With all of life in a constant state of flow, why would I, or we as therapists, choose to limit our skills and abilities to one or two options, and not utilize all skills that we have at our disposal??? And not seek to build our skill sets indefinitely??? (*Legally, morally and ethically should be an understood understatement, but since Common Sense is a more like a super power these days and not so common, let it be noted.)
Some literature from Dr. Stone that has helped solidify APS, ”[Any] therapy is far more than simply a series of techniques or physical manipulations, as is sometimes assumed. The view of health and wholeness implicit in [any] therapy encompasses continual self development and growing self knowledge as absolutely crucial requirements both for the patient and for the practitioner. The science of . . . therapy is a healing art that is comprised of two parts:
a.) Life principles, energy principles and laws of nature with universal application, and
b.) Specific therapeutic techniques, methods and guidelines,”
…but “which techniques,” I ask.
As Abraham Maslow said in 1966, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” Why would we ever forget that which we have learned, and not utilize all the tools that we have at our disposal? I used to get phenomenal results with deep tissue, trigger point, and craniosacral work. Why would I ever ditch these beautiful forms of touch entirely when working with the human system? How do I find their place in treatment and working with the human body? How do we know as therapists what to use and when? Will the body want what it had last week? Last month? Last year?
“That which serves best, is best.” -Dr. Stone
I have found that I need to adapt to the client that shows up in clinic. Arguably, I need to adapt to any human being that is before me, even when I am not in the clinic and simply perambulating through life. This is not to say that I bend myself into a pretzel to meet the needs of others, but that I know myself well enough where I can dynamically flow toward and away from my center point with enough knowledge of exactly who I am at center.
I have a decent size tool box these days that will never stop growing, and perhaps it has become more of a tool shed (one student proclaimed, “Warehouse”). I like to honor all of that knowledge, when appropriate. There was a time period where I would come home from a seminar hopped up on the Kool-aid of the weekend thinking, “Everyone needs this!” I quickly found that not to be true.
So, I began to “spray and pray” (a derisive term for firing an automatic firearm towards an enemy in long bursts, without making an effort to line up each shot or burst of shots. This is especially prevalent amongst those without benefit of proper training). I would utilize modalities across the board because it all works (and nothing works). I would do all sorts of (uneccasary) work, and combo it all. This admittedly gave phenomenal results, but also felt like a waste of time and too much work. I prefer to be intelligent, efficient and conservative with my energy. Some people appreciated it, others did not. So, how to know what was needed and when? This question became the quest, and had simply to re-member a known assumption that the body knows. Beyond a conceptual consciousness, the body knows.
I absolutely love the idea of Power vs Force, and the work of Dr. David R. Hawkins. He would teach a seminar and give out unlabeled envelopes of organic vitamin C and an artificial sweetener to the audience. He would then have the attendees muscle test each other holding their allotted envelopes. One hundred percent of the time people would go weak to the artificial sweetener and strong to the vitamin C. This is polarity. The body, without the assistance of the ever so clever mind, knew, and held strong to the vitamin C (attraction) and went weak, or was repulsed, by the artificial sweetener. This is the essence of Polarity reiterated from another perspective and the vantage point of muscle testing, aka muscle monitoring or kinesiological assessing. The human body is a biofeedback tool.
As I delved into the studies of movement and kinesiology and muscle testing/monitoring, I found that there were many factors involving the connection and disconnection of muscles seeming to be strong or weak. “The subconscious control of muscle function interfaces with all levels of our being.” –Energetic Kinesiolgy pg 67 Also reiterated in Carpenter’s ideo-motor principle as “…any idea that dominates the mind finds its expression in the muscles…”
Truly, it was not that the muscles were either “strong” or “weak,” but were responding to different stimuli, different polarities. It became clear that it was of prime importance to understand from which vantage, and what I will call “paradigm,” I was testing muscles and movement. Was I testing at a functional / physiological level? Emotional level? Energetic level? What was the paradigm of my test upon the client? It is best to keep it simple, but really, we are complex. We are dynamic. So, I set out to create this adaptable system.
-to create an adaptable system, there are always curve balls in life
-to utilize this adaptable system to help organize all the tools each individual has access to
-to also utilize this system to help organize paradigms of testing and assessing the body
-to add additional knowledge and tools that I find powerful and beneficial, and provide space for later additions
-to create an organization around the human body and being of structure and flow
-to ultimately be a glue, common theme, and binding agent and platform for all treatment for touch therapy
I feel as though we must identify “paradigm” here for clarities sake as, “a worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.” The basics of this is a model, or even more simply put, a “mode of operation.” As the questions were posed above, it is of great importance to recognize from which paradigm tests are being operated from, in, or through, or even against. “With knowledge comes great power.”
The system is adaptable because nature demands it of us. “Adapt or die,” said by P. W. Botha, South African prime minister and president. “Each treatment is a personal journey for both the practitioner and the client. Therefore, the practitioner operates more as a detective than as a diagnostician.” –Energetic Kinesiology
Each and every time that a person comes into clinic, they are different and may require different needs. If they are doing their self-care and receiving good guidance from a therapist, one would hope that they are seeing changes. Therefore, it seemed pertinent to develop something that folded and molded around this constant probability of change. On another note, if there is no change, and we are seeing the same things repeating over and over again in clinic, this is a good piece of evidence that what we are doing is not working.
In fact, I encourage others to take this adaptable system and make it their own. I have been blessed in this life to stand upon the shoulders of those that came before me or even at the same time as me. There were many brilliant shoulders that let me stand and see things in a new way, and quickly. I was able to take what may have taken them a lifetime to accumulate and jump on to new and amazing adventures for myself. I am an innovator as such, an artist, a synthesizer, and I hope and encourage expansion and evolution of this system. It is my intention to provide sturdy shoulders for others to stand upon, and make a greater, greater mind.
I invite all modalities to find their place. Be polymodal. Everything does have its place and space within healing, and there is enough room for everyone. There are many paths to the top of the mountain, and I really think the only one who is lost is the one running around the bottom telling others that they are on the wrong path (paraphrase of Hindu Proverb). We all find our way differently. We flux and flow differently, and nothing works for everyone. Everything works, and nothing works. Find the place within the dynamic flow that works for the person in front of you at that moment, on that day, in that place and space.
Lastly, we are all capable of helping ourselves and one another. There are no tools necessary other than awareness and hands, presence and guidance. We do not need any fancy toys, electronics, patches, or anything other than two humans capable of showing up for a common goal and reason. It is my hope that we can do this more and more for one another on many levels.