The past 13 years I have dedicated my practice, Centered Spirit, to helping people achieve optimal health through their abdomen. I have discovered what the Taoist, Maya, Japanese and other cultures and philosophies have spoken of for centuries…harmony in our center, core, or hara is our vital life source and it’s health will have a direct effect all other parts of the body.
Every belly has a different story to tell; a hidden message which once unlocked will allow healing to take place. This message, a mantra of sorts, has been consistent and loud during the past year…or maybe I am just listening with a new clarity. The mantra is three words, “Awareness is Healing™.”
A simple phrase, yet many people spend a lifetime searching for the meaning without ever realizing that this mantra can cure any illness.
All that is required to experience the healing power of awareness is to feel. Not to think with the mind but feel with the body. The fastest way to access feelings is through the abdomen.
Why there? Let’s examine a few functions of the internal abdominal organs: small intestine = absorption of nutrients (life experiences), liver/gall bladder = detoxify/storage (process or store feelings), colon = elimination (awareness or healing). If Awareness is Healing, how do we get stuck along the way? The problem is we spend most of our lives in a state of protection, unaware of why?
Unawareness of guarding from past relationships and hidden feelings does not permit healthy growth. This always starts with the ﬁrst relationship we have, our parents. As a child we have basic needs: to be loved – unconditionally, to have shelter and security, and to be allowed to be ourselves – free of expectations and judgments. When these needs are not met, feelings occur: hurt, sadness, guilt, shame, anger, and abandonment – to name a few.
If these emotions are not truly felt or processed they are stored in the body and manifest into a physical illness or a pattern of behavior. Chronic tension in the upper abdomen just below the sternum can lead to depression, acid reflux, breathing difficulties, and loss of circulation in upper extremities. This area of the body is also known as the Solar Plexus or third chakra.
Energetically it represents how we are seen in the world…our ideal of life. It is the storage facility for all expectations. Manifesting in the lower abdomen are cysts, ﬁbroids, constipation, colitis, and sexual dysfunction. The pelvic energy of the ﬁrst and second chakra has to do with survival, security, and sexual expression.
Do any of these conditions sound familiar? Can you relate? Yes, you even may be thinking of whom or what made you depressed or angry – but have you ever allowed your body to feel the raw emotion? Which feeling was the catalyst or base to all future experiences and relationships? Was it the unattainable love, unachievable expectation, or sexual repression placed on you by a parent, sibling, lover, or friend?
Awareness is in the actual feeling. Once the body is allowed to feel the stored emotion, it is no longer needed, and healing occurs. Awareness is healing, and by accessing the true emotion that triggered certain life outcomes – good or bad, you will not repeat unhealthy patterns and free yourself from illness.
In Traditional Medicine, bodyworkers, and psychologists have always said that “our issues are in our tissues.” No one understood this better than psychologist Dr. Wilhelm Reich. A pioneer for research in somatic therapies, Dr. Reich believed talk therapy was a waste of time. According to Reich, talking to a patient is like asking a person that is drowning to describe the temperature of the water. To not drown is to let the person feel.
You see…we can sensor thoughts but not our feelings. Just as when we were children we did not believe it to be true that we would be burned or hurt by a hot pan, although we were told not to touch it. Awareness did not come until we actually felt the pain for ourselves in our body, ensuring we would learn and not repeat it.
This is why Dr. Reich disagreed with traditional Freudian psychology. During his sessions with patients, Reich always knew where the bottom of the ocean was, carefully guiding patients until they could feel it as well. Reich also understood the importance of the abdominal bodywork to unlock tension in the body. My mentor, Dr. Rosita Arvigo, was the ﬁrst to expose me to the Reichian theory. Dr Arvigo, developer of the Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage, said “this was the missing link to her treatments.” She shared with me that Reichian theory was invaluable to her practice and provided a complete healing.
We have all chosen to be on this planet at this time, to live life through experiences and relationships. Most important of all is to feel, whether it is joy or pain as long as it stimulates our senses. We must remove guards that prevent awareness in our bodies and allow feelings to occur naturally; this opens us up to clarity. When we are clear and aware we make better decisions, with better outcomes. Instincts are not clouded and we can truly navigate through life as we should and become who we always wanted to be. Our mind will always try to protect us from life’s experiences. What good is a life that is censored or without feeling?
My life’s passion is to allow people to feel through touch, in hopes that everyone will live (feel) the life they wish. I love knowing that everyday, through abdominal massage, another person has begun to feel, to breathe, and to live again…continuing their growth as a human being. I know now that the message of the past year for me is not to be taken lightly.
The mantra holds a lifelong meaning that I will honorably pass on to others daily “Awareness is Healing™.”
by Alex Jackson, LMT, NCTMB