To Heal Trauma We Do Not Need to Remember

To Heal Trauma We Do Not Need to Remember

When trying to recover from overwhelming experiences it can be helpful to understand how memory works, particularly how memories are related to feelings in the body. Memory is a complex perception. In this blog I’ll explore how memory works and why it can get confused...

Can we ease anxiety through embodiment?

Can we ease anxiety through embodiment?

Anxiety is most commonly framed as a psychological problem, and helping people with anxiety has traditionally been seen as the territory of mental health professionals.  However, through over 20 years of clinical experience as a bodyworker I’ve discovered how safely...

Can we change the way we perceive pain?

Can we change the way we perceive pain?

Pain is strange in that it is non-linear and quickly becomes amplified over and above what is happening in the tissues.  A leading definition emerging from the latest research is that pain emerges when your brain decides something is unsafe.  At the core of the...

Is trauma physiological, or psychological?

Is trauma physiological, or psychological?

When it comes to healing trauma, psychology isn’t unimportant, however, when we work with a body-up approach, we can reset the overactive triggers in our threat detection systems. When the body is calm and we’ve quieted its protective reflexes, we can make more space...

The Hidden Mystery of Trauma

The Hidden Mystery of Trauma

When I started to learn about trauma and I realised that the most important decision a human being is making is “am I safe?”, it became a key focus of my work. Especially when I discovered that all pain, anxiety and depression is rooted in feelings of not being safe....

You’re an organic garden, not a broken machine

You’re an organic garden, not a broken machine

When it comes to working with pain, I believe the core of our clinical work is finding creative ways to help people find agency, strength and choice.  In my early work, I used to believe there was a stretch or a manipulation for every health challenge. Over time I...

Four Ways to Embody Safety for Yourself and Your Clients

Four Ways to Embody Safety for Yourself and Your Clients

I’m a passionate advocate for embodiment. Human beings function best when they’re connected, present, not dissociated and able to be coherent with what’s happening inside them and what’s happening around them. This is an ongoing negotiation. In my clinical practice,...

Blissful Movements Podcast

Blissful Movements Podcast

I was recently interviewed for the Blissful Movements Podcast. We explored: How embodiment is a lifelong journey.  When we dissociate, where do we go to? The physiology of empathy. How our sense of self is defined by many streams of information as bio-psycho-social...

Why is ‘shaking it off’ so good for us?

Why is ‘shaking it off’ so good for us?

The psychologist, Dr David Bercelli has long worked in the Middle East and North Africa in war-torn communities. He was in a bomb bunker in Lebanon when he began to conceive the practice of TRE (Trauma and Tension Releasing Exercises). As the bombing continued, he...

How Bodyworkers Can Be More Brave and Ambitious With Touch

How Bodyworkers Can Be More Brave and Ambitious With Touch

Touch is stranger and more powerful than often assumed. In trauma, pain and anxiety, touch can be a safe, novel stimulus to access new possibilities in our physiology. As bodyworkers we can learn to be more skillful as we touch our clients. A focus on slow, relational...

Relational Touch

Did you know there are two types of touch? It is useful to understand the difference between quick touch and slow touch. Quick touch goes along big, thick A fibre nerves. These nerves are like motorways. Slow touch is different, it goes along slow, thin C fibre...

We Touch Whole People, Not Parts of People

We Touch Whole People, Not Parts of People

When it comes to working with people’s pain and trauma, it turns out that feeling safe and exploring someone’s stories; their hopes, dreams and fears is key to healing.  I trained as a chiropractor where we often only treat part of the body. One of the central ideas...

Why safe touch feels amazing and bad touch feels awful

Why safe touch feels amazing and bad touch feels awful

Lockdown has been a massive experiment in non-touching. The stories of people isolated in hospital with only a screen to communicate to loved ones or the images of people on either side of plastic barriers, are heartbreaking. The past 12 months have reinforced the...

Why is embodiment key to healing trauma?

Why is embodiment key to healing trauma?

If it is hard to feel, it is hard to heal.  Our feeling states are often hidden, rarely simple, and sometimes scary. Embodiment tools can help us develop our capacity to feel, which is incredibly useful in resolving pain, anxiety and trauma.  We’re all hardwired to...

The Brain Can Make Mistakes When it Comes to Pain

The Brain Can Make Mistakes When it Comes to Pain

When I teach that “pain involves the brain,” people often feel that I’m saying that it’s their fault. That’s really not what I am saying. I like to talk about the mind, the brain, and the body. The mind is our consciousness, our awareness, our sense of self. The brain...

How to recognise fight, flight or freeze

How to recognise fight, flight or freeze

The understanding of trauma is fundamental to health.  We’re all hardwired to respond to overwhelming experiences in the same way. We contract away from danger, we run, jump fight or shutdown. The control mechanisms (nervous, hormonal and immune) take us immediately...

Links between pain and trauma

Links between pain and trauma

Links between pain and trauma Polyvagal theory developed by Dr Stephen Porges is very influential in the trauma world. The essence of polyvagal theory is that feeling safe is the fundamental drive for humans. If there is the perception of danger ('neuroception' is the...

Can feeling your body lessen anxiety?

Can feeling your body lessen anxiety?

Understanding how anxiety is created by our nervous system trying to protect us, and how our fight-or-flight mechanisms can get stuck, can significantly lessen the fear experienced during anxiety attacks. I’m deeply curious about how minds and bodies interact. I am...

Pain, Perception, Trauma and Safety

Pain, Perception, Trauma and Safety

Why is it that two people can experience the same stressful event, but have very different outcomes? I recently joined Avni Trivedi on the Speak From the Body podcast to talk about deepening feeling, changing the narrative and addressing stress, pain and trauma. We...

How to Find Safety During the Pandemic

How to Find Safety During the Pandemic

The amount you’re affected by an unprecedented event like this current pandemic depends on your resources and your relationship to health. We all do the best we can, given our history and current circumstances. Many of our responses are rooted in primitive reflexes...

10 Ways to Work with Anxiety in Times of Crisis

10 Ways to Work with Anxiety in Times of Crisis

Many people are experiencing more anxiety than usual in the face of the global pandemic. Whether you’d like some guidance for your own anxiety, or you’re working with people who need extra support, I hope these ten approaches help you to feel more freedom and ease....