Body College Podcast 

An occasional series from Steve Haines exploring embodied approaches to pain, trauma and anxiety. How can touch, movement, presence and stories help us find joy and agency? Bodies can be hard. Feelings are complex.

This podcast aims to help us make sense of the world of feelings inside of us and the world of possibilities around us. The art of touch, being trauma informed and embodiment will be a constant themes.

You can quickly play the episodes and see the show notes below. For more options on playback show is hosted on Simplecast or play on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

#4 Biodynamics, Trauma and Touch - Jane Shaw: Shownotes

#4 Biodynamics, Trauma and Touch – Jane Shaw

Episode Summary

Jane Shaw talks with Steve Haines about biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST), touch, trauma and how her study of Jungian psychology informs her practice and teaching of BCST.

Bio: Jane Shaw is a craniosacral therapist based in Northern Ireland. She is the founder and director of the Elmfield Institute an institute dedicated to holistic health education. She has a Masters in Jungian psychology. She writes, teaches internationally, and runs retreats and workshops www.elmfieldestate.com

Episode Notes

‘I would describe Jungian psychology very simply as making the unconscious conscious, which I think we do through the body. So Jung had a quote that I often use, he said ‘The symbols of the self arise from deep within the body’. We talk about orienting to wholeness in biodynamic craniosacral therapy. So that’s the whole body, or the whole person, or wholeness as a concept, I really like. It means that everything is connected. Everything is talking to each other. Everything is in relationship.’

‘I think the unconscious can be scary. And I think that that’s okay. There’s a practice of being okay with the unknown and uncertainty. That can be really, really hard. That can be really tough because we want certainty mostly in life. But I think my practice is being okay with not knowing and being okay with the uncertainty. Jung spoke about the individual unconscious and the collective unconscious and for me, that’s what’s most exciting about it. It really speaks to a great mystery.’

  • Why biodynamic craniosacral therapy?
  • How do you define biodynamics?
  • Can you talk about how you use touch to work with trauma?
  • You have a masters in Psychology and are deeply interested in the work of Jung. Can you talk about how that informs your BCST practice and teaching?
  • In the last few years you I noticed you have run some wonderful workshops on death, relationships plus an upcoming workshop on intergenerational trauma. The topics are novel in my experience of observing BCST post grads. Can you me more about how you approach post grads?
#3 Trauma is Really Strange - Steve Haines: Shownotes

#3 Trauma is Really Strange – Steve Haines

Episode Summary

This podcast explores models around stress, trauma and appeasement. One of the core themes is that being aware of habitual survival gestures can help us become more resilient. Dissociation is the hidden mystery of trauma, by learning to be grounded we can put the brakes on overactive threat detections responses.

It is hard when we can not regulate feelings of speeding up to survive or shutting down to survive. The podcast offers it is possible to safely find new ways to connect to our body and our environment to find agency and choice.

Episode Notes

From the archives, audio from a webinar on Trauma is Really Strange on 26 May 2022. You can also view as a video podcast

Trauma is anything that overwhelms our ability to cope. Frequently, people approach healing trauma as a psychological problem. That can be useful, but this webinar will explore how relating to body physiology can help us re-connect to safety. The most basic decision a human being is making is ‘Am I Safe?’. If there is perception of danger, or the habit of feeling unsafe, we can get stuck in primitive defence cascades.

Living every day as if it is an emergency, endlessly turning on reflexes of ‘fight-or-flight’ or ‘freeze’, is exhausting. We will explore bottom up approaches to feeling safe. There are lots of simple tools and principles that help turn down the volume on triggering danger messages.

Steve Haines is author of the best selling Really Strange series. Trauma is Really Strange is far and away the best selling book in the series, people really want to learn about what is happening when we feel overwhelmed.

The first hour is an interactive talk on trauma. It is suitable for people affected by trauma or therapists working with trauma.

The last half hour explores using ‘Relational Touch’ and embodied approaches to overwhelm. This section is aimed at people interested in training with Body College in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

#2 Touch is Really Strange - Steve Haines: Shownotes

#2 Touch is Really Strange – Steve Haines

Episode Summary

Learn how touch works. Learn how to harness the power of slow touch that focuses on a whole person.

So often touch has a narrow focus on trying to change local tissue dynamics. That type of touch does not work particularly well to change pain. This talk looks the research and science of slow C-fibre touch. Touch that is always emotional and promotes social bonding.

Episode Notes

From the archives, audio from webinar on Touch is Really Strange on 23 Jun 2022. You can also view as a video podcast

Touch is an under appreciated tool for promoting health. Being touched and engaging with the world through the antennae of our limbs is fundamental to our sense of self.

All our early learning is rooted in touch. We meet a world that pushes back, not alway gently. The ability to contemplate and think develops after our primal experiences of touch and moving to interact with our environment. Thinking is dependant on feeling.

There are two main types of touch – slow touch, quick touch. Slow touch, also know as affective touch or relational touch, is essential to create bonding, to promote safety. Slow touch is a powerful way of conveying emotions and support and promoting health.

This webinar will celebrate the power of ‘Relational Touch’. So often in pain, anxiety and trauma there is a sense of fragmentation, disconnection and confusion as to what we feel. We will explore touch as an art to be cultivated.

Skilful slow touch can be used a lever to helps us feel real and whole again.

Steve Haines is author of the best selling Really Strange series. Touch is Really Strange is the latest book in the series and the distillation of decades of experience of being a bodyworker.

The first hour is an interactive talk on touch. It is suitable for people living with pain, anxiety or trauma or therapists who want to develop their touch skills.

The last half hour explores using ‘Relational Touch’ and embodied approaches to health. This section is aimed at people interested in training with Body College in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

#1 Taking Heart and Making Sense - Dr Karin Lindgaard: Shownotes

#1 Taking Heart and Making Sense – Dr Karin Lindgaard

Episode Summary

Dr Karin Lindgaard talks with Steve Haines about her new book ‘Taking Heart and Making Sense – a New View of Nature, Feeling and the Body’.

Karin is a philosopher and biodynamic craniosacral therapist based in Australia. We talk about the importance of feeling states to being conscious, the origin of concepts as ‘structures of experience’, change as a fundamental and embodied cognition. Karin is wonderful guide to some rich philosophy that is directly relevant to embodied models of health and healing. There are some valuable insights that could really help clarity in clinical practice.

Episode Notes

Taking Heart and Making Sense argues that theoretical developments in the neuroscience, psychology and philosophy of feeling and emotion indicate a need to amend our most basic understanding of the world.

Lindgaard proposes a worldview based on the fundamental reality of change, best understood through the concepts of process and relation. This new metaphysics clarifies theories of feeling and the physical body, and validates concepts such as attunement, interaction and histories of functioning.

Her theory conceptualises feeling as the perspective from the inside of a certain kind of living system, which exists as a whole process over time. In relation to much longer trajectories of evolution, human feeling is prefigured in animal consciousness and meaning is immanent in nature.

Bio: Dr Karin Lindgaard is the author of Taking Heart and Making Sense: A New View of Nature, Feeling and the Body, published in April, 2022. Her unique perspective on consciousness, feeling and the body draws upon more than twenty years of research, including a PhD in philosophy from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia. Karin is a registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist whose work is highly influenced by personal practices, including insight meditation and dance. She lives in Castlemaine in Victoria, Australia.

https://www.embodimentphilosophy.com/philosophy

Latest episode on Spotify

‘The symbols of the self arise from deep within the body’ Jung

‘I would describe Jungian psychology very simply as making the unconscious conscious, which I think we do through the body. So Jung had a quote that I often use, he said

‘The symbols of the self arise from deep within the body’.

We talk about orienting to wholeness in biodynamic craniosacral therapy. So that’s the whole body, or the whole person, or wholeness as a concept, I really like. It means that everything is connected. Everything is talking to each other. Everything’s in relationship.’

‘Our understanding is generated through our bodily engagement.’

Steve: Can you talk a little bit about embodiment and concepts?

Karin: So my understanding of that comes from the field of embodied cognition which is a field of cognitive science. To understand that you really need to just have a bit of a background about the field of cognitive science generally. So that was based on the idea of the mind as something that represents external reality through the creation of symbols.

Very much based on the metaphor of a computer and that somehow symbols exist separately in the mind. And then we’d learn to abstractly or logically use those symbols or concepts.

So then the question is how do we form those?

Embodied cognition has been a response to issues in cognitive science and over the last 25 to 30 years. But particularly over the last 10 years, I think that there’s been a lot of focus on how our understanding is generated through our bodily engagement.

So I was thinking that to make the word concepts a bit more comprehensible, we can use the term structures of understanding. So everything we do and encounter in the world, we encounter through some kind of structure of understanding.