OPINION: I went to an introduction of the Sound and Music Institute program held at the New York Open Center. What led me there – I became focused on the performance aspect of polarity therapy and tai chi, as I am learning these two holistic health practices.  And this post will tie into the economy, I promise … First off, what is polarity therapy and why does it feel like performance is involved? How I would explain my sessions: unresolved memories/experiences, accompanied at times by beautiful, relaxing visions, come up “and perform” while there is a secondary, very quiet, stream of consciousness being activated that feels protective and supplies a long term perspective to diminish the power of the energy blocks I am dealing with.

What is the practitioner doing to evoke this experience? When working with the best, he/she is studied in where to place mild pressure in your body, two points, one hand focused on your neck and the other on your shoulder blade, for example; unlike massage, you stay fully dressed. I am a writer trained in using my imagination to evoke images, so not everyone will have a session like this. Some people might just enjoy feeling invigorated afterwards. It seems logical to me that a person would want to utilize non-evasive methods such as this to integrate obstructed energy back into the natural flow of the body to try to keep disease away. Speaking for myself, at the very least, it helps me relieve the effects of stress that I know take a toll on my health.

In my tai chi class, I noticed I had stage fright when the teacher asked to see me perform the steps. Getting over stage fright is a natural part of the process, as tai chi leads to competition and is performed publicly in parks. It’s not that one has to perform it publicly. Tai Chi is a great healing art, I think, because it is important to have one art you can perform alone without the help of a healer or doctor–for self-empowerment. A good teacher would be important to find though as having good form is key.

On the flip side, why cranial sacral work is important–it is also vital to have healing practices that challenge you to think of yourself in a community. Our bodies, after all, are a community of organs, bones, arteries, blood, soft and hard tissues, etc. True of both cranial sacral work and tai chi is that performance is not to dazzle or bedazzle, but to connect and give thanks for the shared connection. Certainly, there is beauty involved. It is awe-inspiring, for example, to watch a grandmaster do the tai chi steps.

This is my amateur explanation of two disciplines that require serious training – but I think if amateurs don’t try to understand medicine, holistic or otherwise, on their own terms and share their experiences of it with others – then the holistic approaches to wellness that work will never get the public attention they deserve. With the integration of holistic healing techniques with traditional medicine or standing alone in a wellness program – here is the link to economy – waste related to sky rocketing health costs are sure to give way to a more efficient system of patient care. It might add up to a modest change to start, but it would be a change in the right direction.

Back to the voice…what is more inherent to ease in performance than ease with speaking or singing? At the Open Center’s free intro to Sound and Music Institute we had the privilege to have the distinguished Dr. John Beaulieu present to explain the certification program. I look forward to exploring his books/cds at greater length. Right now I am reading Sylvia Nakkach and Valerie Carpenter’s book Free Your Voice. Part II of this post will be focused in part on how singing could be utilized effectively to encourage prosperity and happiness while we work together. Coming soon.

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Recommended links/references for further study are a mix of teachers and colleagues who I have worked with or I mentioned here:

Yeha Noha (Wishes of Happiness and Prosperity) is a song recorded by Sacred Spirit on their album Chants and Dances of the Native Americans.

NOTE: I remain confused to what is the difference between polarity therapy and cranial sacral therapy and how these practices are integrated. See the link below for a brief interview with Gary Strauss, a leader in this kind of work, who is based in California, teaches at the New York Open Center and throughout the world.

http://www.massagemag.com/News/massage-news.php?id=10307&catid=284&title=interview-with-gary-strauss-developer-of-craniosacral-unwinding

Rick Barrett, teacher, practitioner, and writer: http://www.taichialchemy.com/

Watch Grandmaster William C.C. Chen perform tai chi, his 60 movements:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQOuWk1z_Bo&playnext=1&list=PL36C0E3E5CCCBB267&feature=results_main

Dr. John Beaulieu, spoke at the Open Center lecture: http://www.biosonics.com/

Silvia Nakkach (part II): http://www.voxmundiproject.com/silvianakkach.html

Last but not least, The New York Open Center: http://www.opencenter.org/