For as long as I can remember, taking classes on many subjects, studying thick text books full of scientific based "facts" I cannot recall one that stated that the birth process can be completed again out of the womb. Nope. Fast forward to a few years ago and in my required reading material for an upcoming Upledger Institute class, Somato Emotional Release 1, there was a bit of information on people re-living their birth on the table and that process could be transformative for people on a cellular level. I had anxiety about this for 4 months leading up to my course. It really challenges your left brain tendency to overthink and intellectualize how this would be possible; and what if??
Is this like hynosis? Is this like sleeping? What happens if???...and my brain kept going and going.
SER 1 course was challenging for me for that reason, it is so out of what I had considered normal. I spent a lot of time conversing with my mentors that week, asking a lot of questions about what to expect or how this would look. I had a powerful happy, positive experience then, and another participant went through her bio process with such a sense of shame that she didn't know she had her entire life because the moment they announced she was a girl. Her family had deeply wanted a boy. That conversation, that moment she was forever transformed, a burden she buried deeply for 50 years. Her experience changed how I felt about how we communicate and dialogue in our own homes, with the people we love and within a treatment room. Words have power. LOTS of power.
When a CST practitioner is blended into the tissue, not being led by case histories or stories but truly letting the body direct the treatment, tissue changes, it deepens and the rhythm stops as if it says there is something important going on here. With coaching verbally and non verbally to this significant space, we can dialogue with what has been termed "the inner physician". Now if I were to say that in Yoga, we have a similar experience with what we can intuition, the inner voice, seer, witness etc; in Faith, it would be similar to the spirit, ALL of this, whatever you want to call it within this application of SER is this experience. Tissue holds memory- your memories although they can be skewed by age, spoken word to you, conversations around you, dream state, and trauma. Happy and sad, things are left behind like an energy signature; when circumstances are left unresolved, they become buried, and layer upon layer is laid down on them until such a time you develop a pain - months, years, nothing shows up medically on blood tests but maybe, you had a fall and it is all that triggered this memory recall process, that needs your attention- and will continue to until you find the right avenue of healing in this process. The cycle continues and eventually this pain you have will take so much energy to do the everyday stuff that you HAVE to resolve it, you can't live like that one more day.
This process is how adults who have a lifetime of stuff shows up; BUT in pediatrics, we are talking about a lifetime for them which could be just a few days, weeks, months or short number of years. The amount of trauma for them is minuscule, easily and quickly changed; its just that adults take longer because of this whole thing called life getting in the way.
So what does this all mean in terms of biological process. Simply put, if I had a baby on the table who had a traumatic birth- born prematurely via C section, that would be traumatic. A normal vaginal delivery but the baby's head got stuck which needed a vacuum or forcep assist, would be traumatic. We assume babies don't recall memories but the truth is they DO, they just don't have the vocabulary to express them other than crying. Traumatic births can be any number of things, from extreme, to just delivering early or having a doctor that assists the baby with delivering itself to the world. So when babies have colic, gas, reflux, sucking issues, nursing issues, lack of sleep, torticollis, unsettled, need to be held this is a mechanism to get your attention that something is wrong. CST makes quick corrections by addressing the membrane system AND Practitioner if trained to listen deeply to the tissue can dialogue with baby in the nonconscious state and have permanent corrections made long before they become a long term diagnosis such as scoliosis that can happen from torticollis in infancy, learning disabilities, motor control delays, sensory delays etc.
I posted 2 videos this week on the Bodyology Facebook page, to share the stories of the Pediatric CST training I was at. The first was the baby girl who presented with torticollis, sucking issues and was an early, fast delivery. In the video I discussed how she appeared to be going through her birth process again, practitioner had her head, yet her shoulders and torso needed to roll, and roll until she was in a positional release- her Significance Detector was on which signals there is a change to tissue being made and then she continued to move until she was in a position that made her comfortable. It looked and felt like, a group of 18 of us, that this was her birth process and she might have needed to make a few corrections on a cellular level to move forward. Who knows if we are right, she is only 4 months old, and might not know for years. The second video was my OWN process.
Here's what I know about my own back story. My dad was a smoker, and smoked in the house (1981) so that was pretty normal. But my mom told me more than a few times that he would smoke in their bedroom and would have to open a window. I was told that I was born a few weeks early, that I had colic and was a "terrible" baby. My mom had to have sleeping pills after I was born, and a nurse would have to come to their home to help with me because of the colic.
From everything I know now from all of the training I have taken on CST, understanding that there is a normal cycle of enlightenment that happens with age and accepting what was and ready to move forward, from my 20 years of yoga and having crazy out of body experiences I can say that I have been in a place of peace for many years and I THINK this week I was just in a place of safety, support, willing to go through the process to understand deeply how this impacts babies and meditating on our own life- I just felt connected with myself and my peers to "let's do this".
What started with a treatment-arcing with intention to do a completion of whatever biological process needed to happen whether there was some trauma with our own deliveries or for us mama's maybe our kids; the intention was set and my inner physician was wide awake, I do remember having the voice inside say...this will be good, needed and healing. Lots of forgiveness will happen.. and then I drew the team to my left lower abdomen, then deep into my sacrum to my pelvis. A deep energy cyst was there, and with intention to talk with inner physician, a dialogue came through. This was a reminiscence of Isabella being there. I had fallen teaching yoga and landed on my left abdomen and was quite shaken (apparently so was my baby) and that memory turned into something visceral. My eyes closed and I started to unwind nonconsciously. I had little to no control over what my body was intending to do during this process. My pelvis shifted this way and that, fighting to get what it wanted, then it moved up into my abdomen and shoulders, and my neck; I stayed in a tissue release and then continued to unwind. I rolled several times while my head was being supported - I remember crying out "what is happening", hyperventilating and then went still as our Instructor and a Teacher Assistant came to support me. Surreal. It was like the energy around me dropped heavily and then my body started up again and pinned my head to the left, cheek down onto the table.
I cried out "I'm stuck", "who's stuck?, you or your daughter?", to which I heard myself say "Me". So the team said "your head is now out", and I started to feel myself slip off of the massage table with arms supporting me into another death spiral I had no control over, "my leg is stuck", pause and then it came out. I remember the ethereal feeling that I had when my girls were discharged from my body like a wooosh, all tingles and emotions, I felt all of that and I was crying and had the best breath I've ever had. I was laying on the floor; wrapped in a blanket. I felt safe, warm and 100% spent...my first words were"Who got that on video?" Surreal.
Part of the exercise was to go backwards from the present and see what memories or things such as smells, chemicals, people were triggered as Binaifer read a meditation. Wow did stuff come up all the way back to pre-birth. Where it felt most significant is where we all started in our SER. Interestingly, My HATRED for smoking I have had for a lifetime goes back to utero when I remember feeling suffocated. This was pretty significant, it came back up a few years later as a child, and continues into adulthood. Anytime I smell it, my lungs shut off and I can't breathe.
Reflecting on this experience has been emotional and brings up stuff you didn't know you had; or that I hadn't dealt with in my years of therapy (I think everyone should do therapy, it.is.my.jam) I REMEMBER being in utero. I remember the warmth, and the sounds, and the motion of the fluid around me; I remember hearing my sister talking to my tummy, and laughing. Surreal. I can't explain it any other way.
"I don't know if I can do it again" has me slightly less anxious than this time last year after reading the book about all of these wild things that are not taught nor experienced. My real fear in sharing this, is that this all feels weighted and full of expectation for an outcome that I cannot do or control, because it isn't about the practitioner but a process that needs to be self led and you need to be in the right mindset to be here to do the work.
With that being said, this again comes full circle that I DO, do this work with SER in everyone. I have seen some amazing transformations, from infancy to adult all of the time; it just all looks a little different because at the end of the day we are ALL on a journey, and if I can help people young and small, we are setting up a generation to be more attuned to wholeness.