On my ongoing quest to find ways to enhance, anchor and expand states of embodied awakening, I recently experienced a mind-blowing session with John Amaral.
In John’s words,” Awakening is about connecting to your transcendent nature, the part of you that is always watching what’s going on in your life, both on the inside and outside. As you awaken to this expanded consciousness, and begin to live beyond your idea of yourself, you start to fully realize your unique and necessary place in the universe.”
John’s techniques for bringing more consciousness into the body were developed by chiropractic guru Donny Epstein.
I sat down on his table and slapped my mid-back, a tad harshly. “I have some pain and tightness there”. John motioned for me to lie down. I felt a pang of embarrassment, perhaps I should not be slapping my poor body!
He did not touch my back, instead he instructed me, “don’t ever go for the pain, I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but place your hands on the opposite side of your body. In this case, place your hands over your heart, right over left. Don’t try to fix or change anything or attempt to get rid of the pain. Simply be with your body, cultivate awareness.”
I placed my hands over my heart, focusing my awareness in the palms of my hands, and practiced being present with my body. It wasn’t easy at first. I felt impatient, a sense of mistrust.
As I tuned in, I felt a lot of internal movement. , I felt the familiar sensations of pounding and contraction in my solar plexus and restlessness throughout my trunk – and of course the ache in my back. My usual labels were anxiety, tension, stress, overwhelm, exhaustion.
As I continued to maintain presence, I could feel an internal softening, a sense of relaxation and my perspective began to shift spontaneously. Maybe because my body sensed I wasn’t approaching it from the standpoint that there was something wrong with it, there was something that needed to be changed, fixed. Maybe that belief had caused pressure that blocked a deeper communication with my body’s natural intelligence.
Slowly, I began to feel reverence for this vessel that housed my consciousness. In the words of the Vedas, “As is the macrocosm is the microcosm.” I started to expand, I was experiencing the universe inside me. I felt the chaos of primordial soup flowing within me, birthing planets, meteor showers, comets crashing. This wasn’t anxiety, it was the instability of space – inside me. I occurred to me that this instability was reality. We truly don’t know what will happen from one moment to the next. I do my best to contrive some degree of predictability in my life, in order to feel safe. And yet, shit happens, often, and it has a tendency to derail me.
I had an epiphany: What if I was able to connect consciously, tangibly to this sensation of instability in my body as a kind of daily meditation? I could call it – the space within – as a kind of anchoring of truth. It was both a humbling and daunting idea. Would I then need to create external circumstances to remind of the unstable nature of reality? Would I then need to create/invite so much drama? Maybe not!
The exercise was powerful, and at the very least changed my relationship to my body from a contracted, dense assembly of anatomy to a microscopic replica of infinity.
John never manipulated my body or conventionally adjusted the vertebra of my spine. Instead, through gentle touch, he respectfully invited my body to connect with its own ability to heal itself. I felt an internal wave activate in my spine, it had its own intelligence, my whole body felt fluid. It was deeply pleasurable. I didn’t need to be prodded, or cracked, or manipulated, in order to get relief. All the contracted, stressed parts of me relaxed automatically, surrendering, melting into the unobstructed flow of my own life force. What a paradigm shift.
Network Spinal Analysis™ care is an evidence based approach to wellness and body awareness. Gentle precise touch to the spine cues the brain to create new wellness promoting strategies. Two unique healing waves develop that are associated with spontaneous release of spinal and life tensions, and the use of existing tension as fuel for spinal re-organization and enhanced wellness. Practitioners combine their clinical assessments of spinal refinements with patient’s self assessments of wellness and life changes. Greater self-awareness and conscious awakening of the relationships between the body, mind, emotion, and expression of the human spirit are realized through this popular healing work.