Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Building of the Ego

Chris reports on his sound therapy progress

The past few weeks with sound therapy have been constructive, as we increasingly moved into the world of imagination. As the shaman says, “Sound is linked to memory”, and he's really helped me by letting me release tension, from the present as well as the past. I remember hearing Ray of Light by Madonna at the end of my last session, which really describes his therapy in a nutshell.

What we did this time was the same six-color palette played in sequence, and the shaman gave me a “keyword” associated with each color. They were:

red: opposites
orange: movement
yellow: action
green: distance
blue: sound
violet: form

I didn't know quite what to expect. A very interesting thing happened, which accelerated the time it took to achieve “zen” with the color therapy. Beginning with red (opposites), all the tension left me and I entered into a different space, a space that was not defined by my body but rather was defined by my “rational” mind, the part of me which had preferences and opinions. My mind was liberated, and while I did not enter into free fantasy or “lucid dreaming,” I was questioning things I took for granted, and how I defined most things against my body. At green and blue I was released completely from the present and concentrated on my memories, and I became aware of the life flowing in my limbs and the changes, I could see how my legs had become stronger but less flexible since I started treating the body like a machine.

Completing the session, for the second part the shaman gave two keywords or combinations, red (“opposites”) and each other color, eg. “opposites and distance.” Looking at each combination, you were forced to ask what is an opposite, and this freed me from judgment. I was always looking at how fast something moved, or how loud a sound was. With movement, I defined an upward motion versus a downward motion, but when it came to green (opposites and distance), things looked completely different. How far away is one person when talking to another person? What if you measure from one cell of the body to another, or one atom to another? Then the distance from one person to the next could be greater than “the length of a football field”. How you define your perspective is as important as the objective world you perceive. The issue of personal space: there is a limit somewhere between your body and someone else's, where you can share your feelings without becoming a slave to every little outside stimulus.

When it came to “opposites and form,” red and violet, I pictured myself in a building, and the contrast between my body and the naked structure of an apartment building, and I saw myself fall through the building from the top to below the ground. The shaman told me that often in psychology a building represents the human ego, so I found a connection between the ego (the building) and the body, and the way to transcend the ego (the confines of the building) was to shift my focus away from my body. There the session ended. I didn't especially enjoy being stuck in a building and was happy to keep my new awareness of the connections between my body and the physical world around me.

2 comments:

  1. There is more and more research that links many learning and developmental difficulties to poor communication and synchronisation between the two brain halves. An effective way of improving the processing functions in the brain is to listen to specially altered sound or music through headphones as pioneered by Dr. Alfred Tomatis (Tomatis method) and Dr. Guy Bérard (Auditory Integration Training - AIT).

    Now there is a new Sound Therapy Programme which has been specifically developed with the aim to improve sensory processing, interhemispheric integration and cognitive functioning and it is entirely free to download and use at home. It has helped many children and adults with a wide range of learning and developmental difficulties, ranging from dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder to sensory processing disorders and autism. It is not a cure or medical intervention, but a structured training programme that can help alleviate some of the debilitating effects that these conditions can have on speech and physical ability, daily behaviour, emotional well-being and educational or work performance.

    Check out the Free Sound Therapy Home Programme from Sensory Activation Solutions. There is no catch, it's absolutely free and most importantly often effective. Find it at: http://www.uk.sascentre.com/uk_free.html.

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  2. Thanks, Stefan, for the link. It is nice to see that this type of sound therapy is freely available. You might not be aware, but I posted earlier on the Tomatis Method, which my son underwent last year and found helpful. The Bérard Method is similar to Tomatis, but if I remember correctly Bérard does not recommend it for people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. This may be simply because he doesn't understand schizophrenia.

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