"If we can store a symphony on a piece of plastic tape, and a video with sound on a little more complicated, but still molecularly simple, piece of plastic tape, it certainly seems reasonable that something as complex as a piece of muscle or liver could store the memory of an experience and its attendant emotion."
- Neil Mohan, Research Physicist, subcontractor with NASA
Neil is talking about tissue memory, one of the main themes from the CranioSacral course I attended over the past 4 days - don't worry I still managed some sunshine at lunchtimes! Neil worked with Dr John Upledger, the founder of CranioSacral Therapy and this quote was made in the 1970's hence the comparison to good old cassette and video tapes! (remember winding a cassette tape with a pen?!)
The tissue memory being referred to is the way in which any type of body tissue from single cells to muscles and bones can retain memories of experiences we've had. These experiences may be uplifting or traumatic or anything in-between. When the memory of the experience gets stored, the associated emotions can also be stored. This tissue memory in the body does not require brain involvement - we are not consciously aware of it happening.
The tissue memory of the experience and its emotion can create enough cellular disruption to cause physical issues in the body whether it be pain, restricted movement, disrupted hormone production or disrupted digestion just to name a few.
This is why working with the body using a hands-on therapy can help to release stored emotions. When we gently work with the affected tissues the emotion can be acknowledged and given an opportunity to be processed. This frees up the body physically and also allows for easier processing of future emotions as there's not so much backlog in the system. Win win!
How do we know which tissues to work with? By using the tools of Kinesiology, CranioSacral Therapy and Bowen Therapy to assess and listen to the body. The body has an inner wisdom - we just need to learn how to listen to it and work with it at its own pace.
We really are amazing beings.
Although this wasn't completely new information for me as we already work this way in clinic, the course helped to deepen the way my hands can tune into the body tissues and feel for the stored experiences and emotions in order to help the body process them to resolution.
If you would like to read more about this subject, the book "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bessel van der Kolk was recommended on the course. I haven't read it yet myself but it's now on my list! (It's quite a long one though!)
The title in itself sums up the phenomena of tissue memory perfectly.
Happy tissue releasing!
P.P.S. Online bookings are available for current clients.