A diplomatic intermediary between physiological processes

“The bodyworker is not an interventionist; he is a facilitator, a diplomatic intermediary between physiological processes that have lost track of one another’s proper functions and goals, between a mind that has forgotten what it needs to know in order to exert harmonious control and a body politic which increasingly utilizes disruptive demonstrations, terrorist tactics, and even the threat of all-out civil war to regain its governor’s attention. Touching hands are not like pharmaceuticals or scalpels. They are like flashlights in a darkened room. The medicine they administer is self-awareness. And for many of our painful conditions, this is the aid that is most urgently needed.”

(page xxix)

Deane Juhan. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2003.

From my own library – ordered online after reading an excerpt as part of a teacher training in a somatic practice.

the arrangements of the state of flux

“so ingenious are the arrangements of the state of flux we call

our moral history are they not almost as neat as mathematical

propositions except written on water –”

(page 89)

Anne Carson. The Beauty of the Husband: a fictional essay in 29 tangos. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2002.

Borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal.

To use language in the way that Homer says the gods do

“All human words are known to the gods but have for them entirely other meanings

alongside our meanings.

They flip the switch at will.”

(page 33)

Anne Carson. The Beauty of the Husband: a fictional essay in 29 tangos. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2002.

Borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal.

Carefully generating a flow of sensory information

“A point worth remembering here is that in this educational experience it is not the bodyworker who is ‘fixing’ the client. The body worker is not attacking a localized problem with specialized tools, confident of achieving certain results. Instead, he or she is carefully generating a flow of sensory information to the mind of the client, information that is not being generated by the client’s own limited repertoire of movements – new information that the mind can use to fill in the gaps and missing links in its appraisal of the body’s tissues and physiological processes. It is then the mind of the client that does the ‘fixing’ – the appropriate adjustment of posters, the more efficient and judicious distribution of fluids and gases, the fuller and more flexible relationship between neural and muscular responses.”

(page xxix)

Deane Juhan. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2003.

From my own library – ordered online after reading an excerpt as part of a teacher training in a somatic practice.

Myth is a two-faced proposition

“BUT TO HONOUR TRUTH WHICH IS SMOOTH DIVINE AND LIVES AMONG THE GODS WE MUST (WITH PLATO) DANCE LYING WHICH LIVES DOWN BELOW AMID THE MASS OF MEN BOTH TRAGIC AND ROUGH

All myth is an enriched pattern,

a two-faced proposition,

allowing its operator to say one thing and mean another, to lead a double life.

Hence the notion found early in ancient thought that all poets are liars.

And from the true lies of poetry

trickled out a question.

 

What really connects words and things?”

(page 33)

Anne Carson. The Beauty of the Husband: a fictional essay in 29 tangos. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2002.

Borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal.

What is being felt is of major importance

“In bodywork, what is being felt is of major importance. This does not oppose it to science; rather, it puts bodywork in a position to add important dimensions of information to those of weight and measure. A painful spasm, or a chronic contraction which limits movement, or a destructive habit are not only specific neuromuscular events. They also include the feelings that preceded them, the feelings that accompany them, and the feelings that follow as consequences and condition future neuromuscular events. These feelings are not extraneous to physiology. On the contrary, in a large number of instances they can be demonstrated to be the precipitating factors of specific physiological conditions. Sensations and mental responses alter our chemistry and our structure just as frequently as it happens the other way around.”

(page xxviii)

Deane Juhan. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 2003.

From my own library – ordered online after reading an excerpt as part of a teacher training in a somatic practice.

What’s that sound

“IT WAS JUST NIGHT LAUNDRY SNAPPING ITS VOWELS ON THE LINE WHEN MOTHER SAID WHAT’S THAT SOUND

Poets (be generous) prefer to conceal the truth beneath strata of irony

because this is the look of the truth: layered and elusive.”

(page 37)

Anne Carson. The Beauty of the Husband: a fictional essay in 29 tangos. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2002.

Borrowed from the Grande Bibliothèque, Montreal.