Your Body Tells The Truth!
Karin Granstrom, M.D., CRS
Imagine gaining insights, resolving your issues, and releasing stress, anxiety
and pain by learning to listen to your own body! This while resting
comfortably (clothes on) on a treatment table, experiencing nurturing
body-work, imagery and empowering support. - The Rubenfeld Synergy Method® is
one of the best known forms of "body psychotherapy".
"If your shoulder had a voice - what would
it say?" I ask my client who is laying on my treatment table, while I gently
cradle her shoulder in my hands. After letting her mind tune in to the shoulder
she responds: "It says that it is tired…. actually sick and tired…. even
angry!" Who would it want to say that to? " My boss." Anyone else in your
life, now or in the past? "My father". And so the exploration continues, using
the body as a metaphor and tool to contact deep inner emotions that were never
expressed at the time when they originated.
Now, why would it be important to get in
touch with those old inner feelings and beliefs that have been suppressed or
denied over the years in an effort to survive and move on in life?
Well, modern science has confirmed what
human beings have intuitively known through the ages: our feelings, our beliefs
and attitudes, as well as our physical well-being and our spiritual life are
intimately connected. A change in one area effects all the other parts. We all
have experiences of a pounding heart and frozen muscles from fear and anxiety,
butterflies in the stomach from worry and nervousness, a tightening jaw from
anger etc. and we also know how good it feels when we are happy and at peace
with ourselves and the world. Sometimes long-term, unexpressed negative feelings
go underground, and that is when they cause trouble.
Scientific research has shown that such
suppressed and unacknowledged feelings or old negative beliefs stay in our
bodies and over time begin to act like toxins. They suppress the immune system
and sooner or later show up in the body as physical symptoms or disease. That is
how powerful the mind-body connection is! Luckily we can use this connection to
our benefit and help our body-mind-spirit to heal by connecting to and
processing those feelings that keep us stuck or out of balance. Ilana Rubenfeld
has given us tools to do just that: by pioneering a revolutionary therapeutic
method that unites touch and talk therapies. What triggered this creative
breakthrough was her own personal story.
In the late1960s in New York City Ilana
Rubenfeld, then a young woman, was seeing an Alexander Teacher to get relief
from serious muscle spasms in her neck and shoulders, triggered by her strenuous
work as a conductor. Experiencing the gentle touch of her Alexander teacher, she
was surprised to be overcome by emotions so strong that she burst into tears.
Since the Alexander teacher was not trained to deal with emotions, Ilana was
referred to a psychotherapist. In the psychotherapy sessions, however, she could
not re-experience her feelings and realized that she was not able to deal with
her memories through talk therapy alone.
"Fascinated by what the body held and how
touch elicited so much, Ilana Rubenfeld went on to become an Alexander Teacher,
and then to study another approach to the body with Moshe Feldenkrais. She was
also actively learning about psychotherapy from Fritz and Laura Perls, the
founders of Gestalt Therapy, as well as from other experienced therapists.
Adding hypnotherapy from studying the work of Milton Erickson, Rubenfeld melded
it all together and let it flow into her work with clients. What emerged from
this creative brew some thirty years ago is now known as the Rubenfeld Synergy
Method®." (From "The Power of Listening Touch" by Jeanne Reock)
This innovative approach to healing
integrates gentle listening touch, movement, body awareness - and often humor!
- with imagery and reflective dialogue. While deep inner emotions often are not
accessible to the "thinking" part of the brain and therefore not available in
regular talk therapy, Rubenfeld Synergy offers a way to contact these deep
feelings by combining talk with non-verbal languages - such as touch and
imagery. (Peter. A. Levine says in his book "Waking the Tiger - Healing
Trauma", that "…..only through accessing the body and mind as a unit can we
Touch is the most ancient and elemental
form of communication and when gentle and non-invasive it helps the client tune
in to the body and "listen" to her/his own feelings. Touch also helps facilitate
the release of old holding patterns in both body and psyche. Imagery is another
non-verbal "language" that reaches that part of the brain where emotions are
stored. It has shown to be so powerful that it has become a state of the art
treatment for posttraumatic stress. There is fascinating research demonstrating
that consciously created images of peace and beauty have a profound impact on
our immune system as well as on our mood and well-being.
The great strength of Rubenfeld Synergy is
its ability to help bring to awareness old, unconscious beliefs and attitudes
that get in the way of a satisfying life. Once we make these deeply rooted
beliefs conscious, we can let them go and allow a new perspective that frees us
up to live a more fulfilling life.
As a Rubenfeld Synergist you don't try to
"make" things happen. The Synergist is a facilitator and guide, not a magic
healer. Trusting the inner wisdom of the client is basic to the work. A primary
belief in Rubenfeld Synergy is that body, mind, emotion and spirit are closely
inter-related, which means that any change in one area will influence all the
other parts. Throughout this transformational process the Rubenfeld Synergist
provides the kind of safe space and empowering support, which most of us need to
start the journey of internal exploration.
Most clients find this work to be
enjoyable, surprising, relaxing and transformative. Resolving old hurts, trauma
and inner conflicts frees up much energy. Honoring
your own truth enhances self-esteem. Chronic pain frequently disappears when
long held emotions are released. Getting in touch with your hidden inner
resources, strength and wisdom makes life much easier and more enjoyable.
Relationships improve, old patterns change, you may find yourself making
healthier choices in your daily life.
Rubenfeld Synergy is more than a
technique, it is a philosophy of life, reminding you that your body is your
greatest companion with an amazing innate resilience and self-healing capacity.
For more information about Rubenfeld Synergy, visit