I have a huge respect for Dr Gabor Mate. I saw several of his quotes in memes on the internet, and I liked what I read. In just those small sentences alone, he came across as a man with integrity, with a true and deep understanding of the experience of others. Or perhaps I should say the suffering of others.
In due course, I read one of his books - When the Body Says No - which covers a topic I will no doubt write about in the near future. It was a book where I found myself nodding and agreeing with much of what he wrote.
Fast forward to the present moment and I've just finished watching a Tim Ferris interview with the man himself. In this interview, he says something about trauma that I would like to share with you. It has direct relevance to bodywork and why Zero Balancing is so powerful.
"People often think that trauma is what happens to you. So trauma is a divorce when you were small and your parents fighting. Trauma is your mother's depression. Trauma is your father's alcoholism...
Those aren't the traumas. Those are traumatic. But the trauma is not what happens to you. The trauma is what happens inside you.
And as a result of these traumatic events is that what happens inside you is that you get disconnected from your emotions and you get disconnected from your body. And you have difficulty being in the present moment. You develop a negative view of your world and a negative view of yourself, and a defensive view of other people.
And these perspectives keeping showing up in your life in the present... So the issue is not just to recognise what happened ten, fifteen, thirty, however many years ago, but to actually recognise their manifestations in the present moment and to transcend them.
And how do you do that?
By reconnecting with yourself - by restoring the connection with your body, primarily - and with the emotions that you lost.
Once you do, once you've found these things again, then you have what we call recovery. Because what does it mean to recover something? It means to find it again. So what is it that people find when they recover? They find themselves. And the loss of self is the essence of trauma.
So the real purpose of addiction treatment, mental health treatment - any kind of healing - is reconnection."
This is more-or-less exactly how Zero Balancing can help with trauma. During a Zero Balancing session the client is reminded of their physical body in its present state - especially where all their tensions are. There, in the present moment, we assist in reconnecting you with your physical body. According to Dr Mate's quote above, this alone can help people heal their traumas and reclaim their authenticity. And there are more ways that we consciously work in Zero Balancing that amplify this process and multiplies its effects - more on this in future blog posts.
I'm reminded of one of my teachers, who, when asked 'What is Zero Balancing?', responds quite simply, "It's touching pain with kindness."
May your hurts be soothed by kindness.