What is Emotional Release Bodywork?
Using a specific technique, we activate various ‘doorways’, or points. These can be found all over the body, and they align with many other modalities. With the openings, we pair ‘inner child’ work, which invites you to explore and feel, with your mind, the areas that we are working. Whatever has been held, once activated, can be felt, expressed, and released. Having been witnessed, these pieces are free to reintegrate and will no longer take up space in your cellular memory. Often, but not always, people will have very vivid and specific memories and visuals come up while being worked on. By activating these points, we are basically inviting and allowing the pieces of ourselves that have unfinished business an opportunity for witnessing and completion.
Does it hurt?
It’s not supposed to hurt, but it can, especially in the very beginning. Our cells hold memories and store emotions that we either did not have the skills to navigate, or the environment to feel safe to do so. The longer and tighter you’ve had to hold something, the more likely it is to hurt when being opened. Generally, the more of this work you do, the less it may hurt to open these ‘doors’.
What does a release look like?
Releases, also called ‘shifts’, can look like all sorts of things, including, but not limited to, crying, laughing, sweating, shaking, anger, or nothing outwardly visible at all... you name it - none of it is off limits. The premise is that having full permission to feel and express whatever you’ve been holding frees you of the burden of it and you can often physically feel the difference in your body. Being witnessed in your process is important too.
This is a (very edited obviously) video of a session to give you an idea of what it can look like.
How many sessions will I need?
I’d love to say it’s a one and done, but the truth is that our work is continuous. And it is subject to change. We're layered - like onions. And life continues to happen, so we are continually triggered. That said, what it feels like to have your points opened can shift dramatically session to session. And what you feel like in your body can do the same. It's not a requirement to do this work on an ongoing basis certainly. There is very real potential for dramatic and lasting changes from very few sessions. The greatest likelihood for the quickest change comes from multiple day workshops.
Will it work for me?
Do you want it to? I think this technique can work for anyone. That said, there are so many ways to get there. This is one way - and it’s not for everyone. From what I’ve found (and I tried many, many things before finding this) it’s quick and it’s effective. I liked that it did not require memories - I have very few. The more willingness and vulnerability you bring, the more effective it will be. Anyone can lay on the table and ‘take it’ - and some do, but that is not the point. If you give yourself full permission to feel and express, then there is no reason it would not work. The success of this method usually correlates pretty closely with the participant's level of 'fed-up-edness' for their current reality or situation. Finding the way that works for you is a personal thing. I would say you’d know within one or two sessions if this work feels like a match. Did I mention that it's quick? Patience is not my thing.
Is it a massage?
No, it is definitely not a massage. In fact, although done on a massage table, this work is not passive - it is not done 'to' you. I cannot think of another modality, performed on a massage table, that requires you to be an active participant more than this. Yes, I will open the doors, hold the 'ground' and the space, and witness you fully, but it is up to you to decide to what extent you are willing to be vulnerable, delve in, and get curious about what comes up for you, and to allow your body's wisdom to help you move through it, or not. I also believe that your body will not surface anything you're not 'ready' for. In that way this work moves at your pace. Also, you are in charge. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you say the word, and we stop.
Can I buy a gift certificiate?
Maybe it seems like your brother, mother, aunt or really great... insert relationship here... could really benefit from this work! While you may not be wrong, this work is personal. It is not work that you gift someone without their willingness. In the same way that you cannot help someone recover from something they are not prepared or ready to face, you cannot want this work on someone's behalf. It is most effective to those who almost feel desperate to try it. Send that person a link to this website. Tell them about it. If they are genuinely interested, then by all means, you are welcome to pay for them, but the willingness to participate MUST originate with the person receiving the work.
Account of one client's experience with this work.
First hand account from a client: https://www.reddit.com/r/CPTSD/comments/9pzihe/my_experience_with_emotional_release_therapy/