As a sound and body-worker, I have found verbal abuse more difficult to unravel from the system than direct physical contact abuse. Words stick in the body gathering more words until they are no longer words, they are sounds.
Recapitulating history and memories from a body is unraveling the sound from words, dislodging words from the physical system.
While treating our clients, patients and students, it is of supreme importance to very carefully choose the words we use. Are we choosing words that engage illness, “there is a blockage there,” or are we engaging words that evoke wellness?
After nearly 30 years of tracking my ideas about healing or wellness, I am presently at “not-knowing.” I am very interested to see what could evolve if we tracked the Well Cell. This is the place before the original-cause imprints which said, “God doesn’t love me.. I’m not good enough for God..”
Years ago, I attended a Norman Cousins lecture. He touched me deeply. He was one of the first people that spoke about the power of diagnosis. He said the power of words and how words were used could speed up the disease or, a wrong diagnosis actually had the power to kill. When people come to us as clients or patients, they listen to us. Our words are a great responsibility.
I had clients who could not respond to my hands initially, however I could get access with sound. Some were referred to me when their therapists knew they needed assistance in remembering. Most often they already know their story, however, knowing it intellectually was not moving the paralysis in their feeling/emotional body. Sounding was my method of moving that paralysis.
They also came to free-up the body of memories that kept them at the chronological age of the abuse. My work is to give the body the freedom of expression that has been achieved in other levels. I assist clients accepting the possibility of maturing memories, bringing the memory to present time through sound.
Using sound as a body work is a wonderful tool for teaching people how to use their voice to keep movement in their bodies. Especially if they are going trough a crisis, or are in environments that cause them pain or fear.
Sound is a remarkable tool for empowering people. Clients and students actually get to reclaim their voices, their secrets, their boundaries. Sometimes sounds are less personal, needing less analysis than the person’s story would entail in words. It can take a little as a minute to recapitulate history with sound, while it could take hours with words. Once my clients have an understanding of their history in words in the cognitive sense, they work with me for the same story in the tissue, in the cells.
This art as a body work is to honor the timing, rhythm and geometry of the spatial design; to know how emotions reside in the physical body, and to teach support for such expression. Sound works on the tissue level of stored memories, plus having the ability to work at the cellular level.
Instead of treating negative or hurtful feelings and thought forms as an adversary, they can be neutralized. Thoughts and emotions move from a place of being unmanageable, to a place of neutrality. Individuals get to be at choice. The mind and emotions can no longer take the client down habit or random paths. Choice happens not through denial, not through imposing another thought form, but from expressing what is there. With daily practice, sounding to neutralize becomes quite easy and very quick, maybe taking only seconds.
Sounding promotes listening, which is a complex math. I am always looking at timing, rhythm, angle and dimension. What is above and below? I listen to how the body is being supported. I examine the environment to determine what might create a holding pattern. I listen to my body and question if I am diagnosing my own holding, my own judgments, or those of my clients. Listening comes from a place of accepting whatever the body is revealing.
Primarily what happens in a healing situation is memory being accepted.
- Acceptance creates trust
- Trust engages rest
- Rest promotes movement
- Movement assists transformation
A layer of emotion has a beginning and an end. In the body, it may not look linear or symmetrical. Memory guides in a variety of directions tracking closer to the root of the emotions.
Much of what is called emotions may not be emotions, but rather restrictions. Sounding can create the atmosphere of movement. The actual sound-shapes of different emotions create a geometry or vortex, openings into places needing to be entered.
A major piece in my more advanced trainings is transforming the limiting belief structures of how many emotions we have, and the various opinions and judgments we may have about them.
First, we must know our own stories and be honest about them. We must be willing and able to let them go. We must take the risk of not knowing what comes after our stories. Them we star learning how to follow the geometry of the feeling/ emotional bodies, gathering all of the threads, tentacles of roots of our feelings.
I have always been able to perceive sound frequencies in peoples’ bodies and listen to what is there. I can tell by listening where the emotion is inserted in the system. I use my voice to “sound” the place that presents itself the most and I try to match its rhythm, emotional content, pitch, and directions. I am sounding what has been unexpressed, denied, forgotten. I am engaging that unexpressed place in dialogue.
I sense the crystallization is very grateful, finally being acknowledged-having waited to be called, sung, reconnected, for so long. Some places are so compressed, so restricted, it takes willingness and patience not to push or force them open.
I sound the smallest opening available, encouraging trust and resiliency in the fluid tissue. The tissue actually starts being hydrated. This process is sound as a body work.
I use physical listening principles learned from Judith Aston, the originator of a body work called Aston Patterning. I have studied with Judith since 1976, Aston work emphasizes listening to individual tissue, bone, and joint preferences. Her work allows and facilitates an individuals needs to “unfold” organically. It is based on the premise that each person’s body has an inherent intelligence of its own.
Integrity calls for the practitioner to follow, to “listen” to that person’s intelligence. This allows the client to reveal by choice what their system has the ability to support emotionally, as well as physically.
I have translated these principles into my work with sound. The word “tissue” and the phrase “direction of tissue” I am using symbolically, giving texture to the layer we are touch with sound. The body will show us the geometry; we do not have to know it, we just need to know how to listen and follow it.
Learning to sound our truer voice follows learning to listen. Because so many do not know how to listen to emotions without judgment, I demonstrate how to follow judgments into a place of grace, or acceptance. Initially, I use my voice to demonstrate the immense variety of possibilities; giving others permission and choices for sounding their own possibilities. They start hearing how the most discordant sound will always move into a place of tone.
Because the body is so full of grace, it will always take one into a place of acceptance. This is how I teach people to follow discordance into a place of tone, as the harmonics live within the discord. It is a study of letting the body do the singing instead of the mind.
By matching the emotion, feeling, blockage or wound, we are acknowledging its presence, its qualities, its identity. Acknowledgement with sound invites it to move through a now open doorway. Similarly, crystallized memories in our nervous system can be restructured by using listening, feeling and matching the components of individualized placement. My focus is teaching students how to move their own emotions without hurting themselves or someone else. Just as in a Sound Signature (a daily ritual to set boundaries for our bodies,) our goal is to match the frequency of ourselves on any given day.
We begin by expressing or moving that which is not ours, it’s just “stuff.” This process is a daily ritual, sounding the superficial layers which our physical, emotional and psychological environments create and shape. Students are learning discernment. I challenge them to become more passionate about getting acquainted with themselves. They must learn to follow and track their various “fragments,” judgments, and opinions about who they are and how they’ve been. It is a challenge of being intimate with oneself. The main focus is listening to oneself-not another.
The practice of listening is multi-faceted. Listening is having compassion, beginning with compassion for self and all its experiences. This work develops an internal, bodily system of integrity to cue us, give us feedback about what is â€˜mine’ and what is not â€˜mine.’
Not only does sound teach discernment, it is a place to come home. Our sound frequency acts as a magnet to gather ourselves.
The concepts of listening, accepting, gently letting the body dictate the song, are all possible to be learned. I do not mean to suggest it is simple, although once our bodies are introduced to this understanding, it is simple.
Following the sound is not having an agenda, a recipe. There are no maps. We can rely on the inherent blueprint, the natural intelligence of these systems.
If I had one thing to assist or teach, it would be to reduce the fear of taking the risk to not know.
Cooperation becomes a possibility with the key factors of knowing one’s own rhythms, frequencies and varieties. The more we embody ourselves, the more willing we are to cooperate with others. This is the part of memory which feels lost, the memory of an inherent intelligence that knows cooperation is the most efficient use of our relationships.
Another key is accepting our differences. We are on a threshold of needing to let go of what was, in order to go into a place of not knowing. This evolutionary step is a definite shift of the mind set- one form, one mantra, one chant, one way to be appropriate. It is a shift to; accepting our intuitive knowing of what is right for ourselves and knowing our own frequency.
Patience and trust supports harmony within discord and it evolves into cooperation. Harmony within discord exists from the tiniest molecular level throughout our physical and emotional bodies. It lives in our relationships to self, to our environment and to others. This is the excitements of living now, being available to all our wisdom. Embodying the anatomy of sound is the physicality of consciousness.
VICKIE DODD Director of SoundBody Productions is an internationally known pioneer in the field of Sound as a Bodywork. She is an Aston-Patterner, author, poet, and workshop leader. She started using sound with her clients over 25 years ago. She has trained with many master teachers in the art of body therapies and spiritual purification tools.
The essence of Vickie’s work is a multi-dimensional approach to using Sound as a evolutionary tool, emphasizing the demystification of Sound as therapy, and the maturation of the emotional body in preparation for the new paradigm. A few of her teachers that have been crucial to her evolving this work are: Dr. Joseph Liss, Dr. Ramurtri Mishra, William David, and Judith Aston.
Vickie has the rare ability to “sense” the subtle rhythm, vibrations, and tones that all matter produces. She uses her remarkable gift of “sounding” to match the unique soundprint of a person. To this sensitivity Ms. Dodd has added serious study and exploration in the curative aspects of sound, color and movement. She has designed a system which integrates emotional memories into the physical body and facilitates the release of long held emotional distress. She has consulted with organizations and professional groups, assisting them to address specific issues they encounter in their work and life responsibilies.
Vickie has created a year long training, The Anatomy Of Sound, teaching others how to listen to themselves and to use their voice to recapitulate the memories and history that resides in their bodies. This training empowers and educates the serious sound student to direct and evolve their emotional and physical maturation. This training is a prerequisite to a practitioner training for Sound as a Bodywork. Her book Soundprints will be coming out in 1996. This is an account of her many years working on bodies and the sounds of stored history she has heard from her clients: she has translated the sounds into words to demonstrate the unraveling of unexpressed emotions in the physical body.