Methylation blog 5/5/2019
I want Keith Richards’ Genes and Liver!
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Many famous musicians have taken hoards of recreational drugs. Many from the 1960’s and 1970’s are no longer with us. Some of my favorites have already gone: David Bowie, Lou Reed, George Michael, and my most favorite Bob Marley. Then why might we ask is Keith Richards still alive? We can explain that genetically. We are all not the same, and many times things tend to work less efficiently from our fifties on up.
Keith smokes, drinks, and did many strong recreational drugs for years without getting seriously ill. Take one of his pals of the same age as Keith that he party’s with. Have him take all the substances Keith did. He would probably die in his sixties. Why is that? This is primarily because Keith was born with a different set of genes, and different imprints from his prenatal and perinatal life. When his genes were challenged to work hard by clearing toxins from his liver, lungs, and kidneys, his theoretical friend would not be able to keep up with Keith. Hypothetically, his friend had different early imprints, and different genes, with a different end game.
A bad lifestyle is worse than a bad genetic report. When you put together two guys with different genes, and expose them to the same amount of alcohol and drugs, you will get two different results of health.
A SNiP is a “problem” gene. Both of your parents can give you a copy of a SNiP: a “single Nucleotide Polymorphism,” or just one parent can give you a copy. If both give you a copy it is called a Homozygous SNiP; the likelihood of having that problematic gene be activated is 70%. If only one parent gave you a copy of a SNiP then the chances of that poor functioning gene being activated is 30%. Your environment, and how you manage your diet, feelings, your age, and stress have a high influence on activating these SNiP’s that are problematic genes. That is what epigenetics is all about.
Your genotype is your unique DNA fingerprint. It contains all the genes and SNiP’s. You got half from your mother, and half from your father. Your genotype will never change. Other than identical twins, no two people on earth have the same genotype. A person’s genetic deck of cards is what we call our genotype. Our deck of cards interacts with our environment, and we call that interaction a person's “phenotype”.
You can work to optimize your epigenetics that control your genes. Your genes alone do not cause disease and poor health. The environment is what activates them, depending on many important factors. These factors have to do with early life—what your mother’s nutrition was like, what her emotional life was like while she carried you. Was she stressed out from living in poverty, or some other trying situation? These early circumstances create epigenetic imprints that are much more potent the younger that we are.
The next level of powerful epigenetic imprinting is our birth and beyond, particularly for the first 18 months. If we are born in a supportive, attuned, nurturing environment, our SNiP’s are less likely to be problematic later in life. Our early caretakers make a huge imprint for better or for worse on our health. These early imprints can be healed with various mind body therapies such as biodynamic craniosacral therapy, somatic experiencing, Myrna Martin’s developmental psychology trainings, and many other up and coming healing modalities related to Bessel Van Der Kolk, Dan Siegel, Ruth Buczynski, and others work. When healing from early difficult imprints, patients respond better through noticing their body as well as their thoughts.
These early imprints happen before we can talk, so mind/body based therapies are the most useful to support healing of what experts call developmental trauma, occurring from conception to the first six years of life.
What I am finding in my practice is that talk therapy, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, and diet often are not enough to maintain health as people age. Some patients also need biochemical genetic-focused nutritional support. We are not only dealing with their phenotype, but also imprints from our ancestors. This is where genetic methylation/nutrition treatments can really help. I build a multivitamin based on which of your SNiP genes are activated, your environment, and how you are regulating your nervous system. With some patients, talk therapy or biodynamic craniosacral therapy sessions alone are not enough. Supporting SNiP’s that may be slow at clearing stress hormones can be a huge hill for a patient to climb with mind body practices and diet alone. When people start to understand what genetic SNiP’s they have, they have more compassion and understanding of themselves—especially when they are having difficulty staying calm when faced with stress. After we begin testing and treating them, patients may begin to understand why they have symptoms of things like low energy, can’t sleep, or cannot tolerate perfumes.
I take a comprehensive approach to patient care that includes genetic nutrition testing, biodynamic craniosacral therapy, and structural work. I test what is happening now with a person’s system, and how they are processing substances that may be easy for one person to clear from their body, while difficult for another.
Here is an interesting fact: men can clear stress hormones more easily because of testosterone. Testosterone speeds up the COMT gene. This gene clears insulin, estrogen, and catecholamines: the stress hormones adrenalin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. What this means is that if a guy has healthy levels of testosterone, he may stereotypically like the rush of stress hormones. This is because he will get a rush by doing something like bungee jumping, because afterwards he is able to clear the adrenalin that created the feeling of the rush.
In women, estrogen tends to slow down the clearing of stress hormones and insulin. Estrogen slows down the COMT gene. When women get stressed, and especially if their COMT gene is a SNiP version (which means it doesn't work as well clearing things), they can tend to have trouble clearing the stress hormones, so these hormones stay in their system longer—creating a lot of anxiety. The upswing of this propensity is that these stress hormones make people much smarter and mentally sharper than average when they are cleared more slowly. Another problem is that if she has a slow COMT SNiP, it makes it harder for her to clear estrogen. This can cause a predisposition to Premenstrual Syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cancer, and increased breast cancer risk. The good news is that there are minerals that help the COMT gene work much better!
It seems clear that Keith was born with a good enough Mom and caretaker after he was born. It is also clear that he does not have problematic SNiP’s like some of his friends who are dead now.
How can we take care of ourselves with this new information?
Changing our lifestyle is the first thing. How we process and feel emotions, what we eat, how much exercise we get, and how much stress we are exposed to. Reducing stress is not completely about avoiding it; rather it is how we function with it, and how we interface with our environment.
Safe to say, don’t try and keep up with Keith and his habits. Make your choices in your surroundings/environment based on minimizing epigenetic strains. Learn self care, eat organic, and eat lots of vegetables. Get tested with holistic methylation if you already do those things, and are still having physical and emotional health issues.
Some people that I test have very few issues, and that is because they have done a lot of healing work and make healthy choices for their lifestyle. Others patients have lots of health issues, and are making positive health choices. These are the people that I can usually help greatly with holistic methylation. Yet some people are just lucky and are carrying a liver and genes/deck of cards like Keith. Yet in the end it all slows down as we age.
What is holistic methylation?
I use energy vials that have energetic signatures of substances like roundup, lead, mercury, and things in our body such as immunoglobulins, cholesterol, estrogen, dopamine. Clinical applied kinesiology was invented by Dr Beardall's work. These vials challenge genetic pathways to see how they are handling and processing these substances.
The most important part of why holistic methylation gets such phenomenal results in some people is that it treats so many pathways that are downstream of methylation. Treating methylation alone can be dangerous, causing a person to detox too fast, have more anxiety, not be able to sleep, and in some people even become quite agitated. Wholistic methylation takes into account all the pathways related to methylation. Many of the genes tested are in the phase II / P450 system of the liver. That is what clears estrogen, stress hormones, metals, roundup, etc…that is where methylation happens. Testing finds the weak spots, and provides an antidote that is something that your body uses as a building block: a mineral or a vitamin.
I have a patient in their twenties (who said that I could share some of their case) that has a brother that had childhood cancer. This patient has non-disease, functional health issues. This patient needs methylation nutrition support more than some people. I asked where they grew up. They said it was a factory town north of Providence Rhode Island. That was a strong imprint for them. I told them it was probably not a good idea for them to be working in an environment with lots of chemical exposure—and I treated them recently after cleaning out a basement for a friend and having a bad reaction. The patient had strong environmental childhood imprints, that influence them today. Their brother’s illness may have been proof of growing up around toxicity. Her brother is healthy now...
It is best to assume that you do not have the privilege of Keith's phenotype of, and approach your lifestyle choices based on staying well. Remember... your phenotype is how a person’s genes interface with a their environment.
December 21st, 2018
As the earth takes the last deep exhale this year, we can slow down.
This is a time to relish being Yin; going into the darkness of deep feminine principles.
Tonight is the longest night of the year. It is one of my favorite days here on earth. All of the potency of possibility lies on the other side of the exhalation as we go through this portal into dynamic stillness. This is a quantum place, where there is nothing to do, and no place to go. A place to just be. There is great potential here. It is what is truly the force of life of us all here on earth, and in our universe, before it begins to move into action. It is where our dreams start, and where all possibilities arise from.
Where do you want to direct your precious energy and thoughts? Is it for the betterment of all humankind, the earth, all the plants and animals, your loved ones, your health, your security, to love and be loved in return? What did you come here to do? What do you want to create, and share?
Today is a day to contemplate all of that, doing so has powerful effects. It is energetically imprinted and supported on a large scale. For this is happening in nature in relation to ocean tides, the sun, and the moon. It’s universal and personal.
This longest night of darkness is rejuvenating for all of us when we slow down and listen. Bringing an awareness of the implicit forces, connecting to the source, and listening will bring what has been waiting for you to hear into your conscious awareness. These quiet forces are the basis of everything. All the programs and apps from our soul and higher self that are running in the background are easily heard today. So ask yourself: “what is it that the Breath of Life has in store for me?” How can I be the highest expression of the Breath of Life?
For those of us that are biodynamic craniosacral therapists this is a deep, still day. If you are giving or getting a session today you will easily see the power of exhalation and dynamic stillness.
Take this time to be in that. Slow down, light a fire at home, have some cocoa. Be with your family and pets. Don’t do anything. Just be still and see what emerges. You will be surprised by the magic of what is always there, and is quiet. Today is the preparation of the “soil” that will hold the “seeds” you choose to plant and orient to. Are you listening? The breath of life wants to share its wonder and delight with you. There is great potency in this dynamic stillness that is the core of all things. It is the divine feminine. Regardless of what is happening externally, orient to the potency, and it will teach us more than we can imagine. Don’t be scared. You are always safe and held in dynamic stillness. This is the core of the universe: the solar system, the earth, each and every plant, animal, and human. It cannot be taken away from us no matter what. It is always there holding the field of the Long Tide, the Mid Tide and each and everyone of us.
You are held in the dynamic stillness of life.
Best Wishes, Kate
Recently at the biodynamic craniosacral therapy conference I had the good fortune to be the demonstration client for my friend and fellow teacher Christopher Mueller, he is a magical and astute practitioner; his knowledge of anatomy in impeccable. He was presenting on the Biotensegrity of the Pelvis.
He checked my leg length, shoulder height, and posture in a standing weight bearing position. I then lay down face up on the table as he showed the conference attendees various holds influencing the pelvis and the viscera that it contains as he treated me.
I have had a history of menstrual pain since I was 15 years old. I have tried many different treatments such as medications, hormone pills, nutritional supplements, Chinese herbs, Mayan abdominal massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy; the list goes on. Some of them helped, but never fully. My monthly pain has taught me a lot over all these years. I have learned about estrogen dominance, the endocrine system, the digestive system, functional health, inflammation, and structure. I studied and read in great depth to help others, and myself. At this point in my life I had surrendered to the monthly pain and was holding out for menopause. I have seen so many friends get hysterectomy's.
Christopher taught me something that I had not known after all these years. There is a ligament that is in 60% of the female population called the “Ligament of Cleyet”. As he was working I somatically learned that I have this ligament. It runs from the right ovary to the cecum ( which is part to of the appendix). I have always had pain during my cycle in my right lower abdomen. I would feel pretty bad every month for 1-5 days, this has been for the past 40 years! Medical doctors never could tell me what exactly was causing this pain. My acupuncturist said that I had too much cold in my uterus. I thought maybe all the ice fishing I did as a kid had caused that. Nowadays I would never be caught dead ice fishing, I consider it one of the stupidest sports for myself. Just sitting outside all day at subzero temperatures freezing on the ice. I am not a big fan of the cold, unless I am moving around to stay warm.
As Christopher worked, my system began to finally feel understood. My system knew he was an expert who was sensing the story in my tissue with great anatomical detail. My psoas released, my iliacus released, my leg began to wobble involuntarily off the side of the table. One of the people observing the session asked if I was doing that movement with my leg voluntarily. I thought to myself “hell no, this is sooo weird, yet I am ok as I notice my system discharging!”. My system seemed to be titrating many years of the pain it had been experiencing in my tissue field. He held the ligament below the area of my right ASIS, and worked biodynamically through my craniosacral system. The work was so gentle, and clear.
The proximity of the right ovary to the cecum and appendix can cause ovarian problems that stem from digestive issues. A right ovary may become inflamed if there are problems with the cecum. My digestive tract had tolerated a lot as a child when we lived in India. I was exposed to some hard core flora/biome, and gastrointestinal bugs that were really different from my original New England gut biome. The genitofemoral nerve passes under this ligament and can be irritated by a restricted ligament, or an inflamed ovary or cecum. I had experienced that nerve pain on and off over the years as well. This can cause nerve pain down the thigh or into the right knee. I think all of these factors created a perfect storm for me to have menstrual pain most of my life.
I know that this is a bit personal, yet feel that sharing what I learned may be useful to those suffering with these kinds of health issues.
Abdominal infection, pelvic alignment, surgery, traumatic falls, or car accidents may affect the way the ovary and fallopian tubes function. I was a very active kid, and kept up pretty well with my four older brothers. My sister also had a horse that I fell off of more than once. So I am sure I had hit the ground countless times influencing my structure; especially my sacrum and pelvis.
After the treatment /demonstration session was finished my cycle showed up immediately. I was very anxious about the timing of it starting since I was about to do a one hour presentation in front of 80 people on concussions and how biodynamic craniosacral therapy is so effective at treating them!
To my surprise I did not need to take any medications, or herbs, and had no pain throughout my the rest of my cycle. This was one of the only times in my life I had not been in pain during my cycle, and did not need to take some kind of pill.
I will be incorporating this understanding of this ligament with my patients. If anyone had told me that this would've happened, I would have probably laughed out loud. Once again the breath of life has blown me away by the healing it can create when a person is held in the hands of a skilled person such as Christopher Mueller.
Thank you Christopher! I am so grateful for your work, it is non-invasive, safe, and clear, and I wish you lived closer than California !
When we work with the “current” directed by the breath of life amazing things happen!
Yours in Health, Dr Kate
Looking at the psoas, iliacus, lumbosacral junction, and hips as one...
The other day I was holding a patient’s feet in the early part of giving a craniosacral session. I settled there listening to the expression of Health in their system. What I noticed was a presentation of the diaphragm, spine, psoas, iliacus, sacroiliac joints, pelvic bowl, and hip joints being shown as one continuous unit.
What came into my vision was that it is best to walk from the diaphragm, down through the pelvis, all the way to our feet, rather than truncating by only walking through from the lower spine.
Let me explain further... Often the lumbosacral junction is highly emphasized clinically because of all the things that can go wrong there. This is what the left brain does; it dissects, separates, and looks with a narrow perceptual field, but that is not the only important perspective. The lumbosacral junction is between L5 and S1, as we age there can be signs of compression, and degenerative changes to the disc. These changes can create joint pain, nerve pain, hip pain, and muscle tightening. This area tolerates a lot of compression when we sit in a chair, 250 pounds per square inch to be exact. Excessive sitting, and not moving much during our life can create inertia here.
The good news is that the spinal cord ends around the first Lumbar Vertebrae, which gives us more space for low back movement. Movement is more in the low back as there are no ribs. A horsetail like cluster of nerves hang down from the spinal cord at L1, and exit along the lumbar vertebrae as it descends down into the sacrum. This is called the Cauda Equina. The S1 nerve root exits between the 5th lumbar vertebrae and the first segment of the sacral bone. As little as 10 mm of pressure can activate, and inflame a sensory nerve from the dorsal root exiting the spine, causing altered sensation down the back of the leg. If there is more intense compression in the area where the nerve exits the spine from a disc, or stenosis caused by arthritis, it can influence the motor nerve of S1. The motor component of S1 nerve comes off the ventral root of the spinal cord ; and if this nerve gets really compressed it can cause your foot to not be able to point down and plantar flex. A motor nerve can tolerate a larger amount of inflammation and pressure before it begins to cause issues with muscle weakness. This is another amazing design in our systems in that our sensory sympathetic system is activated more easily than the motor sympathetic system. This is brilliant as we do not lose motor function first… so we can walk, yet we get the first warning sign of imbalance with pain from the sensory nerve first. Sensory nerve alarm signs are: pain, numbness, tingling down the back of the leg. Motor nerve impingement alarm signs are “charlie horses, weakness of muscles, and spasm.
ventral ramus (pl. rami) (Latin for branch) is the anterior division of a spinal nerve. The ventral rami supply the anterolateral parts of the trunk and the limbs. ... Shortly after a spinal nerve exits the intervertebral foramen, it branches into the dorsal ramus, ventral ramus, and ramus communicans. From Wikipedia
If we look at the lower spine and lower extremities in a fragmented way we are missing the true story. Of course we want to be able to zoom in and get a snapshot of what may be the area that is taking much of the strain of the spine as it transitions to the pelvis. L5 sits on top of the sacrum, and in the spine when structures transition is where most of the problems and symptoms arise. The lumbopelvic junction, the cervico thoracic junctions are common areas for pain.
As cranial therapists we orient to the Health. Motility is a huge part of what we do to support the Health and that is unlike most other treatments that attempt to “correct” the spine. Motility is the only way to influence how a bone is breathed by the Breath of Life. There are no other types of treatments that address motility more directly than biodynamic craniosacral therapy. Chiropractic only addresses mobility, which is movement between two bones/ joint motion.
Patient’s usually mostly care about not feeling anymore pain, although sometimes what they think should help blocks out what actually does help in terms of treatment types. As biodynamic craniosacral therapists we can address motility and mobility. The spine can get fragmented energetically, especially with so much sitting these days, and we can help that.
One of the other gifts that we offer in our work is to hold a sense of wholeness in a patient’s system. We remind them of this during sessions. This can help integrate other types of work, as well as strengthen the midtide to affect their whole system.
Now let’s take a look at the diaphragm, psoas, iliacus, and psoas minor.
These muscles support the front of the spine, deep behind all of our visceral organs. These soft tissue muscles are interconnected with the spine and each other. Yes, the diaphragm is a big muscle as well…
The organs sit on top of the spine and are massaged everytime we take in a breath, especially a big deep breath. Try taking a deep breath now. Can you feel your kidneys sitting on your psoas being massaged? Can you feel your stomach, liver, spleen, intestines, and pancreas in the front being massaged?
When we are thinking a lot and are” in our heads”, we breathe more shallowly. When we breathe more fully and orient to our breath mindfully, it helps us become more parasympathetic, relaxed, and helps lower your blood pressure.
The psoas is an oblique long muscle that attaches with the back of the spine and diaphragm supporting as a continuous structure. The psoas goes down the front and sides of the spine from the lower thoracics and courses through the front of the ilium attaching into the front of the femur/ hip socket. This muscle has been called the parade marching muscle when it contracts. When the psoas is shortened it puts us in the flexed fetal position. It helps us feel safe and regulates our nervous system. Think of child’s pose in Yoga, which shortens this muscle and helps us feel calm and soothed.
The psoas can hold sympathetic nervous system activation quite easily. The kidneys sit right on top of it, and they make stress hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine. There is a relationship here that I have often felt while giving sessions. This muscle can also hold fear, and is a major mover for flight to get us away from a dangerous situation. It is intertwined with our diaphragm and our breathing.
Our diaphragm is sympathetically controlled by the spinal nerves C3, C4, and C5. This is another transition area of the spine. The vertebra change from cervical to thoracics. Think of the implications here. We sit at a computer as I am now… my psoas is shortened, and my neck is flexed forward looking at the keyboard as I type. My posture in essence is mimicking a self protection modus operandus.
Try walking with this orientation as an experiment...
What if we started walking from a higher place of orientation? Try walking from your diaphragm and top of your psoas all the way down through your spine to your feet. As you do that take some deep belly breaths. Notice how that feels. Now try just orienting to walking from your hips and L5-S1 area, and breathe shallowly. When you only include the lower psoas, lower spine, and hips, flexion happens and we lose some of our lumbar lordosis. The lumbar lordosis is the natural curve that protects us against degenerative spinal changes and absorbs shock (not trauma, just gravity shock absorber) as we walk.
Now go back to walking again and include your diaphragm, psoas, iliacus, entire spine, hips, and lower legs. Notice the front and back of your body and how they help you improve your posture. This is a good mindful practice for people to do as they walk. The psoas lengthens, the trapezius, and latissimus fire up in our upper back, our gluteus maximus fires up and that is a very powerful muscle; our posture improves. To enhance this remember your abdominal muscles supporting the front of your trunk, holding your spine up to create a barrel effect of support all around your spine. Then add in the rib cage in your awareness for some more stability to the upper body/torso. Feel its cylindrical support.
For cranial therapists hold the feet and look at the spine and its muscular relationships holistically. Supporting titration can help discharge activation, and create more motility, and fluidity in the fluid tissue field. Especially when the safety of the relational field is well established. Bringing awareness in this area supports balancing the flow throughout a person’s day between sympathetic and parasympathetics. That can support healthy digestion, menstrual cycle, genitourinary tract function, detoxification, hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis, immune system, detoxification system, and emotional regulation.
How can we work with this?
Start a session with the ritual of contact. As you move to the feet take a peek into their system as you hold a wide perceptual field including their whole body and biosphere. See if you can connect with the legs, pelvis, and spine and look at the lower extremities as continuous extension of the psoas and diaphragm. As a unified field of action. I know this is not the inherent treatment plan, you can do that after you take a peek.
Can you now see the relationships here? How is the mobility and motility on this level of awareness? Now hold the sacrum, do you notice some inertia in the lower spine and extremities? Hold the whole system, while noticing the legs, pelvis, psoas, spine, and diaphragm as one continuous unit, then add in the whole spine, rib cage, heart, lungs, and sternum. Is there some titration happening in any of bones, soft tissue, organs? Let things go deep and settle and orient to the Midline Health, then all the way out to the biosphere.
What happens? The patient’s system becomes more holistic. You may even notice the chakra system coming off of the midline experienced a spinning funnels. The hip sockets and ilia, may titrate, the sacrum becomes more motile, as do the lumbars. The kidneys soften, as does the diaphragm. The heart softens as the pericardium is continuous with the diaphragm.
Maybe there is some titration here in the chest cavity. When this releases the lungs and heart soften as does the mid back and neck.
Then the continuous fascia into the neck especially anteriorly that comes up and hangs off the cranial base can release….
Just think of what happens emotionally when a person’s system becomes more fluid. The heart opens, and the mind lets go…
This is a great picture from Michael Kern’s book: Wisdom in The Body.
It shows the interconnectivity of the fascia in the neck and chest cavity…
The take home here is that our body in one big continuous, connected system. When we start perceiving the body that way things can change, and people can heal on many levels. The body holds all experiences be they emotional, physical, spiritual, or mental. It is helpful to be able to be specific to “hear” what the tissue is presenting, then hold the large field as you work. It is also helpful to orient to what supports good posture while walking, standing, and sitting.
You can then take this understanding into the realm of walking and moving about as a daily practice to prevent and slow down inertial and degenerative changes of your spine and body.
Just the other day I was asked by a patient what craniosacral is while giving them a session. Each time I am asked this question I give a different answer. The breath of life is expressed in so many different ways in all of us. It is like asking different people to describe a mountain range. Many descriptions may have similar characteristics, yet each will have their own illustration. What arose is describing it in terms of stengthening one's midline first, and then helping others strengthen their midline.
When it comes to Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy it probably confuses the public, as so many teachers and practitioners have different ways of describing the work through their own lens. To top that off teachers can change their definitions with time, and who they are describing the work to. I certainly explain biodynamic craniosacral therapy differently to a yoga instructor versus an engineer.
We are trying to describe a right brained experience in a left brained culture.
I have taken this powerful and deep work out into my day to day living, applying the same principles to my relationship with work, the world, nature, and my family. What I keep noticing is that the more I orient to my midline, the more differentiated and neutral I can be in an environment where things can sometimes feel upside down. This keeps me more centered during rough seas. Not unlike a punching bag that has sand at the bottom that grounds it back to its midline when a strong wind or punch comes along.
When I pop out of my midline in an energetic way I don’t feel as neutral and centered, and can be pulled away from The Source. I noticed I become more in reaction to what is happening in the world when I am not oriented in my midline. Staying in my midline by holding an awareness of my spine allows me to stay present, and feel less overwhelmed. Some days are better than others, as we all know.
What do I mean by midline? As a Chiropractor I orient to the midline which is the spine. We spend years studying, and working on people’s spines. That is the core of my profession. This is not how I thought about it when I was 21 years old and just beginning Chiropractic school. The spine is the physical and energetic midline of the body. It is the original embryological place where the energetic blueprint is laid down by the Breath of Life to attract our cells to organize as a human body. Our original blueprint is always being expressed each and every second. The more you focus on your original blueprint, the more you are strengthening your relationship to a greater wisdom and Health rather than life circumstances and genetics. Recent science shows that our genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger. This magical blueprint is within us all before life has epigenetically shaped us; the spine and midline connect us all to the Breath of Life/ The Source.
This bioelectric blueprint is an embryological fact. It is the the root of biodynamic craniosacral therapy where we focus on Health rather than what is wrong. We use the word Health interchangeably with the original blueprint/ or architectural energetic plan.
Here is a video of the bioelectric signal/original blueprint being laid down to form a tadpoles eyes:
When I started experimenting on my midline I began noticing that it had a calming effect on myself, as well as people around me. It did not matter if I was sharing a conversation, or giving a treatment.
When I stepped out of my midline and strongly oriented to an emotion, or mental state, I would feel the energy field become more activated by noticing buzzing sensations, and speediness. I think this is what animals innately feel all the time. We can learn a lot from them.
One of the powerful aspects of orienting to my spine is that it is a physical place. The energetic field is quite strong here in the body. That concept is derived from Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine which are both 5000+ years old...
If you don’t consider the body having an energy field that directs our cells to function, then you are looking at our alive body as if it was a cadaver.
This is a klemerism
If you want to experiment, try noticing where your spine is at first on your own. Then when you are relating to someone, hold both an awareness of your own spine, and body. See if you can notice how the interaction feels. Try just doing that for a while, and then do the same practice and include the other person’s spine, energy field/biosphere around their body, and add in what they are saying, and hold both by bringing your awareness especially to your midline/spine, and theirs. Let the conversation go back and forth noticing all of this. What you may find is a sense of settling between you both. The conversation may deepen, and be more connected
Here is some more science on the presence of energy fields...
This is famous author Dr. Rupert Sheldrake explaining
Morphogenetic energy fields.
He says: “Morphogenetic fields are regions of activity that shape developing organisms. Morphogenetic fields play the role of architectural plans, they are invisible formative influences that shape organisms as they develop”
You can practice this by listening to the recording below when I lead a meditation on the midline in one of my classes.
Stay in your midline, and enjoy life,
In health, Dr Kate
For Cranial Geeks… like myself:
The Palatine Bone and Social Nervous System Activation Titration.
I wanted to share some recent insights that I have been noticing in clinical practice recently. One of the perks of seeing a lot of cranial clients each week allows me to see patterns and receive ‘intensive classes’ from the Breath of Life. If you have not taken a training and do not know some of the jargon, I apologize. One of my goals in life is to write a book that anyone can understand Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
Here is some basic jargon.
The Breath of Life is the Intelligence that underpins and connects all life, and creates Primary Respiration which is a quantum/energy breath that breathes intelligence into our body and biosphere.
Biosphere: is the energy field around our body it is about 10-15 inches off the body all around it.
Titration in biodynamic craniosacral therapy: is term that describes following the pace of the body to discharge any holding from a trauma in the tissue field. It is done at the pace that is not overwhelming in any way to the client. It happens in the midtide layer, which is a natural resource that requires settling and grounding to drop into. There can be emotional, spiritual, physical, and /or mental levels of titration.
What the Breath of Life Taught Me
Many times The Breath of Life teaches me things in clusters by showing me patterns in groups of patients. Often I will get a stream of simular cases in the same day. Last week I took a "class" from the Breath of Life about the social nervous system; specifically on the trigeminal nerve. The social nervous system is not just about the vagus nerve… it also includes the V (trigeminal), VII (facial), IX (glossopharyngeal), and XI (spinal accessory) nerves.
During several sessions, I was pointed to inertial fulcrums in the palato-sphenoidal area. I noticed my clients systems were to titrating mild tissue activation, and emotions in the spheno-palatine region. Tissue activation is noticed as heat, cold, buzzing, sparkling, or other sensations. At first the bones would work on the level of motility, then mobility, and then the nerve would start to titrate back through their cranial vault. After titrating the brainstem nuclei the midtide or long tide returned and the session would be complete.
These patients all had a theme of chronic sympathetic activation, and anxiety. They were stuck in activation, but they were functioning in their day to day life. They were resourced enough to titrate. These people are New Englander's; when on the table they often have a hard time settling. I felt that titrating the area around the palatine bone was a way to quickly access and override their “stinking thinking.” The largest block that I see in my practice to healing is dealing with dysregulated minds. People do not take the time to stop thinking so darn much, and their phones have a lot to do with that habituation. ( But that is another blog)
The palatine bone is near the maxillary/sensory branch of the trigeminal nerve, and is sandwiched between the the maxilla and sphenoid bones.
I created a new kind of cranial hold that worked really well for me.
I have tried other social nervous system holds in the books, but this one was more comfortable for me. It engaged the back of the palate and upper back teeth, the TMJ, the cranial base, and the brainstem with its nuclei. It is a very holistic hold.
The hold is to gently place your thumb and 2nd finger in front of the clients ear with the client supine position, and then put the 3rd, 4th, and 5th digits on the temporal and occipital bones behind the ear. I am not one to get super literal about working with inertial fulcrums, especially in the mouth. What I have found is if you know the anatomy visually you do not need to be right on the anatomy. Often times you cannot be right on the anatomy that is holding an inertial fulcrum anyways. Clients nor I settle very much while working in the mouth, so I rarely use that type of contact. I find that you end up only being able to tune into the CRI, and that is not where we work. I have to be super comfortable because I don't move around a lot during sessions.
Background for Learning About This Anatomical Area
I will admit that the palatine is my favorite bone. (I know we are not supposed to have favorites but…) After having some huge releases titrated here myself from past cranial sessions I have found it to be a super charged area for many.
At 13 years old I had headgear, braces, a retainer, a sadistic Orthodontist (just kidding); I also, chipped my front tooth playing tag on a playground in 5th grade. This was also coupled with a sudden death in my family at 8 years old.
After I had my wisdom teeth out at 32 years old, I learned that it was not a good idea from my Harvard Dental School graduate Uncle Paul. I had followed my Dentists recommendations before consulting Uncle Paul and regretted that. My Uncle said I could have left them in, and just made sure they did not get impacted by checking them each year. I bet my Grampa, a Gloucester Dentist would have concurred with Uncle Paul. Can you notice all the layers that influenced my palatine bone and social nervous system?
Currently I have some chronic sinus drip, even though I do not eat dairy.
The Maxillary branch of the Trigeminal nerve /Indirect Palatine Bone hold I made up supports a lot of discharge and titration on many levels from the sandwiched area of the sphenoid-palatine-maxillary bones, and the nerves related to them. There is a strong connection into the brainstem nuclei from here through the nerve. This can be a powerful shortcut for titrating one of the nerves of the social nervous system. Supporting this process can really settle things down. If you notice some inertia in the area of the cranial base and sphenoid see what organizes it; this palato-sphenoid connection may be the primary fulcrum. The session was directed by the breath of life, and was very powerful and safe. The Breath of Life seemed to understand as the practitioner that I knew the anatomy, had a lot of personal experience with this area, and that I am regulated, and grounded (most of the time :). It knew that I was the person that could support healing this particular issue.
I notice when I get super stressed, or feel some strong emotions arising, that my jaw feels tight, and the spheno-palatine area can feel like a vice is tightening there. Most of the time I can soften when this happens, and orient to the tides and motility. When I can’t, I go get a cranial session. Can you imagine how hard it could be for the person who does not know how to soften their system and regulate their nervous system? Maybe they could experience a tooth ache, or sinus pain, or even trigeminal neuralgia could arise.
Supporting titration here can help lower the level of sympathetic activation in the overall nervous system. Especially a nervous system that habitually is in that space. As I work I keep checking to make sure that my patients are not going over the waterfall and getting overwhelmed emotionally. This was not happening during these sessions, even when some of the titration was emotional. It is very safe to use this hold if you stay grounded and wide with your focus while relating to their whole system in the midtide. That is how we teach practitioners in this work.
Social Nervous System
We do know that the social nervous system is our highest and brightest way of coping with difficult times. We connect and Co-regulate by hugging someone, talking with a safe and supportive person, holding hands with someone, or getting a cranial session. It seems that the palato-sphenoidal relationship can be a direct line to helping people’s entire system titrate old imprints, and learn a felt sense in their body of safety and settling. I do believe that since it is in direct relationship with the sphenoid and brainstem nuclei the effect can be global on a persons system. However as we know any inertial fulcrum that re-integrates into the wholeness of one's system can have this affect.
Stimulate social nervous system sensory pathways.
The social nervous system was developed by Stephen Porges. It is a new concept in understanding our nervous system. Our first choice when faced with something that is potentially scary is to connect with others, and co-regulate. We check in with each other to see what that noise was, by using our voice by asking: “did you notice that too”? We are looking for support from our pack, as there is safety in packs. Animals show us this daily. The Canadian Geese fly in formation above us in the sky, wolves live in packs, and horses live in herds. We are wired the same way as them.
The social nervous system is comprised of cranial nerves V (trigeminal), VII (facial), IX (glossopharyngeal), X (vagus), XI (spinal accessory). The nerves of the social nervous system are responsible for head turning, muscles of facial expression, muscles of mastication, middle ear muscles, larynx and pharynx, heart and bronchi, linings of the oral cavity, nasal cavity, and sinuses, the teeth, the sutures, the dura, and the skin and arteries of the cranium.
When we experience our environment as safe, we operate from the social nervous system division which is a good thing. When we have to fight or flight from a threat, this is because the sympathetic nervous system approach has taken the forefront. This can be good for our safety. When we freeze and dissociate before we are about to be a predators kill, this is useful as it numbs us out from the suffering about to happen. The problem arises when we tend to get stuck in one of the lower brain modus operandus, and lose flexibility in our nervous system amidst these three levels.
Our work as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapists we strengthen the Social Nervous System through the body = by focusing on the brain stem. This is our reptilian brain and is not under conscious or emotional control. We titrate inertial fulcrums/ trauma by combining having our client notice and name physical bodily sensations, and then their resource. As biodynamic craniosacral therapists we orient to and magnify natural resources that arise from the Breath of Life. These are the Long Tide, the Mid Tide, Dynamic Stillness, and Stillpoints. In the process of working with the ‘felt sense’ in the body, physical discharge of the trauma arises. We help discharge/titrate physical sensations and emotions through the body and biosphere. This is called bottom-up processing.
Craniosacral is a very powerful way to support nervous system flexibility, and especially strengthen a sense of safety in relation to another person/the cranial therapist. This is one to the few therapies that can touch this part of the nervous system. Supporting the body in learning to know what it feels like to be safe. We can “re-member” that feeling of safety. Noticing the body sensations helps to regulate the brain and nervous system.
“There is a strong neuroanatomical and neurophysiological justification to predict that stimulation of the vagal afferents would change activity of higher brain structures.” Porges
To Review, The Trigeminal Nerve Points to the Power of Supporting its Titration.
The trigeminal nerve is the principal sensory nerve of the head innervating the skin of the face, mucosa of the mouth, nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses, and most of the dura mater and the cerebral arteries back to the brain stem.
The sensory ganglion of the trigeminal nerve is huge, which explains all the work it does for us. The sensory input from the mouth, sinus, and dural areas has powerful implications. Titrating the activation that has been locked in inertial states from this area can be a shortcut to helping a system settle more deeply and become more resourced.
The sensory component of the V/5th Trigeminal Nerve carrying sensory information from the dura to the brainstem nuclei has powerful implications. This can support titration of the dural tissue through this nerve. Resolution of inertial fulcrums on this level would affect the cranial bowl, the dural tube, and have full body implications.
Biomechanics surrounding the V/5th Trigeminal Nerve
The sphenoid bone articulates with the palatine bones via pterygoid processes of the sphenoid bone. It is a gliding kind of connection between the two bones. This joint relationship helps diminish the force from chewing food to be translated into the sphenoid bone/cranial base.
Things to note about the Maxillary Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve:
We support regulation by non-verbally changing the radio station.
An old Osteopath in England I took a class with said “fear shuts down everything”. You cannot access the Health when a person is afraid. I have felt fear in my clients. You cannot access the tides. The dura feels stiff, hence the nervous system has lost its fluidity temporarily. That is why we teach them about settling, and resourcing, as well as other self emotional regulatory skills.
In these situations as practitioners we resource and reconnect our client’s system to the Breath of Life, by being anchors for them to go into resonance with. We do this by taking the lead and non-verbally orienting our own system to the tides and stillness. This helps shift them off the nightmare radio channel they are on. They have to drop below their ego to follow you there. That may take time and regular appointments. Sometimes they cannot do that, and you don't see them again because they want their mind to be in control and cannot surrender. If they are not patient to give the work time (usually at least 6 sessions to start settling into what our work is really about ) they give up. Strong minds are the largest block to healing. We act as guides to help change the radio station playing in our clients nervous system, and teach them to change the station on their own eventually. In doing so we can clarify, titrate, and support connecting to one’s inner Health and Intelligence.
Why do you want to lift weights after 50?
I started lifting weights again. It is so nice to not wake up with low back pain anymore, and finally my frozen shoulder went away once I began weight lifting.
Here are a few more reasons to start lifting weights. You can use free weights, machines, kettle bells, or your pet! This is especially important for women because we are generally more prone to weight gain, depression, and fatigue/thyroid issues.
I will keep this brief. A pound of muscle is a lot smaller than a pound of fat. When you strength train you make more muscle, and fat starts to burn away, and your clothes fit better.
Strength training builds up and strengthens your bones. Studies show that strength training increases bone density. It also decreases your chances of getting injured and breaking a bone if you do fall. It helps support better balance. When you are stronger, and you have to lift a piece of furniture, or pick something up off the floor (which seems farther and farther away as we get older), it is not going to be a problem.
Strength training burns fat. When you make more muscle, it burns more calories. If you strength train with high intensity interval training also known as HIIT, it will increase your human growth hormone levels exponentially. This will give you more energy, and you will have hormone levels on par with levels you had when you were younger. This hormone drops off as we age, and high intensity training can increase it up to 700% !
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity, which is going to prevent diabetes. Lower levels of insulin will keep your body less inflamed in general, and support a stronger thyroid and adrenal functionally.
Exercise increases your mitochondria. Mitochondria is the part of your cell that provides cellular energy. So more mitochondria means more cellular energy.
Then if you throw in some cardio walking, biking, or get on the
Precor machine after strength training. This will increase your circulation and heart health. It is best to do more aerobic exercise after weight loss to increase fat burning.
Exercise helps brain health and improves your mood. ( as I write on this gloomy February day)... Your brain does better with more circulation and better insulin sensitivity.
There are some great cell phone APPS that show you what to do and how to do it so you do not have to figure that out. There is no excuse. You can even do some of the exercises in 7 minutes. There is an exercise APP called "7 Minute Workout".
Start slow and work your way towards better health and quality of life!
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