There are a number of valuable tools and resources that we offer here at The Lifehouse. One of our favorites is Somato Respiratory Integration: Soma (body) + Respiratory (breath) Integration, a way to use and direct our breath to integrate our experiences in our bodies. SRI is also a powerful tool to deepen our mind-body and our body-mind connection. Many of you have discovered how powerful breath is in relaxing the body. Inhaling a big breath and exhaling out again helps to release stress, relax and rejuvenate. But relaxing and releasing isn’t where it ends.
We can use our breath to connect, to integrate, to open, to expand and to activate our systems. This is what SRI is all about. Dr. Donald Epstein has outlined “12 Stages of Healing” (same titled book) that are typical to the healing journey that we go through. These 12 stages could also be called 12 stages of consciousness. He has also developed and refined 12 breath exercises that help us to deepen our connection into the stage and the rhythm of life that we are in. Connection is the goal. Where many of us want to get somewhere other than where we are, to truly grow there is a richness and depth waiting for us when we first connect with our current state of being. Harvesting the wisdom and energy of where we are, this becomes the fuel that helps us move forward.
The first stage of SRI is the rhythm of suffering. It is stated that most suffering is a result of a person’s resistance to suffering. Suffering in the East is viewed as being one of the most sacred parts of the human journey. When we are suffering we ask the questions, “Why me? Am I ever going to change? Is this ever going to get better?” Often we “feel so alone.” Words we all can relate too. The goal and gift of this stage is for us to embody it fully, surrendering ourselves, asking for help. This liberates our entrapped body-mind, allowing our energy to move forward. This can be a very scary place to be, one that we try to avoid. (Again most suffering is the attempt to avoid the scary place).
SRI helps people first find places of peace, of connection, of safety in the body, and then bring this into the area of suffering; bring the light into the dark, then foster connection in the disconnected places. The simple act of first finding a place in your body that is safe to breathe into, that you feel connected to, often is all that is needed to bring yourself into an authentic experience, which allows it to transform.
Here is one good practice for you to try for yourself:
1) Find the place in your body that is open, connected. Put your hands there and breathe; feel the openness and connection.
2) Next, find the place in your body that is closed, dis-connected. Where is it challenging to keep your attention? Where is your breath restricted and shallow? Where is there pain or discomfort? Put your hands there and breathe for 3 cycles of breath.
3) Return your focus to the place that is connected and breathe with your hands on that place again. Repeat this, going back and forth a number of times, bringing connection and safety to the places that aren’t, staying longer in the open, connected place. Focused breath is an incredibly helpful resource for you to use throughout your day, especially useful when you are suffering or feeling overwhelmed.
4) Practice, practice, practice. Consistent hands-on practice; attending an upcoming SRI workshop, reading the “12 Stages of Healing” book and watching the SRI videos will also deepen and anchor in your skills. Similar to working out at a gym; the more you develop these breathing “muscles” the more access you will have to them when you really need them.
From this first stage, the journey continues to help you find the different parts and polarities within, accessing your stuck energy and perspectives, then building your energy and your power getting ready to make the change, then facing the old, releasing the old, and then being in the awakened state connected with the one and the everything. I truly look forward to helping you embody all of these stages, helping you get deeper into your healing journey, harvesting the wisdom from exactly where you are at throughout your visits in our office and at workshops such as the one below.
We are hosting a three part SRI series Saturday mornings in March (10am-12:30pm)
that the Lifehouse community are invited to participate in the first or all three.
* Sat Mar 3rd – Discover, Stages 1-3
* Sat Mar 10th – Transform, Stages 4-7 (pre-requisite Discover workshop)
*Sat Mar 17th – Awaken, Stages 8-12 (pre-requisite Discover & Transform workshop)
Whether this is your first or 6th+ time attending a hands-on SRI workshop this is a fantastic opportunity to refine, brush-up and enhance your resources. Space is limited so please call 250-740-0333 or sign up in the office. Registration for each session is $45 (Plan members can use eligible Bonus as applicable)
Cheering you on to be the best you you can be,
Dr. Norm & The Lifehouse team
What Masha and Dasha Teach Us
Do you realize how boring it would be if we were all the same? Identical twins do not have the same insides not even blood chemistry. Even the ones who are actually congenital twins do not have the same physiology because they have different nerve systems which control everything.
A great example is the true story of “Masha” and “Dasha”. A new mother was told that her twin babies had died at birth. However the truth was far different: they were sent to an institute near Moscow to be studied.
This was to be the fate of “Masha” and “Dasha” one of the most unusual sets of “Siamese” or conjoined twins ever born.
Identical twins are formed when a fertilized egg divides into two eggs. The two eggs grow into new babies that are identical in every respect. Conjoined or Siamese twins are formed in the same way as identical twins but the eggs, for some reason, don’t completely separate; instead, they remain partially attached. It was the unique way in which these twins were connected that caused Soviet scientists to take such an interest in them.
Although Masha and Dasha have four arms, they have only three legs. They stand on two of their legs, one controlled by Masha, one by Dasha (they were five before they learnt to walk) while the third, vestigial leg remains in the air behind them. The upper intestines are separated but they share a single lower intestine and rectum. They have four kidneys and one bladder, and often disagree on when to urinate. They have a common reproductive system.
Because their circulatory systems are interconnected, the twins share each other’s blood. Therefore, a bacterium or virus that enters one twin’s bloodstream will soon be seen in the blood of her sister. Yet surprisingly, illness affects them differently. Dasha is short-sighted, prone to colds and right handed. Masha smokes occasionally, has a healthier constitution, higher blood pressure then her sister, good eye sight and is left-handed.
The twins differing in health patterns present a mystery. Why did one become ill with childhood disease, like measles for example, while the other did not? The measles “bug” was in both of their bodies in their collective bloodstream; so why didn’t both get measles?
Evidently there is more to “getting the measles” than having the measles “bug”. This phenomenon was seen over and over again with the girls (flu, colds, and other childhood diseases were all experienced separately.) If germs alone had the power to cause infectious diseases, why would one of the twins be disease-free while the other was ill? What was it in their makeup that differentiated one from the other?
The answer was not far to seek. Although Masha and Dasha had common circulatory, digestive, excretory, lymphatic, endocrine and skeletal systems (they were joined at the hips), they had separate spinal columns and spinal cords. This was the only important difference between the two girls. Brings to light just how important a properly functioning spine and nerve system truly is.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending the Parker Seminars in Vancouver. Over the span of three days I rubbed shoulders with some influential people in the chiropractic profession, as well as listened to some passionate and fired up speakers. The shining thread that I noticed between each of the poignant and memorable presenters was their passion and inspiration. It seemed to flow out from within. These individuals had found what lights them up inside and had followed their heart to where they are today. All had a zest for life, sparkle in their eyes and joy in their voice and expression of self. It was wonderful to be around such driven human beings. This got me thinking – what inspires me? What inspires you?
Dr. Jeffrey Cottingame, D.C. spoke that inspiration is to be aroused by divine influence. It is our spirits getting stirred up inside of us. Inspiration gets us excited about something and our enthusiasm pours out unbounded. You feel excited and can’t wait to talk about it, be around it, breathe it in, soak it up and live it. I believe that inspiration can propel people to another level of their being, in all aspects of their lives. It can open doors and lead to the fulfillment of dreams and success. When we get into our hearts we discover our greatness.
Inspiration can come in many forms both big and small. Often it can start small and build to greater and greater awareness. Maybe you spot a new vegetable that you think would compliment your dinner; perhaps a family member begins jogging and you become inspired by their choices; possibly you notice a small child helping their parent bring the groceries in and you feel moved to treat others just a little bit better. Inspiration could even spark a new flame of passion and give your life new direction and meaning. The key is to focus and notice. What does inspiration feel like to you? Does your heart beat faster? Do you get a flush of excitement? Does time slow down? Observe what you’re doing or thinking when the feeling hits and take notice. Our bodies have messages for us if we’d only listen. If you chose to move in that direction, inspiration can give you extra energy and passion for yourself and your life.
“When you’re inspired dormant talents come alive. When you’re inspired you become greater; you discover you’re greater than you thought yourself to be.”
~ Dr. Gilles Lamarche D.C.
Are You Listening To Innate?
It is becoming increasingly evident to me that when most people talk about listening to Innate, what they really mean is that they are listening to pain.
Listening to pain and listening to Innate are actually two very different things. Pain is the most obvious signal from our bodies. Yes pain is instructive and is valuable for us to listen to. Most often pain is a message from within that we are out of balance, out of alignment, that we need to change. In these instances pain is a message that we are disconnected or disconnecting from Innate. Sometimes pain is a result of change, of healing, of growth and is actually a good sign. Like when our bodies realign or we work out at the gym for extended periods. Pain often accompanies growth, a very important fact to realize because if our whole goal is to avoid pain our lives would become increasingly small.
Messages of pain most often are indicators that something is wrong.
Messages from Innate are guiding you to what is right.
Message from Innate always bring with them a feeling of peace, of ease, of openness. They tend to put a smile on our face. There is often a sense of coming home, of everything falling into place when we hear them. Message from Innate tend to be quite in nature, different from the messages from Ego which are demanding and loud. Learning to listen to Innate is a refined art. We must learn to quite our minds and go within. As we do our lives will blossom to be the grand masterpieces that they are intended to be. Learning to listen to innate takes practice and discipline as much of the outside world is trying to take us away from Innate. These are only hooks and distractions trying to pull you away from source. As you do go inward and listen you will cultivate your inner guru a friend like no other who is there as chief steward of your life.
Remember you will go within or you will go without.
We all have natural instincts, natural tendencies and natural preferences. When living in accordance with them we will live in balance and harmony with nature. Unfortunately our authentic selves have been distorted by the domestication process. Realize that it is not only felines and canines that have been domesticated. Humans have been too. Trained to follow rules, ideas and concepts. Lured by the seductions of wealth, power and acceptance. Training our intellect to condition our behaviors, our words and even our thoughts to be a certain way.
We are led to believe that if we work hard enough, paddling upstream, against the current of our natural selves we can achieve all of this and more. Sometimes it does and most certainly it creates inner turmoil between who you really are and who you think you are. Most people push through this turmoil living a life of struggle and survival with true joy and freedom seeming like things in the far off horizon. One day I will be truly happy when this finally happens.. and I will be free. The hamster wheel continues, running in circles as we race through our lives, working meaningless jobs, paying taxes, and doing what we are “supposed” to do.
One day you will awaken. Awaken to this truth. The truth that you are not living your life, you are living someone elses. A life you have been trained to live. “Yikes!” you exhale, this sounds all too true. “What is the solution?” you may ask. The answer is simple but the act is quite daring – “Surrender”. Surrender? you confirm. Yes, Surrender.
Surrender to your natural self.
Surrender to the eternal peace that lies within.
Surrender to the infinite abundance that is your natural birth right.
Surrender to the ease and flow of living in tune with who you are.
Because when you surrender and remember yourself as who you are your life will regain the magic and excellence with the grace and ease it was meant to be.
Hi, I’m Dr Norm Detillieux, In addition to running a successful chiropractic studio The Lifehouse, I have offered a number of different workshops centered on wellness care, creating community, awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and a wholistic approach to health