The Non-Linear Approach to Wellness
Excerpt from Healing Myths/Healing Magic pg.113-115
By Donald M. Epstein
While working within the chiropractic paradigm, I discovered the non-linear approach to wellness, and developed a form of “wellness care” known as Network Spinal Analysis (NSA). To my surprise, I found that very gentle touch to the upper and lower spine can cause the entire spine to reconfigure itself. Deep respiration, along with wavelike undulations and dissipation of stored spinal tension are often associated with this gentle touch, and result in an overall enhancement of our quality of life. In the non-linear approach to wellness, a small change in our physiology produces a disproportionate response in our health and well-being. A strong force need not be applied to create a significant change in the body-mind. In fact, I discovered that applying a forceful touch can actually inhibit this process.
When I first developed Network Spinal Analysis, I found that memories of childhood hurts, accidents, or other physical or psychological traumas are often stored as tension and energy patterns in different parts of the body. This energy, confined under tension, is not unlike a powerful spring. Overtime, it manifests in physically tight muscles, joint fixation, resistance to full body motion, depression, and shallow breathing. It manifests as pain and disease.
I also observed that the more ill we are, the more energy we need to release in order to heal. The energy that is not free to circulate generates tension over time, until conditions are ripe for it to initiate the healing process. Hurts and wounds from our past build up pressure and “collect” energy from new hurts and wounds in the present. For example, our spouse makes a harmless remark about how we might have done something differently, and we respond with anger that lasts for several days. The remark sparks a reaction in the energy that is already “charged” by previous hurts and wounds. This energy becomes more and more blocked, denied, isolated, until at last it is ready to be released. When the energy is released (or converted from a confined state into a freer state), it becomes available for healing, and actually helps fuel the healing process.
The non-linear approach to wellness considers the body-mind an interactive system, influenced by many factors that contribute to health or illness. The ability of our body-mind to receive, circulate, and dissipate energy, and our current and past experiences in life significantly affect our health. In addition, our cultural story strongly influences how we interpret and respond to a given situation. The severity of the symptoms, the duration of a condition, or the degree of the pathology do not by themselves determine the severity of the measures needed to be taken in order to heal. A small change, when perceived by the nervous system, can release the stored energy and tension allowing it to be utilized by the body for constructive purposes like healing and transformation. When our body-mind becomes aware of the need for change, and can feel and pay attention to itself, there are many useful tools that facilitate self-awareness and act as a catalyst to enable old hurts and wounds to heal. A spinal adjustment, breathing exercises, a meditation practice, or yoga are just a few.
Healing neither requires great effort nor drastic measures. While curing or treating symptoms or disease may call for such measures, this is not the case with healing. As a by product of healing, we may decide to make radical changes in our life, but the decision to make such changes occurs as a result of the healing already in progress. It is by healing that we enhance our ability to make constructive changes.