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Mind + Body

If you ask your body a question, it will give you an answer.

Maybe it shows up in a metaphor, or perhaps it is a felt sensation, an idea, or words which come into our awareness.

The body’s wisdom is far deeper and wider than we suspect.

To listen, we can open ourselves to the possibility of something else.

We create space for listening and in this space, our body can recognise and reorganise itself.

 

I wrote these words a year ago, as a note to myself.
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Just last night, I was thinking about one of the first experiences I had where I had made a direct connection to my whole self – mind body and spirit.

I remember the moment so clearly. It was a profound step forwards on my journey.
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We were on our way to Canada in 2017, to see our beautiful friends. I sat in the airplane seat next to my partner, as we awaited the plane taking off. While I sat in my seat, I looked down at my right ankle, an area of my body I had become very familiar with for around a year or so. I had developed a round-shaped skin rash on my right ankle which had expanded over time, and was often itchy, dry and red. I was pretty ‘over it’ by now and I felt I was ready to say goodbye to this recurring and irritating rash, which flared whenever I felt stressed or irritated.

“Okay body. We’re going on holiday. There’s nothing to stress about, you’re going to have a relaxing time away from work, and out in nature with lots of adventures to be had.” I started telling myself.
“So, seeing as there’s not going to be any stress, you can start working on healing that itchy ankle rash we’ve had for so long.” As I looked down and stared at my right ankle, with compassion.
I set the intention for this to start healing while we travelled for a month in Canada. I was pretty certain that I wasn’t coming home with this rash looking the same way.

I kind of forgot about my intention, a few times, and about two weeks into our trip, I was putting my socks on and looked down at my ankle. I noticed a slight colour change, right in the centre of the rash, some redness had begun to fade. A few days passed and I looked again, as I could see my skin rash was healing from the centre outwards, like a donut.
I was in awe of my body’s ability to get to work and sort this out, as I had assertively requested. I also smiled to myself, reassured that I knew my body would listen.

 

We arrived back in Australia and my ankle rash continued to heal. After 3 months, I could barely see the outline where it once was. It literally had disappeared. No topical creams. No diet changes. No attempts to forcibly control my body’s messages to me, by treating the symptoms.

Through my intention to notice, listen and witness my body’s communication and messages to me, I was able to resolve the issue through going within. Through trusting that my body could resolve this, once I had received the messages it needed me to hear.

That message was to trust my body. To trust myself. To know that wisdom and strength resides inside of me. To lean into this and open myself up to listening more deeply.

This was one of the first experiences I had with discovering the power of the mind, the power of intention and the power of connecting within, to our body and our intuition.

 

We can all connect with our body and intuition, any time. We can get to the root cause of our issues by tuning in and deepening our relationship to ourselves, our body, our mind and our intuition.

 

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How I came to Craniosacral Therapy

I came to craniosacral work initially through receiving polarity therapy for around 6 months…

The story started when I sought support from a psychologist who I saw for exactly 6 sessions. At the 6th appointment, I decided she didn’t actually have what I needed and what was going to help me most. I felt that she damaged the relationship over several sessions by telling me I was ‘searching’ and looking for solutions. 

Uhm, YES – I WAS SEARCHING – I wanted someone to show me how to connect my mind and body, so I could connect to myself – I felt misunderstood by hr remark. I didn’t deeply listened to or deeply witnessed in talk-therapy, so… I kept searching.

One day my intuition led me into a small shop in the neighbourhood I grew up in. I’d never been into the shop, but felt a strong pull to go inside one particular day. I instantly connected with the owner and we spoke for nearly 3 hours.
I felt understood, and I’d found an old-soul friend. As we spoke, I shared my challenges and she recommended the therapist I began seeing for Polarity therapy (a form of bodywork therapy).
After my first Polarity Therapy session , I was so intrigued and relieved to find someone who ‘got it’. In my Polarity sessions, I got to learn about the connection of mind and body, how emotions move through the body and how the body and organs can store our emotions or trauma. I learnt about energy medicine and how our bodies are electrical circuits, with polarities.

I went for sessions every 2-4 weeks for about 6 months. Somewhere in the process, I had a profound realisation – 

“Wow. I’m in a body” 

– I found myself realising on one particular day after about 4 months of bodywork.

My body awareness had exponentially increased, my breathing was more relaxed, my anxiety had reduced significantly, my emotional wellbeing was more stable and my nervous system was more balanced and resilient.
I realised that the children I was working with for Occupational Therapy needed this, very much. I mustered the courage one session to say to my therapist; 
“I think the children I work with could really benefit from this.
Where can I learn about how to help my clients with this?”

My Polarity therapist swiftly told me to study Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy with Roger Gilchrist (at Wellness Institute) who several months later became my teacher in Craniosacral Therapy. I managed to get into my course as a late-entry student (purely because I had anatomy knowledge from university and my qualification). At the first seminar, after the first few moments of stepping into our classroom, I learnt about what an ‘energetic signature’ was. 

The room felt like nothing I’d ever felt before. It was like a different dimension I stepped into. Someone in the room made a remark about our teacher, Roger’s, grounded presence and energy, because I obviously looked like I needed some reassurance. They confirmed that what I was sensing was indeed a new dimension that I was stepping into. The quantum healing dimension.

After the first week of training, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I came home from my first week-long seminar, and my heart was smiling.
The universe had quit my job for me, because it was time for me to move on, to bigger and better things. I began a 2 year stint of working in a couple of different OT jobs to pay for my Craniosacral Therapy course.

When I finished my diploma in Craniosacral Therapy in February 2020, I couldn’t have been more grateful to myself for following my calling to study this modality.
Most people would have thought I was a bit crazy -but I knew I had no other option but to follow my intuitive messages- I HAD to do this work.

Over the several years of self-reflection and unpacking developmental experiences through bodywork (Polarity, Craniosacral Therapy, Energy healing and Shamanic healing), I recognised that as a child, I was largely misunderstood and not fully ‘seen’ for who I was. My caregivers had their ‘stuff’ but I needed to be accepted for who I was, emotions and all, which was, in reflection, difficult for others. An imbalance of masculine/feminine in my life has made it challenging for me to accept, trust and follow the feminine flow of life, driving a lack of trust and lack of safety in my environments.

My lived experience as a child with neurodiversity, masking my OCD behaviours, experiencing silent and hidden anxiety, experiencing emotional explosions and perfectionism to ensure I could be ‘good enough’ has given me deep insights. I see my young clients at such a deep level. My personal experiences in my younger life have afforded me the awareness and ability to communicate with parents with empathy, compassion and awareness, to help explain and articulate their childs’ experiences, and also to offer parents different options to support themselves and their child – to work with the family unit.

Learning from study, research, experiences through working with clients, lived experience of my younger life and expanding my skillset to include Craniosacral Therapy and Somatic-based therapy, I continue on my journey to blend mainstream health with deeper energy medicine therapies.

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Experience that lead me to Occupational Therapy

My story begins during childhood experiences of sensory processing difficulties, anxiety, perfectionism, and OCD behaviours, which were almost invisible to those around me growing up throughout my schooling. I coped well enough at school that it was hard to guess that underneath the exterior, I was likely struggling within my emotional and mental health, and experiencing significant sensory processing challenges. I remember I went to great lengths to pursue perfection in my schoolwork and reflecting back, my determination has been an asset for me, but also drained my energy reserves throughout childhood, adolescence and into my early 20’s, leading to adrenal exhaustion and imbalance in my nervous system’s ability to manage stress. 

 

I also experienced sensory sensitivities to movement, noise, light sensitivity and experienced food-related challenges (a limited diet of mainly white foods, specific types of fruit, processed food where the taste was consistent & predictable, and  foods with a consistent texture). I wasn’t able to expand my range of food choices until around mid-teen years, where I learnt skills to try new foods and expand my nutritional intake. It was challenging for my parents who didn’t even know that Occupational Therapists existed to help with these kind of challenges. It’s quite possible I would have benefited from Occupational Therapy myself!

 

So, interestingly enough, I began studying Occupational Therapy at University in 2010, as I felt passionately about helping others and enjoyed learning about health, body anatomy and health science. My self-learning and self-awareness really grew once I began work as an Occupational Therapist with children and their families, 5 years later. It’s at this time that a lot of my childhood challenges started to make sense, as I began reflecting on my own childhood experiences while learning and building on the theory and knowledge from my work. I was reading literature about attachment, sensory processing, neurodivergence, nervous system maturity and neuroplasticity.
Things started to make sense as I discovered WHY I experienced challenges since childhood.

 

I decided I wanted to dig deeper to better understand my experiences as a child, knowing what I had learnt as an Occupational Therapist and as a keen student of life. Through accessing psychology and counselling support for several months, I was able to make connections about my childhood challenges, to expand my self-awareness and give clarity around my experiences. Fast forward to the last couple of years, and I now have an immense appreciation for my experiences and challenges as a child, as I am very passionate about working with families to support their children’s emotional and physical wellbeing. 

 

I’ve found that my experiences with sensory processing challenges helps me to relate to the children and teenagers I work with (adults too!), and to appreciate a wider understanding of how they might be experiencing their world. I use a strengths-based approach to support and encourage clients to recognise their strengths, leading to building self-confidence, their sense of self and support their wellbeing and enjoyment of life!

 

After working an as Occupational Therapist for several years, I continued to search for confirmation of the mind-body connection. Psychology and counselling supported my mind, but I felt deep and repressed emotions being held in my body, making it difficult to move through the mental challenges of anxiety, OCD and perfectionistic tendencies. So, I went looking for more information to understand the nervous system and how our brain and body is connected, and the influence of this connection on our health, wellbeing, thoughts and experiences in life. I began receiving bodywork sessions to address my unresolved emotional experiences in early life and this lead to me studying a 3 year diploma in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. Read more about my journey to becoming a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist on my blog.

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