My work inspires this blog as of late and my favorite podcast, Bliss & Grit, by Brook Thomas and Vanessa Scotto. I am fascinated by the body and can get lost in the puzzle of it for a lifetime. I never bore my work, and I’m always amazed and intrigued by how the body heals itself. For over a decade, I’ve been drawn to fascia, emotional root causes of disease, and the spirituality of the mind-body connection. In anatomical terms, fascia is described as a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ. Emotions are merely a form of energy that runs through our body like an electrical current. Each feeling has its measurable energy frequency. Spirit in Latin means breath. Another way to look at it is the body is the soul, and the soul is the body. The breath is the first thing we do and the last thing we do.
“Wine got drunk with us, not the other way. The body developed out of us, not we from it. We are bees, and our body is a honeycomb. We made the body, cell by cell we made it.” Rumi
Jaap Van Der Wal is a phenomenological embryologist who asked himself the question, “What is my body telling me about my body?” The skinny of his work thus far is that we are alive, we develop, we grow, we are whole. Jaap’s life work has been The Embryo in Motion Project, and he believes we are a soul producing a body. He thinks there is something more at stake than just the body dimension. He looks at the body’s spirit scientifically and has found that spirit and matter if they exist, is one.
What is piezoelectricity? Electric Polarization in a substance, especially crystals, and we are effectively crystals. We have electrical currents in our bodies all the time, such as collagen is piezoelectric. It is why astronauts lose bone strength. We lay down calcium and phosphorus, which creates hardness, but there is no gravitational stress on bones in space, so the bones slowly get reabsorbed. An often overlooked benefit of soft tissue loading is the piezoelectric effect. The Curie Brothers discovered the piezoelectric effect in crystals in 1880. Proteins, nucleic acids, and mucopolysaccharides, which compose all human body tissues, exhibit piezoelectric properties. We are energetic beings. Can you feel the energy of our being as a whole? Do you think the electric pulse of your organs?
The embryo is a domain to ask questions such as What are we doing? What is a body? Is a body something producing us or that we are creating? Is my consciousness coming from my body? Have I shaped myself? Phenomenology (what is our body telling about us?) is an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experiences. Rather than being an onlooker, you primarily start to experience the present moment reality. Your body is a lifelong performance- like a symphony. We are not our brain, and the embryo challenges this because we live our first eight weeks without a brain. We produce and perform our body. Our body is not a machine either- we shape this “I” move and collect things like the brain, bones, muscles, and so on to move. The body is a symphony performance. The embryo organizes us into parts as we are living organisms. That is a process, and all phases of our lives are part of the whole production in time which is the body.
Genes and brains are necessary but not sufficient conditions to give a body its shape. So you may ask, What is making the embryo? Something else is realizing itself in us. An embryo in Motion is the primary form the bodies appear in time, and time and Motion are related. We are motions and processes producing structures, and that is what we learn from the embryo. The embryo still unfolds in the adult organism that you are today.
“Don’t consider the soul or psyche as something added to the body later.” Erich Blech Schmidt
Your body is behaving the way we shape our body is what we are capable of psychologically (emotional state) and physiologically (a function of living organisms and their parts). Learn to experience yourself as energy and the energy around you.
This past summer, I spent some time with my favorite gross anatomist or Somanaut (those who explore the body’s inner space and discover the fertile terrain of themselves). He was showing his latest work and how beautiful the fascia skeleton of the superficial fascia layer is. Fascia is like the skeleton that your body is built around. It is like lace, honeycomb, or web, and the cells grow into this, and we are knitted together. When you hear that doctors are making a heart, what is happening is they take a heart, strip it down to the fascia layer as the starting point and then inject heart stem cells. Gil said that muscle is fascia’s bitch, and I think that gets to the point rather quickly. Ida Ralph described that muscles should guide one another like silk stockings, and the disposal facial provides us with a sheer or glide. In our human body, we witness nature solving the problem of total connection and differential movement, and nature’s solution is the fascia system and fluids. We are moving beings. Therefore, we must not force our way through the body but to melt and slowly invite routine movement in the body. We allow our range-of-motion (ROM) to expand and not judge compensations when they occur in the body because they may have a place for a reason. Choosing a discipline of movements such as yoga or Pilates allows you to show up next to your body daily and to meet it where it needs that day.
At times we build fascial adhesions between visceral surfaces, which have a sliding relationship via serous fluids. We could form these conditions under inflammation or pathological processes such as injury, tumors, disease, or an accidental or intended result of surgery or medical intervention. The texture of the fascia reveals the qualities and character of the relationship in the body and mind. Relationships can be soft, fluid, smooth, playful, move or tense, stuck, unyielding, even fractured. The mind perceives differences and inputs separation, yet the reality of the union persists. We must learn to accept all of our emotions.
“When something within us is disowned, that which is disowned wreaks havoc” – Ralph H. Blum and Susan Coughlan.
Dr. Daniel Keown is a Western Medical Doctor and a Chinese Medicine Doctor who has written the book The Spark in the Machine. He talks about how we are one cell that develops into trillions and trillions into a perfect complex organism with an energetic blueprint. Being trained in Eastern and Western Medicine, I feel he has a proper perspective on how both are different and similar. Such as, western Medicine does not heal you. They allow healing to occur within you. Western Medicine doesn’t have a philosophy of health and healing and tends to teach that qi is removed from healing, so doctors become revoked from the spirit and become dispirited. Qi is the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy and Medicine. I view it as prana, the breath, a life-giving energy force within the body. Eastern Medicine is a healing model, and they know the space between the cells is as important as the cells themselves. I view it as the Pancha Maya Kosha Model that I use as a Yoga Therapist, which has a broad range of healing benefits and looks and the whole being. I believe we are not just our physical body or mind. We are holistic, multi-dimensional beings made up of many different, interactive layers. You can think of the Kosha like a series of Russian Dolls or like sheaths. The Physical Body, The Energy Body, The Mental-Emotional Body, The Wisdom Body, and The Bliss Body.
The fluid between the cells is known as extracellular fluid (ECF) and makes up about 40% of the body and constitutes about 20% of the body’s weight. Imagine your skin as a membrane that keeps everything in, and this fluid bathes the cells. It can also be viewed as a communication medium in the body. So this watery fluid medium of ECF acts as a communication medium among cells of the same tissue like a chemical communication pathway. As an electrical current of an emotion travels along your neural pathways, it triggers a release of chemical proteins called neuropeptides (NP’s). Each emotion has its frequency. In response to each specific emotional frequency, your body releases corresponding NPs. Each neuro-peptide creates such specific biological responses that physical symptoms can pinpoint what’s happening in your unconscious mind!
Qi (pronounced Che) is the blueprint in which energetic matter manifests. We live in turbulent times, and thus it is time for us to open our minds, reclaim society, return to simple Medicine and make it about people again. The Science of Epigenetics which is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than the alternation of the genetic code itself, is what will progress. We have multiple different principles in our mode. We aren’t one code, and that is it. For example, if you have a stressful situation, we tap into our codes to get us through the problem, so we must build stress resilience through our movement practices to create some reserves or resource to self. Genetic science is going into epigenetic. It validates why meditation is important and living a good lifestyle because it resonates with the physical body. I have been working with Chinese Medicine for the last couple of years, and I have learned about the different burners in the body. The triple burner refers to the pelvis, abdominal, and chest, and these areas are separated by fascia that organizes the compartments within the body. Surgeons use these fascia pathways that already exist in the body and blow gas into it so they can navigate. In yoga, we call these nadi’s, which mean a channel or stream in which prana or energy can flow. Things go wrong in surgery when a surgeon needs to cross these facial pathways or planes.
Dis-ease emerges from you. It didn’t afflict you. When we are chronically ill, we must learn to look deeper into society. For example, cancer spreads through the fascia, and cancer is a breakdown of qi. Qi is the force that keeps everything doing the right thing. Cancer is a group of cells that says, damn you, I’m doing my something and doing my way! Qi is how the body organizes itself. Whether it is cancer or another disease, we need to look into the more profound disturbance of cause to the qi disturbance to heal entirely.
I love allopathic care, and it has saved my life, clients’ lives, but it is not the only reality. Connect to the body in the present time so that you can expand your consciousness. By doing this, you have attached and touched into your wholeness, your magnificence, and moved beyond the identity of your ego. We are energy beings that are constantly flowing and growing; we are not our past circumstances. We hold so much of our healing process within us, our inner self vs. an external stimulus. When was the last time you slowed down and connected to your inner wisdom? You are worthy!
“I am imperfect. I often choose to suffer. I am worthy of love, connection, health, learning to tolerate my emotions, relaxation, and financial freedom. Yoga and Pilates is the discipline in which I practice this every day of my life” Kimberly Searl
Bliss and Grit Episode #3 Why the Body? www.blissandgrit.com
Dan Keown on Liberated Body Episode #46 www.liberatedbody.com
The Spark in the Machine www.amazon.com/spark-machine
Jaap Van Der Wal Episode #57 www.liberatedbody.com
Embryo in Motion Project www.embryo.nl
Lessons from the Embryo https://youtu.be/3mTCjiQLHhk
Gil Hedley www.gilhedley.com