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Why do we call this therapy “Spiral Techniques”? Matter moves in a spiral motion. From the smallest atom, to the double helix of our own DNA, to the largest galaxies, the spiral represents motion that is continuous and infinite.
As well, the spiral form has an absolute integrity in structure. It can be lengthened or shortened, but it cannot lose its inherent spiral organization.
The form of the spiral is applicable not only to our body’s DNA, but is inherent in many other aspects of our biological make-up. Connective tissue in the body reflects the same characteristics as the spiral: you can stretch or contract it, but it will always tend to return to its original position. When exposed to spiral movement, the body inherently recognizes it’s own nature and resonates readily with it.
Whereas most somatic practitioners use power in their arms and hands in the application of the healing work, in Spiral Techniques, the practitioner uses his whole body to first gather, then channel and focus, and finally project energy into areas needing release. The points of physical contact between practitioner and client are beyond touch – beyond even deep tissue work. The specific point of contact is, rather, a portal – an opening for the transfer of energy between practitioner and client.
The practitioner moves his energy from his own center – from the geographic and weight center in his body. The energy in spiral movement emanates from the vortex of concentrated power that is this center. This bodily center, called the Dan Tien in China, the Hara in Japan, from which he moves is known in Oriental martial arts and medicine as the place where the source of power and creative energy manifests. It is, as well, the energy center from which martial artists derive maximum power and impact from their strikes and movements. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners understand this energy as Chi. The utilization of Chi energy in Spiral Techniques is a key factor in this uniquely powerful and dramatically effective therapy.
What differentiates Spiral Techniques from other therapeutic techniques, however, is the marriage of the use of the Chi energy with the spiral unwinding movement. As the practitioner positions and moves his body in relation to his client, he utilizes the a particular spiral movement, And because the spiral movement is so common to human structure and movement, indeed, most movement throughout the Universe, the client’s body readily recognizes the healing movement as inherent to their own structure. “Unwinding” of his own tightened tissue is the inevitable response that his body makes. And like the original spiral form, this unraveling of tissue happens in all directions at once, making it exponentially more effective than other somatic approaches. The client’s body experiences the work as deeply penetrating and incomparably profound. (Freeing)
It is this mirror transfer and recognition of spiral energy that makes Spiral Techniques such an effective, rapid and efficient way of releasing blocked, tightened, hardened, scarred, disturbed, and otherwise dysfunctional tissue and returning the tissue to its normal, healthy, functional state.
The application of Spiral Techniques can result in lasting therapeutic change. The technique usually has immediate effects on localized conditions ranging from back and leg injuries to TMJ. In addition, emotional states of anxiety and stress are alleviated. And, the energy transfer is, as well, systemic, and like the gradual geometric progression of all spirals, the effects of Spiral Techniques continue for a period of time after the work. As Jaffe says, “The object is to return my clients to the ease and fluidity of movement that they enjoyed as children and that is the birthright of us all.” He adds, “A free body breeds a free and confident spirit.”
ENERGETIC ASPECTS OF THE WORK
Spiral Techniques uses the Universal Healing Spiral, commonly referred to, in Eastern terminology, as Chi. Chi is the intrinsic energy that is the ordering principle of life, and is present in and around all of us. It unites the mind and body and energizes the cells to access our true strength and healing potential. The use of Chi allows for the application of power without force. It is the energy that is manifested by skilled Martial Art practitioners. Its use effects positive and permanent change in tissue holding.
Chronic stress, fear, and worry all set up a situation in our body where chi is constantly being drained and scattered at an incredible rate. This is another reason why so many people either age prematurely or simply have no energy with such low immunity that they’re bodies are breaking down at an incredible rate. This is also another major cause of infertility in both men and women which is something we`re seeing more and more of today.
By charging up more and more of that battery in your lower abdomen where energy is stored in the human body we can greatly enhance and strengthen our energy flow and thereby our health. Breathing exercises such as the 8 pieces of brocade, chi-gung meditation and other energy generation techniques will greatly improve the four main characteristics of our chi which are the quantity, quality, balance and flow of our energy.
The Brain/Body Connection
ABOUT PAIN: WHAT, WHERE AND WHY IT IS STORED
Connective tissue – soft tissue – is the most abundant in the body. It is made up largely of collagen. When we are infants our connective tissue is soft and pliable, almost jelly-like in its consistency. Integrity of form, conferring both strength and tone, comes about through the production of specialized enzymes as well as though the biochemical process called “collagen cross-linking.” This cross-linking occurs when two strands of collagen bind together. As children, our bodies normally create, largely through this process of cross-linking, a harmonious balance between the tightening and softening of tissues, thus keeping the body firm yet elastic.
Continuously, we are exposed to the cumulative effects of physical and emotional traumas, as well as external toxicants, such as preservatives and pollutants. These various assaults to the body, similarly, cause the connective tissue to lose its pliable nature. Our muscles, nerve endings, tendons – all of the parts of our bodies in which connective tissue reside – have a tendency to react to these assaults and become hardened and tightened from the body’s instinctive response to injury and damage.
As damage occurs, and as the body/mind responds, a secondary but far more powerful process begins. The pain of injurious events actually locks into the body/mind memory. When we understand the function of the brain, we see that this cementing of memory is not surprising. The number one function of the brain is survival in the moment. This survival mechanism insures that the brain holds onto the evidence of injury; it maintains at least a footprint of the original injury. This process of brain locking of pain is a natural event that is necessary for self-preservation, serving a function as opposed to having become a dysfunction. As the locking occurs, actual hard wiring within the brain is created between the circumstances of an injury and the memory-activation of it. Smells, sights, touch — all the senses can become involved; any one of these can trigger the memory of that event when they are encountered again.
Yet, while memory-locking within the brain was originally useful, it most often outlives its survival function. Sometimes the command center for these re-plays originates deep within the brain – a part of the brain that is not accessible to everyday awareness — the unconscious. The unconscious can trick us; memories of the old injuries that no longer have relevance can become activated. We can think of them as “psychic scars” that also reside within the musculature, nervous and other systems of the body – serving the same original function of bodily scars – a healing to prevent further damage.
Whether the memory lock is accessible to conscious awareness, or within the recesses of the unconscious, the original useful function, indeed, has now become a dysfunction. The once pliable soft tissues continue to entangle, tighten, compress and thicken, thus impeding circulation, impinging on nerves, and causing chronic pain and continued dysfunction. Flexibility, posture, and mobility are often affected.
Spiral Techniques helps people to release the psycho-physiological effects – both brain and muscle memories — of events that no longer serve them but instead have become a hindrance to well being and full functioning.
It is Jaffe’s belief that the higher self knows which of these scars and areas of tightness are still necessary to retain and which are ready to be released. When readiness is present, old syndromes and limitations can be cast off, and freedom and ease of full function can return.