I do all of my spiritual work through the physical body… as well as include the emotions, thoughts, and beliefs contributing to the imbalance (or focus of the session) in the session.
There are a lot of reasons I started doing this. The first is that I have an extensive bodywork background (massage license, craniosacral therapy, zero balancing, thai bodywork…and more, but you get my point here) as well as energy work/spiritual/acupuncture background, which led me to really grasp that the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual were not just these separate realms that influenced one another but that they are both a continuum (from physical to spiritual) as well as create one another continually.
This means that our spiritual reality creates our physical body… and our emotional, mental, and physical bodies continually influence on another. If we are truly balanced, it means that we are balanced physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. If one of those is out of balance, they all are due to their influencing nature.
However, there are a lot of difficulties that arise in the modern world in terms of maintaining or creating this balance.
If we picture the spiritual “body” as the outermost body (and also the innermost at the same time) what is inside of it is the mental, then the emotional, then the etheric (yes, I am influenced by Theosophy, and this is the model that fits inside my head well and rings the greatest bell of “truth” for me), and then the physical. If one of those areas is “clogged” that means that the spiritual is blocked and cannot filter through to influence the physical body (or cannot do so as much).
And as a culture we are all in our heads. Believe it or not, we are thinkers.
I work with a lot of people who have spent thousands of dollars on workshops and retreats and gurus, and the spiritual energy surrounding them has no way in. It is never integrated, because it never passed through the mental or emotional layers to become an actualized aspect of the person and their daily lives.
When I was a kid I used to draw quite a lot (I paint nowadays) and remember drawing people as these tiny stick figures with these huge heads with swirls around them. This is how I saw people, and how I still see them.
We live in our heads.
We also don’t connect to the Earth.
Part of this is entirely natural, by the way. We live in houses with internet and cats and we naturally will lose the grounding and sort of natural relationship that we once had with the Earth.
A lot of us also have very mixed feelings about being here, being in our physical bodies, and being on Earth in general. This is often a spiritual pattern, by the way…
A lot of us also utilize drugs, sex, spirituality, tv (etc.) to become as numb and disembodied as possible, to quiet those mental energies.
And even more of us have experienced trauma that has caused for us to curl up, leave, or fear our physical body.
My point here (and yes, you may fit in more than one category above) is that most of our energy, if we were to put the four “bodies” (physical-emotional-mental-spiritual; I am including the etheric with the physical) on a certain percentage based scale based on how much energy we have invested in each one, for most of the population would be somewhere around 90-99 percent. Yes, I made that up, but think about it for a bit.
And that mental energy clogs us up. And our mental “body” having so much energy means that our physical and emotional bodies are not properly energetically nourished (because energy flows from the spiritual through the mental and emotional to the physical, at least how I perceive it) because it is massively blocked by thoughts.
Also what happens if we start to get really clogged and fixated in the mental realms and mental body is that we create our entire reality from this place. It is really, incredibly hard for people who are really stuck with a lot of mental energies to understand that their reality is often really far removed from the reality of anyone else, as this group are the ones that create from this place, and because they have so much energy here they are creating their reality based off of thoughts that are far removed from the physical realm (and often logic).
So, back to why I work in an embodied way.
Even though I started with bodywork (and reiki) I did spiritual work in the “core” way that I first learned it. If you read old blogs I talk about my difficulties with that system (mainly because it is a psychotherapeutic method focused on the mental realms and not really spiritual or accessing the spiritual realms) but it is what it is and I am a bit more accepting and less grouchy years later (always interesting when you read a blog you wrote a few years ago).
As I moved through my initial kundalini awakening I was lucky enough to start to get craniosacral therapy and then zero balancing (zb works with the energetics of bones and joints and is a manual therapy, meaning you received skilled touch from someone) and then to receive training in both. When I began processing (working through) my traumas and spiritual patterns such as ancestral history and so forth I began to have big releases in my body. But even more profound is that most of what I worked through if I did so through the physical body would stay gone. They would simply disappear.
Most forms of care only look at the spiritual, or the physical… or sometimes will do two (like mind and body), but if you miss a “body” energies still linger there, and can come about again because the “seed” of it is still there, in one or more of the bodies.
I found that if you work with the spiritual and the mental and emotional (through talking and recognition, basically) through the physical body that my life improved drastically, and large patterns would simply stay gone.
So when I write an article about how important bodywork is, or forms of physical touch that can be helpful with spiritual patterns or spiritual awakenings I invariably get people who go to someone who took a weekend class in craniosacral therapy and then write in to tell me how it didn’t help at all. Or they may go to someone who just doesn’t get that skilled bodywork is an art, not a mechanistic (this for that) and reductionary therapeutic method.
Finding a skilled, knowledgeable, and spiritually aware bodyworker can be difficult. But chances are there is one near you, or somewhat near you. Or that if you go on a vacation somewhere you can see if there is a bodyworker there that is skilled and helpful. But in general I would start by looking for someone that has more than five years of experience (ideally more than 10 if you are going through a difficult awakening or spiritual pattern, certification in whatever they are offering, and an understanding of spiritual energies. I would just be specific and state that “I feel I may have some ancestral or past life issues. Is that something you are comfortable working with?” and see how they react.
Working with people also increases embodiment.
Including people in the process, having them take responsibility for their own healing, and showing them they are capable of doing inner work is incredibly important. To whatever capacity they are able, I always include clients to hear their realizations, understandings, and what they are sensing.
This is not only so they have to reflect inwardly (or so they aren’t bored on the phone/skype with me), but also because the single most difficult thing is to get people to mentally reconcile energies.
Because if something large happens on the spiritual, it cannot filter through unless it does so through the mental body.
And our mental body needs stories and assurances and illusions to be okay. We mentally create so much, and live so inside of our heads, and are frequently so traumatized by life that any sort of perceived change that is happening is perceived as a threat. Because we are used to what we are used to, and if we change spiritually, that may not be true and our lives may change.
And generally the more mentally unstable we are, the more we react to this perceived threat, the more we may lash out or self-sabotage at this perceived threat. The more we may shut down to any sort of perceived change, or become aggressive or reactionary if we hear information that is contrary to the illusions that we have created in order to maintain this semblance of control.
I have been thinking about this topic because when we look at indigenous healers, or folk/traditional healers, there is not this huge need for mental reconciliation of energies. I realized that we as a modern society have become just blobs of energies around our heads for the most part and that if we are more grounded and stable we have less static (or goo, or blockage) because we are more evenly distributed amongst our “bodies”: we don’t have all of our energies in our heads, basically.
I have also been thinking about this because as I get deeper into my practices I realize that there are some people that I cannot help. This realization has come to me before, but when someone is locked into having 99 percent of their energy in their mental body often mental healing must come first. Although I have mixed feelings about therapy personally, as many of my issues required spiritual assistance rather than mental (a good therapist and a good bodyworker are rare gems, but are out there), if someone has more than 95 percent (again, illustrative purposes) of their energy locked in their mental body they need therapeutic intervention/healing, not spiritual (at least not at first), because even if I did spiritual work, the mental body would not allow for it to flow through.
And experience has shown me that the person may perceive the spiritual change as a threat, with a rare few casting me (or anyone else) involved in the situation as a villain or some horrific monster in order to maintain the safety of the known, the illusions already created and settled on in the mind. Or they will cast me as Morpheus to their Neo, further creating illusions that amuse and/or perplex me a bit.
So for most, the mental reconciliation of energies as well as the emotional (didn’t even get to that, but we tend to hold a lot of energies in this area as well that combine with mental energies) is going to be necessary for spiritual energies or change to really have any effect.
And if someone takes care of these bodies by releasing trauma, healing, receiving bodywork, meditating, grounding, physical activity, time in nature, and so forth, that spiritual energies and flows have a much easier time in.
How much someone moves forward, or what they heal while in a session with me always has to do with them (well, 99 percent of the time). And it always has to do with their personal readiness, as well as how much they are willing to let go, to let that controlling and dominant energy field of the mind shift and change and release.
Spiritual work always changes reality. It changes beliefs. It changes what we know to be true about ourselves and the world.
Someone who is more embodied and has more evenly distributed energy is generally healthy and able enough to allow for larger unfoldings and healings… and is able to directly feel spiritual flows and receive spiritual guidance in their lives, unaltered from the perceptions and twistings of the mind acting on that direct gnosis and changing it.
I suppose my end point here is that the spiritual path is one of embodiment. That even if we define ourselves as “spiritual” that our physical bodies matter. That our mind and emotions matter. Without balancing these four spheres, without working with all of them, we are always limited. We cannot expand forward. If we are willing and work towards balance, we will be healthier, freer, and experience continual unfolding and more grace in our lives.