I really enjoy spending time with Michael Shea. As one of the more prolific authors in the field of craniosacral therapy, he currently treks around the globe teaching cutting edge advanced classes. Michael recently sat down with me for a Skype interview where we discussed a wide variety of topics including his early introduction to biodynamic craniosacral therapy, favorite spiritual books, new paradigms in the work, and much more. I hope you enjoy our interaction. Michael has agreed to do more interviews, so I’ll keep them coming!
One of the most difficult things for me to grasp when I began exploring biodynamics was the instruction to “allow your awareness to be shifted by the tide.” I ran into this challenge conceptually in my study of Dr. Jealous’ work and experientially as I deepened into my studies with Michael Shea. The process of yielding one’s awareness really has to be experienced to be understood. Talking about it can point the learner in a general direction, but ultimately it is practice in the chair that makes this beautiful experience come to life.
I have been blessed with a busy clinical schedule recently, and have spent a good amount of time in the classroom as well. After a three week stretch of unusually long days in the clinic, I sat down to make a few observations about how my clinical approach has evolved over the years as I learned to practice more biodynamically. I thought it may be useful for newer practitioners.
Olaf Korpiun is an Upledger-trained therapist and educator who resides in Germany and primarily teaches in Europe. I sat down to write a formal review of his intriguing book, Craniosacral SELF Waves (Super Extreme Low Frequency), but it got so long that I just decided to highlight my thoughts by sharing an email I sent to John Chitty from the Colorado School of Energy Studies. It condenses my main thoughts in a more concise and digestible manner. John asked me what I thought about the book, and this was my response:
The other day, while out to lunch with a colleague, I was introduced to a craniosacral practitioner who works here in my area. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long until we got on the topic of cranial work. When I told her that I had devoted much time to the study of biodynamics and found it useful in a clinical setting, her face slowly tightened as she said “So, you’re one of those people that just sits there and doesn’t do anything, huh?” As you can imagine, her tone wasn’t particularly pleasant.
In the first post on this topic (Loosening the Knot, Part 1 – finding the client’s neutral), I briefly discussed the client’s state of neutral, why it is important, and the involvement of the autonomic nervous system in prohibiting its expression. I will now present three of the more common situations of inhibited neutrality that we encounter in clinical work and offer some practical suggestions for how to work with them.
In this post I will briefly discuss the concept of the neutral. A following post will elaborate on a few common challenges to its expression that we see in clinical practice.