Mysterious Homeostasis

Life is mysterious. And when I think of life, I think of organisms, even single celled ones, that strive toward homeostasis, toward a kind of inner balance between interdependent elements inherent in any living system. This striving is powerful and  mysterious and lies at the core of some touch therapies, maybe in truth most healing. But some modalities aim with more precision at clearing of pathways for that inner self correcting force. 

These days we have bodywork of all kinds available to us, few understand the difference, fewer even have an inkling of the potential inherent in varied touch therapy approaches. It is not my intention to offer an outline of such, or promote a certain type of bodywork here. What interests me, always has and always will and what I want to try and somehow describe is some of that mystery that happens in effective healing.

While all bodywork is somewhat non-linear, judged on a continuum, say against more traditionally western masculine trades, there are notable differences. Within the realm of bodywork some  approaches will fall on to a more yin or feminine, specter of sides. The manual therapies lend themselves to a hands on, active, yang, 'get-things-fixed’ kinda manipulative mentality. The kind we are so familiar with in our society, the kind of left brain, linear, 'got a problem-will solve it' masculine attitude. 

There are though some approaches that are more focused on listening and following and waiting for a response from within the receiver. There are some methods that avoid a goal oriented, forceful approach in favor of trusting the unknown, hanging with possibilities, resting in presence and studying the here and now. The Taoist art of non-doing is a challenge for us westerners. Yet, the Taoists really knew about life being a river and how not to obstruct the flow. I am thinking about approaches that seek to get out of the way and allow for the river to find it's own natural course. It takes commitment to refrain from making a riverbed, from making it happen. It takes trust in the processes of life, the mysterious, but powerful force in us all that seeks homeostasis. It takes presence and it takes focus. A kind of soft, inclusive focus.

As we are present to a body, any body really, ours or another, if we listen and observe we will eventually notice something, maybe a sensation like heat or cold, a tingle or a shudder, or a slight tightening. Maybe our attention might be drawn to  an old and familiar symptom, maybe some pain or discomfort. Just maybe we may notice impulses to move, maybe particular body parts may call on us. It takes some practice to discern which of these myriad of possibilities to follow and give our attention to. Always at first it is a wait and see and breath and relax, or nothing of note will develop.

Invariably though, after some sinking in to the present moment, something will want to hold our focus and we are well in giving that our undivided attention. Nobody can know what will unfold, but always there will be some movement. In general from sensation to feeling, on to experience, insight and integration. From the present maybe, not necessarily, but often, we may move to the past where we might recollect memories that will need integration back in the present. 

Not all of these stages are passed by everyone all the time, but in my experience I consider it best, if that is encouraged and there is sufficient time for all stages to be incorporated, so as to be able to reconfigure on a higher level of organization, or homeostasis.

I realize that I failed to convey the sense of magic and mystery that transpires as we follow those seemingly autonomic processes, as we give up our own will in favor of something deeper and a lot more mysterious. As this force gathers momentum and comes to a crescendo and we are flooded with insight, it is hard not to feel gratitude and simple awe for life's extraordinary provisions.

to be continued ...

1 comment:

  1. Balance, equilibrium, a state of stillness in that which is similar.... I look forward to your further explorations of this subject.