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Bodywork for Your Nervous System

Musings about the nervous system and the healing power of Core Synchronism and CranioSacral Therapy

Eardrum Rupture! Ouch!

Last month I endured one of the most painful experiences of my life: an ear infection and a ruptured eardrum. The pain was excruciating, sometimes worse than I remember childbirth being.

Intense pain can trigger the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, which is designed to help the body react quickly to perceived threats. Adrenaline and cortisol, are released, triggering increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, tense muscles, and heightened alertness. This response is beneficial when you’re running from an angry moose, but when activated due to persistent pain, running away is not possible.

When you can’t run from a threat such as stress or pain, it becomes difficult for your nervous system to shift into the parasympathetic response, the state of rest-and-digest and heal. At these times, it is difficult for your body to do its innate balancing and healing work.

During this healing crisis, I could not sleep unless I was sitting up, propped up on pillows and taking pain pills every three hours. I tried many remedies to help my body heal and relax – acupuncture, lymphatic drainage, herbs, heat, ice, CBD and breathing exercises.

It wasn’t until I received Craniosacral Therapy that my nervous system relaxed and I was able to decrease my pain medication. The relief was so significant that I woke up pain-free the morning after my session.

In 1998 I experienced another healing crisis with moderate pain and a lot of fear. I sought out some bodywork to help with my stress levels and discovered the profound effects of Core Synchronism, a bodywork modality that works with the nervous system. The practitioner’s hands gently touched my head and various parts of my body, holding still for most of the session. I remember feeling very calm and peaceful and even fell asleep on the table.

I was inspired to learn more, and soon after I enrolled at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics. I studied with a wise bright-eyed man named Robert Stevens. As Robert tells it, he he discovered– not created– Core Synchronism, which is a therapeutic modality that uses gentle touch to stimulate the body’s natural healing ability to restore balance and health. Core practitioners are taught to use their hands and intuition to sense and visualize the body’s life force energy, as well as the flow of the Cerebral-Spinal Fluid.

It was at my first Core workshop in 2001 when I was inspired to name my practice “Listening Touch” because it really felt like my hands were listening to the body in a way I had never experienced. Core taught me to think with our fingers and connect from our heart to my client’s hearts.

Robert Stevens, creator of Core Synchronism, sharing his wisdom

I learned that stress, physical trauma and emotional trauma can block the flow of life force and cerebral-spinal fluid. And when our bodies are disconnected from the core and cerebrospinal fluid, we experience pain, inflammation, and distressed emotions. Core Synchronism restores the flow of the core current of life energy through the core current that runs from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes. This current is the energetic representation of the soul, and it is carried by the cerebrospinal fluid throughout the whole body.

The founder of osteopathy, Dr Andrew Tylor Still said, “The cerebrospinal fluid is the highest known element in the human body… this great river of life must be tapped and the withering field irrigated at once or the harvest of health is forever lost.” This work can have a profound impact on the nervous system and overall well-being, especially for individuals experiencing chronic health issues, anxiety, and depression.

Core Synchronism is similar to CranioSacral Therapy which I also studied with the Upledger Institute. Both modalities work with the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. I found that CranioSacral Therapy is more focused on manipulating the physical structure and addressing structural imbalances, whereas Core Synchronism helps to align the life force or the soul with all parts of the body. In addition to the cerebrospinal fluid and the bones, Core works with all the parts of the brain, nervous system, organs, endocrine system, as well as the etheric energy body and the chakras. 

Whether you receive Core Synchronism or CranioSacral Therapy, you will experience relaxation. There are many rhythms in the body – the heart beat, the breathing of the lungs, and the rhythm of the cerebral-spinal fluid flowing out from the ventricles deep inside the brain through the whole spinal cord. Cranial work helps to settle the whole system down to the slower rhythm of the cerebrospinal fluid movement.

The energy body as visualized in Core Synchronism

When you are dealing with pain, chronic health issues, or mental health issues, your nervous system is often in a state of dysregulation. This can manifest as physical symptoms such as chronic pain, tension, headaches, digestive issues and other health issues, as well as emotional symptoms like mood swings, irritability, and fatigue.

During a Core Synchronism session, I gently hold different points on the body, listening and encouraging blockages and tension to release. This helps to restore the flow of life force energy throughout the whole body. Your nervous system shifts out of fight-or-flight and into the parasympathetic state which has a cascading effect on the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels.

In this restful state, the heart rate slows down, digestion is enhanced, muscles relax, more immune cells are produced, inflammation is reduced, and hormones are balanced. This level of deep relaxation helps the unconscious come to the conscious mind, helping one gain more self-awareness and clarity. Clients report feeling more calm, peaceful, centered, and resilient after their sessions.

Laura Rose with Robert Stevens, 2024

I had the joy and privilege of reconnecting with Robert Stevens when he came to Boulder to teach earlier this month. I feel more inspired to share this healing work with my clients and family.

After over twenty years of studying, practicing, and receiving bodywork and energy work, I am more skilled at quieting my nervous system through mindfulness and meditation, and guiding others into more peaceful healing states. My personal experience with pain, and thousands of hours working with clients have provided me with the ability to use my personal style of Listening Touch with more skill and compassion.

Your nervous system is the gateway to your overall health, and taking care of it can have a profound impact on your overall physical and emotional well-being. These gentle and effective modalities offer a holistic approach to healing, supporting the nervous system, awakening the body’s innate healing intelligence, and reconnecting you with the essence of your being.

If are navigating some health challenges, persistent pain, emotional distress, or simply yearning for deep relaxation and nervous system regulation, consider receiving a Core Synchronism session with me. You can schedule a full Core Synchronism or CranioSacral Therapy session, or it can be blended into my other offerings.

I am available for bodywork sessions in Boulder and in Gilpin County, CO. Schedule a session for your nervous system today: www.listeningtouch.org

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