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
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