Paying good attention to my internal world is something I could always do more of so I will be getting some relaxation this afternoon with my stethoscope. Sounds unconventional? Well let me explain; the unique contribution that Gerda Boyesen made to the world was to develop the theory of psycho-peristalsis. Our bodies digest not only food, but also emotional nourishment. As we take in the external world there is a process of internal sorting; does this help me? Can I spit it out? Does it stick in my throat? Do I have to just swallow it down? Can I let it go? Our language is rich with this kind of imagery.
When I work with clients using Biodynamic massage, the stethoscope is placed near their naval and amplifies the peristalsis so that we are both emerged in the sound. It is an amazing soundscape from dry windy howls, tumbling scree slopes through to bubbling streams, the noises often giving direct feedback to the level of touch and the flow of the massage. The client enters the world of their unconscious, involuntary processes, and as it’s non-verbal, we can only witness and allow the flow to move where it will; there’s no bossing the unconscious about. As a therapist I can invite the energy to move, create space for something else to happen, empty the body of the excess a little, encourage grounding or boundaries but I often feel that the internal universe has it’s own flow and its own intelligence too. The massage and the sounds become like a dance, or poetry, truly a different world.
Gerda was an amazing woman and inspirational teacher who always took an hour after lunch to listen and work with her own psycho-peristalsis. I’m not sure I’ll manage that long today, but a little would be a start.
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