- Jim Gilkeson
"Alien Communication" in Energetic Bodywork
. . . from the class
"Viaggi nel Mundo d'Energia"
at Sasseta Alta in Tuscany,
Greetings and welcome aboard to all new subscribers!
After a longish hiatus, it's time to get back to the blog.
This begins a series called
"Making the Transition from Bodyworker to Energy Healer."
Meeting, Mirroring, Matching,
Moving With & Mimicking in Energetic Bodywork
Energy-active bodywork takes place in a cocoon of mindful presence. You not only listen with your ears, but with your whole sensorium, which is to say, with the entire sensory and intuitive world that brings impressions into your awareness. When you have truly connected with your partner, follow her spontaneous, involuntary movements. These are part of the language of her subconscious. If she scratches her nose, great, but that would be a voluntary, intentional movement and not the kind of movement that is meant here. Spontaneous movements might be gross movements of her gross anatomy, but quite often they are the tiny internal micro-movements that she might be barely aware of. Following these tiny movements is a way to enter a subtle process of communication with your partner. This is how you learn to speak the language of mirroring, mimicking and following movement in your partner’s body and energy field. This seems to be one of the most basic ways that we humans (and other sentient beings) have of communicating.
Imagine yourself confronted with an extra-terrestrial who has stepped out of a space ship and is now standing in front of you. Not threatening, not fear-inducing, just another sentient being, like you, who is in your presence, as you are in its presence. When you have gotten over the initial shock and oddity of having an E.T. standing in front of you, the thought comes that the E.T. must also be having some of the same feelings of strangeness at finding itself confronted with the likes of you.
So there you are. You both see each other. You both wonder if you can communicate, but you have no common language. What next? Slowly, for lack of anything else to do, you raise a hand, and as you do so, the E.T. slowly raises a hand. You let your hand down, and down goes the alien’s hand. Up goes your hand again. This time you stick your index finger in the air, and in response the alien does the same. This time the E.T. tick-tocks his finger back and forth, and in response you tick-tock yours too. You are both charmed, utterly taken with the novelty of this and before you know it, you find yourselves playing together, making tick-tocking fingers, peace signs and childish shapes of animals from your respective planets. A rudimentary trust grows between you; the alien takes a timid step toward you and, in the magic of the moment, you forget to be afraid; you also take a step toward the alien. By and by, you touch hands, palm to palm and begin to move together. Bit by bit the two of you meet and get to know each other in a dance of mirroring and mimicking each other’s moves.
On the Massage Table
Something like this fanciful scenario takes place between you and your partner when you do subtle bodywork. One of the safest, most effective ways to gain the subconscious cooperation of a partner is to take up a relaxed touch contact and follow the internal micro-movements of his or her body. These tiny spontaneous, involuntary movements create a doorway into processes below the threshold of consciousness. To contact these tiny movements and gestures, and move with them in such a literal, yet elegant way is to take up a dialogue with your partner that doesn’t depend on words. In that encounter, you allow another side of your partner to speak in a language that is both subtle and direct. To skillfully dance with this deeper dynamic can often lead to moments when you partner’s subconscious, like the E.T. you’ve learned to dance with, realizes that you are actually catching on to what it is trying to do. This is like the shocking moment when both you and the E.T. realize: “Oh my God! It’s trying to communicate with me!” When you neither force yourself on your partner, nor abandon her, but rather make yourself available at the cusp of structure and energy through touch, you are in position to support and facilitate what is trying to happen under the surface. The subtle movement is not just physical, but also in the psyche, which is very connected to your partner’s natural subconscious tendency toward healing, balance and wholeness. By moving with your partner, you are demonstrating to your partner’s subconscious world that you get it, with the result that you are both led into the deeper underlying process.
Partner Treatment: Following Tissue Movement: “Alien Communication” with Your Partner
The practice of following tiny movements in your partner’s body shows up in many subtle bodywork forms. The idea receives a lot of emphasis in craniosacral work, for example, because it focuses on the slow, barely visible dance of the skeleton and the fluid and energetic tides within the head and spine. As we follow subtle movement like this, we are doing it where the body’s structure meets the vital energy that enlivens it. Engaging your partner’s body and closely following its micro-movements in this way, sometimes mirroring, matching, mimicking, but in all cases meeting it, is part of what it means to use the physical body as a “handle” on a larger, deeper process. Let’s try it.
With a partner who is either sitting or lying comfortably:
Take a moment to center yourself;
Slowly place your hands on your partner’s body. You may want to use the practice of “May I come closer” to establish a good energetic contact.
"Touch Bone." By that, I mean make your physical contact deep enough that you can feel your partner’s skeleton with the bony structure of your hand. Your touch should be deep enough to feel the bone without losing your sense of energetic connection. After your initial contact, quite often you can lighten your touch. This takes practice, but you’ll know it when you’ve got it.
Relax and invite the subtle movement of your partner’s skeleton into your hands.
Follow the movement physically and track it with your awareness. See if you can do it without forcing it to do anything. Yes, the fact of your following, matching and mirroring what your partner’s body does will tend to enhance and slightly exaggerate the movement. That’s okay. It’s like a conversation between two people: the movement in your partner is like one person making a statement, and the other responding with “Oh, really? Tell me more.” This gets you deeper into the underlying process.
Give this process ten minutes.
Release your contact and take note of what happened. Compare notes with your partner.
The practice of mindfulness is the key to developing a listening, non-judging heart and relaxed, alert awareness that serves every phase of the inner pilgrimage. In addition, it is essential for developing trustworthy “veterinarian hands” (the vet puts his hands on the horse and the horse relaxes immediately) for doing energy-active bodywork.
Adapted from A Pilgrim in Your Body
Copyright© by Jim Gilkeson, 2019. All right reserved.