Mind-Body Coaching: A Therapeutic Approach
Articles of the Heart, HeartMath Tools & Techniques, "Whisper Thoughts and Feelings", Nov 8. 2016
We live in perplexing times. Overwhelming stress from unforeseen events, health concerns, societal pressures and troubled relationships all contribute to how we feel, potentially raising our natural fight-flight-freeze response to unhealthy levels. From time to time we all need help navigating through the chaos. Seeking out a coach or guide can be a great resource when we need some light along the path, or perhaps a shift in perspective. There are many fields of coaching available, from personal life and health coaching to corporate level coaching in business.
What I am offering is a therapeutic approach that combines elements of physical balancing, releasing, restoring, and self realization. Resting in your awareness as you become fully present connects you with your Essence- that which is your authentic self. With practice you can find ease-joy-clarity, and begin to release pain, tension and emotional distress. Shifting from a day-to-day mechanical mindset into the effortlessness of Being is a purely profound and transformative experience. The best gift of all is that the tools you learn can be applied on a daily basis to deepen your practice.
My approach of Mind-Body Coaching applies a variety of techniques allowing you to explore into your physical & energetic body to recognize sources of tension, imbalances, held traumas and old patterns. Finding your flow leads to inner harmony. Everyone has the capacity to find ease & joy. There are limitless paths along this journey of self discovery. All that is required is your Presence, openness and trust with yourself. Mind-Body Coaching can be a stand-alone session or combined with hands-on bodywork.
So, what qualifies me to be a mind-body coach? I am not a licensed psychologist or counsellor, nor have I completed a life coaching certification program. For many years I have been on a rewarding path of self discovery. My guides and teachers have illuminated my way, and for this I am eternally grateful. Recently, I completed training as a HeartMath Institute Certified Practitioner designed for health professionals. HMI has been conducting research on the functioning of the heart. The tools and techniques they have developed guide us to a heart-mind coherent state (for more information see the section, "Our Heart-Mind" below). I’ve also participated in numerous online workshops with some amazing spiritual teachers such as, Martha Beck, Tara Brach and Bentinho Massaro.
The Body Speaks
As a devoted energy and bodywork practitioner I have learned that the body is complex, mysterious and magical. We have the ability to heal, self-regulate and align ourselves, not just within our physical boundaries but with every living being on this planet. We rely on our physical vehicle to carry us through life, oftentimes underappreciating its miraculous functioning in constant response to our environment. We are rarely aware or curious about the body - until we are uncomfortable - and only then do we begin to pay attention. The body is always communicating, regardless of whether we are in a state of ease or in a state of discomfort. But are we awake enough to listen?
HeartMath Institute, Science of the Heart: Exploring the Role of the Heart in Human Performance; e-book Chap 6: Energetic Communication
Subtle Energy Practices
For the past several years I’ve been intrigued and mystified by various forms of subtle energy therapies. I believe in connecting with people in this gentle and profound way. Myofascial Release has become one of my specialties. This work has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of how trauma is held in the connective tissue (fascia) of the body, and how these holding patterns can be released when we get out of the way and lovingly connect with our awareness. Craniosacral therapy has shown me how fluid dynamics along with gentle connections to osseous structures and articulations can affect states of balance & harmony. Visceral mobilization taught me how our organs absorb emotions, and the importance of listening to the way an organ moves within the body, as well as how it moves with other structures. Reiki and other energy-based training has shown me how to work with areas of stagnation/depletion and excess, and with the etheric field. I’ve explored many approaches to support wellness and self-expansion, including Buddhism, Tai Chi & Qigong, yoga, meditation, sound healing, energy work, Shamanic practices, and so much more. This is a very broad generalization of years spent diving into deep states of consciousness. As I continue to explore and discover I feel a calling to share with you.
Inner Journey is a meditation with the freedom to explore within yourself. Inner Journey enables you to listen to what’s calling your attention; that inner voice you may be neglecting throughout your day. During this meditation I will help you listen for that inner voice. To do this, you and I will engage in minimal dialogue, only enough to illuminate your way and to help keep you present. Drifting off into your thoughts and worries can easily disconnect you with your physical and energetic bodies. We cannot receive our internal messages with clarity when we are not present for ourselves. I provide cues to help you travel within and discover. As you learn to trust what comes into your awareness you can find a sense of spaciousness. You may have experienced something like this during a group meditation. Participating with this collective energy can be incredibly enriching. A one-on-one session offers the opportunity to focus purely on you, which can enhance your group meditation experiences.
Inner Journey can be a great tool to release old patterns and past trauma. This can be frightening at first. As you create a loving relationship with yourself and allow these painful memories to emerge you may feel yourself releasing them back to God. Any discomfort will never injure you. Sometimes we need to feel into these held areas of tension in order to fully release them. As your guide during this experience I will be right there with you.
HeartMath Institute Article, Global Interconnectedness, "Each Individual Impacts the Field Environment", Sep 10, 2009
One of the most inspiring organizations I have ever learned about is HeartMath Institute (HMI). For over 30 years HMI has studied the complex functioning of the human heart and how it relates to stress. Their published studies and resources can be found in the HMI expansive Research Library. This innovative organization has developed many practical techniques to teach people how to connect to their heart’s intuitive guidance which can lead to healthy, joyful living.
Among their many teachings, I became particularly drawn to the heart-mind connection. This concept I was introduced to years earlier during my explorations into Qigong movements. In Chinese culture the word “Xin” (pronounced “hsin”) describes the "heart-mind", which means a feeling or intention, suggesting that there is no separation between one’s heart and mind. Becoming in tune with this idea brings about feelings of purity and wholeness.
HMI's approaches focus on a state of coherence at both the individual and the global level. Coherence refers to a mental, emotional and physical state – where the mind, heart and nervous system align and function in a higher degree of balance and harmony. On a personal level, being in coherence translates to smooth heart rhythms, clear mind, balanced emotions and spiritual connection. HMI’s Director of Research, Dr. Rollin McCraty states, "Coherence is the energetic alignment and cooperation of all of our systems."
HMI techniques, such as Heart-Focused Breathing and Quick Coherence are effective, simple techniques designed to shift the rhythms of the heart, essentially changing the ascending information from the heart to the brain. This establishes a new baseline and helps release unhealthy patterns. As a HMI practitioner I can show you these useful tools to help you manage stress and achieve a state of coherence.
Take a look at the 3-minute video below explaining the fundamentals of the HeartMath approach: “Scientific Foundation of the HeartMath System”
Disclaimer: While the services at Myofascial Release Falls Church (Elements of Wellness, LLC) contribute to relaxation and an improved state of well-being, they are not intended to replace medical diagnosis and treatment. It is recommended that you consult your physician regarding any illness you may have. I do not diagnose illnesses or conditions.