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More and more people today are recognizing the importance of a holistic view of health, disease and self-development. From this point of reference, the body, emotions and spirit function in an interactive unity.  In both self-development and health prevention, attending to these different yet connected aspects of ourselves can provide us with a rich assortment of resources.  The body, for example, is a source of wisdom; it can be used as a vehicle for change. The body reflects the whole person; as a map it can reveal the underlying psychological issues that are fertile soil for change.

The body holds our emotional history; these memories and unresolved feelings express themselves in our posture, muscular tensions and movement patterns.  By connecting, through movement and awareness, to the knowledge that is stored in the body, our experiences, feelings, memories and insights can emerge, helping to clarify and heal many internal conflicts.  As a result, we can expand cognitive, emotional and physical functioning.

Unresolved psychological issues and trauma also reside in our tissues, curtailing functioning and strength.  The affected body parts may be rigid, lacking in vitality and spontaneity.  Retraining these areas through expressive movement reawakens their dormant capacities.  Expressive and creative movement can also bypass any defensive strategies and resistances, developed early in life as coping mechanisms, which may no longer be adequate.  Our bodies can reveal truths about ourselves that may not be readily available to our minds.

Sensation and wave motion

Sensation is the first order of experience in the womb, before thought.  Later in our development, sensation becomes a doorway to direct perception of reality in the present moment, and it can put us in touch with our basic aliveness.  Through our sense perceptions, we can feel the vibrating, pulsating, undulating motion intrinsic in our organism.

The Five Phase Model describes five types of rhythms or movement; each movement or rhythm carries a different quality of energy with its corresponding spiritual, psychological, emotion and physical impact. The five rhythms are staccato, chaos, lyrical, stillness and flowing or undulating wave motion.

Wave motion takes us to the limbic and ”reptilian” parts of our brain that are essential for survival and healing.   In addition, wave motion taps into the somatic intelligence of our organism by involving other states of consciousness which can help us explore our blocks and defenses.  Intrinsic wave motion softens and dissolves habitual patterns, boundaries, defenses and rigid parts of our organism so that they can be reformed into more adaptive and flexible forms.  This motion can also enhance our sensuality, our sexuality and our vitality.

Guidelines for exploring wave motion

Prior to beginning wave motion, use the fast breath for making tissues more malleable and for facilitating exploration.  Start slowly; later you can change speed.  Start from a place where you feel vibration, movement, undulation, pulsation.  It is best not to be goal oriented.  Ride the wave.

If at first it is difficult to feel, then start by initiating a motion which is similar to that of the fluid movement of an amoeba, an octopus or a snake.  Then as soon as you are able to go for the ride, allow it to happen. Explore.  Put the judgment of inner criticism aside.  Play.  Enjoy.

Other types of motion used in the workshop

Self-unwinding is the organism’s way of releasing and expanding through spontaneous positioning.  This type of motion allows for the inner wisdom of the body to discover positions with ease for self-correction of limiting patterns and their root in the body, thus resulting in improved motion, posture, well-being and self-understanding.

Archetypal movement is another form of spontaneous movement involving the discovery of postures that lead us to deeper states of awareness and ecstasy by using our bodies as mediators through which the world of spirit, matter and energy meet.

Carlos Durana Ph.D., M.Ac. practices acupuncture in Reston, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland and in Washington D.C.