What follows is a guest blog post from psychedelic integration volunteer #2. See here for an introduction to this project, and here for the first case study. A third case study will be published in the coming week.
I'd recently taken psychedelic drugs (psilocybin mushrooms) as a therapeutic aid and was looking for a way to integrate the experience into my everyday life. This opportunity to work with James was recommended by a friend.
Prior to this, for the last 20 years, I've been a very traditional businessman working in sectors where "feelings" are consciously suppressed. Much of the terminology of Zero Balancing was meaningless to me, for instance "bodywork" is the panelling on my car. So please forgive any naivety in the language of this report, I hope it's readable to all.
My interest in all of this is my need for self-development. I want to improve my life, change harmful behaviours and patterns that I see playing out repeatedly in my relationships, and ultimately to move towards self-realisation.
I spoke with James about my recent psychedelic experience, and also about my nicotine addiction (as I'd heard that psychedelic experiences could be useful in helping to quit). We noted other health issues that centred around my throat including thyroid issues. I hypothesised that I had been subconsciously blocking emotions, stopping them from arising in my awareness by "clamming -up" with physical tension in my throat and upper chest - possibly leading to illnesses centred there, and that this might explain my keenness to feel the nicotine "bite" at the back of my throat. (A little physical pain might stop me from feeling anything deeper.)
In this session James quickly gained my trust and I gained an introduction to Zero Balancing. James was incredibly calm, providing a space into which I could consider and speak about my own thoughts.
Immediately after the first Zero Balancing session I felt calm and focused. Within the following days I set myself a date to quit nicotine.
In the week between session 1 and 2, I took a second psychedelic dose where I had a vision of a sub-conscious block, heavy and multi-faceted that was hindering my self-development. I'm unable to explain this feeling further, but I can say that one of the facets of this block was my own nicotine addiction (which appeared to me as a sickening, writhing, dark mass), and that the block, as-a-whole, was centred on my throat and upper part of my chest.
We discussed the recent psychedelic experience and during the session James paid additional attention to my neck and upper chest. He located a painful area in my chest that I hadn't been aware of until his touch pointed it out. It felt a little like taking boots off that were too tight, I felt pain, but a pain that I now realised had been there all along. I felt great relief.
After the session I could only describe how I felt as "like a jar, who's lid has been loosened".
I didn't have an overflow of emotion, however in the following days, at odd moments, new memories (previously never remembered) came to me from my childhood - mostly happy ones.
Later in the week after session 2, I gave up nicotine.
In this session again I asked James to put additional focus on my upper chest area, I consciously tried to allow any emotion to surface, but little came. As soon as James shifted focus away (to my left leg) I felt clear and sudden emotion rising in me. I imagined the emotion itself as an object that could travel up through my now unblocked chest and throat (where previously it had been restricted) to my head, allowing me to 'feel' it with precision. My mind, now free to grapple with the new emotion then related it to thoughts and memories of my father (I felt angry with him for not being with me in my childhood, and sadness for my younger self). It was entirely new for me to experience feelings of anger towards my father, I'd previously held him in high regard. Even so, I was able to calmly inspect and feel the emotion without becoming overwhelmed.
Since the session, many new feelings have emerged, including new clarity on how I, as a father, relate emotionally to my own son. So, for the good of everyone, I'm once again moving strongly forward on my self-development path.
I feel that Zero Balancing, hand in hand with psychedelics has helped me to remove subconscious blockages, allowing me to feel long buried emotions. The result is more balanced emotional responses in my daily life. I was lucky in that my psychedelic experience had already identified a specific area of my body on which to focus treatment.
Zero Balancing may also have been instrumental in helping me find the courage to quit nicotine.
I believe that Zero Balancing has helped me to rapidly integrate insights from Psychedelic therapy and provided me a way forward that otherwise may have taken months or years.
And finally, I thank James for his kindness and patience.