Iím often asked to provide some kind of detailed
manual explaining just exactly what it is I do to my patients. People want a
book full of pictures with arrows and captions. They want a protocol or a list
of techniques to use in opposition to certain symptoms or diagnoses.
Well, Iíve seen many books with pictures over the years
and I honestly donít think theyíre worth the effort it takes to either
produce or read them. Iím certain that many will disagree, and perhaps my
feeling about this has more to do with my personal learning style than anything
else, but Iím not sure about that. I donít describe protocols and lists of
techniques because when dealing with neural tension such things are not very
helpful. My opinion is based upon what we know about the behavior and
biomechanics of that system, its geometry (fractal), and, not the least
important, my twenty years of employing Simple Contact.
So, instead of specific and traditional descriptions of
technique, I try to describe what Iím thinking when I handle others. What
Iíll attempt to do here is to describe an important aspect of my attitude
while treating and combine that with an analogy Iíve recently come up with.
Consider this quote from
the poet David Whyte: Patience is the genius that allows us
to touch the world in a way that does not turn it into gold, but allows it to
reveal itself, as itself, in ways that continue to astonish, frighten and
I try very hard not to
manually coerce my patients in any specific direction. I touch them, of course,
but itís perfectly possible to simply ďlandĒ on another with your hand and
not imply to them that you would prefer they move in one direction or another.
Since I have no personal preference for the direction
I want them to go, but only the nature of
their movement, eliminating my tendency to direct them is pretty easy. Itís
not there to begin with. As stated many times elsewhere in my writing, I want a
movement that is effortless, warming, softening and surprising (see The
Characteristics of Correction). When the
patient reports that these qualities are present, I figure theyíre going in
the right direction. I never begin knowing what that direction will be. If I
knew Iíd either take them there myself or tell them where to go. I donít, so
I canít. Manipulation of the dermal layers in various directions in order to
elicit the desired movement and sensation is not the same as telling people
manually which way to move actively, and I certainly do that. This nuance of
technique is explained and justified in Touch
and Sensation: A Deep Model.
I feel that patience
is an essential aspect of this technique. This is because the movement the
patient needs to do doesnít always show up immediately upon touching them. You
simply have to wait. If you donít, youíre not going to sense it or see it,
so please wait. As Whyte suggests, patience
allows the thing youíre touching to reveal itself.
Iím often asked why
ideomotor movement isnít within the patientís awareness until I touch them.
Typically, they become acutely aware of it very soon afterward, even if itís
too subtle to see. This is a perfectly reasonable question.
Hereís my latest
analogy. Imagine being seated a few feet from another person in a small room.
When you speak, they will hear you even if you speak very, very softly. Now
imagine being seated the same distance from that person, but this time in the
center of a gymnasium. You probably know that youíll have to speak louder in
order to be heard clearly. And you probably know that this is because the sound
waves are dispersed as soon as they leave you. Without a nearby wall to reflect
them back itís simply harder for the other person to catch them with their
Now think of a motion within your body, your cardiac rhythm for example. You wouldnít sense its presence under ordinary circumstances, but if I place my hand on your chest wall it becomes evident to you. It was simply a matter of giving it something to ďbounceĒ off of. In this instance my hand created a ďwallĒ for the movementís vibrations and, effectively, made your bodyís expression easier to sense because the ďroomĒ became smaller. Thousands of patients have told me that a gentle shower has a similar effect, and this makes perfect sense to me. Iím talking here about the room your body occupies and sends its messages of movement into. Of course, itís the nonverbal, unconsciously generated ones that interest me. I can feel them easier than see them, and, if I touch you with patience and no intention to coerce, your conscious mind will begin to sense them as well.
Having said all of that, I can now say this; Simple Contact makes the room occupied by the conscious and unconscious smaller, thus making it a lot easier for one to hear the other.