trauma with ritual.

Revisiting Primal Times.
In the critical time from conception to the first birthday, development can be disrupted by physiologic misfortune, parents' inadequacies, and contactless obstetric practices. These difficulties are beyond the reach of language alone. Group-based processes developed by pioneers like Ray Castellino and Myrna Martin have great potential in this domain. Established physical modalities, like Craniosacral Biodynamics, can also be effective.

Soul Retrieval.
Severe traumatization can cause an injury to the soul that's not helped by modalities focusing on body, emotion, and mind. A spirit fragment may become disconnected, in order to dwell in the spirit realm, undamaged by the event. Practitioners adapting shamanic rituals can facilitate the reconnection of such soul fragments.

Past Life Journeys.
Difficulties in an earlier incarnation can trouble the soul's current body/mind. Via trance, practitioners can lead journeys back through time, revealing the source of such a problem, and then suggest reparative spiritual endeavors. Prominent teachers of this work have included Roger Woolger and Brian Weiss.

Family Constellation.
Practitioners, basing individual or group processes on the work of Bert Hellinger, disclose deviations in the ancestral family field resulting from events that deviated from the natural order that love determines. They then suggest corrective interactions to bring healing to that field and awareness of the present entanglement with past deviations from the natural order of love.

Traditional Modalities.
The practices of the First Nations can be profitably adapted, such as Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Ritual. Plant Spirit Medicine uses local vegetation not as healing herbs, but as conveyers of nature's healing intention. The Sweat Lodge is a potent purification ceremony. Drumming Circles can be quite helpful. The Vision Quest, three or four days of solo fasting and ritual in the wilderness, can be life-transformative. Finally, one's spirituality can be enhanced through outdoor training that teaches how to survive with only what nature directly provides.

Devotion to the exploration of one's inner life may be an important aspect of healing. Some methods are structured, while some are formless. Some require stillness, while some involve movement. Activities like journaling or walking can be developed as meditative practices. A person may explore several methods to find the one that works best.

Esoteric Practices.
Illuminating the essential forces in one's life course can enhance one's healing efforts. Process of this kind, gifts of the Divine, include the I Ching, the Enneagram, Tarot, Astrology, and Human Design.

Conventionally, psychotherapy would be first on this list, with all the rest considered "alternative" means of healing. Its placement at the end of this list reflects the fact that the psychotherapist may be just the one to help a person integrate what he’s been gathering in a variety of holistic modalities.

Mike Brenner