Ecotone Series

Final Reflection . . . Tribal Future? (Ecotone #6)

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Final Reflection . . . Tribal Future? (Ecotone #6)

Final Reflection … Tribal Future? Ecotone #6 The Venerable Dalai Lama, in discussing ethics for the new millennium, welcomes conflict. Given respect and compassion, he recognizes and encourages its power to generate synthesis, the formation of new and better ideas. Given that I’ve always enjoyed a good fight, I take his words hopefully. Exploring the Intersection of two very different lands. Almost a year has gone by since I began my quest. I started with a metaphorical land, named after a natural phenomenon, the ecotone, a “transitional area between two adjacent ecological...

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Peace in Ecoland? (Ecotone #5)

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Peace in Ecoland? (Ecotone #5)

Peace in Ecoland? Ecotone #5 With the holidays upon us, my mind turns towards reconciliation. In previous articles, I’ve written about the struggles both bodyworkers and psychotherapists face as they face each other in this land we share. Personally, I’m envious of my ancestors. Hundreds of years ago in European tradition, and even today in aboriginal cultures, healers did not sort themselves by kinds of healing. Holistically, they addressed both the mind and the flesh as they supported wellness in their neighbors. I’ll save the history lesson on how the two were split, save that flesh...

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Overcoming Table Terror (Econtone #4)

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Overcoming Table Terror (Econtone #4)

Overcoming Table Terror. Ecotone #4 While some of us enter the wilds of the ecotone freely and of our own will, others get backed into it. Perhaps a little bit of off-roading at first, and before we know it, we’re hacking our way through the underbrush. Example: twenty years ago, I’m sitting in a friend’s Denver apartment. She’s a social worker, I’m committed to taking the same route, but we’re not above hobnobbing with other disciplines. In this case, a massage therapist, who enters the apartment and is clearly flustered. Between panicked breaths, she declares that one of her...

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Making the Connection (Ecotone #3)

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Making the Connection (Ecotone #3)

Making the Connection. Ecotone #3 On the northeast corner of my practice room hangs an old photograph of a mother and infant, the eyes of both locked blissfully on one another. In its presence for the last nine years, mature adults have looked up at me with childlike openness. Having received bodywork, I’ve also experienced this strange vulnerable bliss, and I wonder what must this be like to someone with little to no previous experience of trusting touch? It would take the majority of a century for science to understand the inestimable importance of this exchange. At such moments, among a...

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Soma: The Power of Treating the Body (Ecotone #2)

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Soma: The Power of Treating the Body (Ecotone #2)

Soma: The Power of Treating the Body. Ecotone #2 Ever since I was a kid, I’ve fallen in love with words.  It’s something I’ve had to get over, in both my practices as a massage therapist and psychotherapist, in order to listen to the more telling subtext of expressions—a breath, a yawn, a shudder—leading to the meat of revelation and release.  “Ecotone,” however, seems to capture the essence of this strange and increasingly populated land that exists between body mechanics and mental restructuring:  the Wikipedia definition goes on to describe that while, in some...

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Treating the Body, Treating the Mind (Ecotone #1)

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Treating the Body, Treating the Mind (Ecotone #1)

Treating the Body, Treating the Mind. Introduction to Ecoland (Ecotone #1) A young woman’s head is cradled in my hands, and she is crying over something she does not understand. Referred by a psychotherapist colleague of mine, she expressed herself tentatively when we first met. In her voice, the sound of a child: fear. She is not used to bodywork, but trusts her therapist. My colleague hasn’t filled me in on her issues, nor have I asked. She lies down on my table. Using craniosacral techniques, I apply gentle pressure to various areas of her body, finally holding her head in my hands,...

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