6. Functioning – The interconnected nature of the metabolic fields also contains a topography or communications network made up of currents, tides and flows between all the fields. Mindful hands plug into this network from any vantage point on the body. This is one way that every cell knows the whole and likewise every field knows the whole. Think of topography as a global engineering map of the water, sewer, electric and telephone cables of the town where you live. Of course now we have cell towers and communication satellites in the “cloud”. All of this is topography. Biological topography refers to the actual streams and currents of information in the fluids behaving holistically between all fields and all cells in the human body, between human bodies and with nature.
The lineage of cranial osteopaths named some of these topographical features in the client’s body the longitudinal fluctuation, lateral fluctuations, reciprocal tension fluids, etc. It must be pointed out that a biodynamic practitioner is touching mindfully and in relationship with both the individual structure itself (or the whole as a single continuum or the morphology of the whole as an active shaping process) and the functioning flow topography in the human body. Think of the 50,000 miles of veins and arteries as such topography. All these levels of biodynamic and biokinetic relationships are occurring simultaneously. It is being mindful of Primary Respiration and stillness and reorienting to breathing and heart rate when mentally distracted that allows the practitioner access to appropriate level at any given time. One cannot go fishing for a particular level without generating side effects.
The functional topographic flow is primarily oriented to the delivery of nutrition and the removal of waste. The founder of osteopathy, Andrew Taylor Still, said in the 19th century: “We suffer from the want of supply and the burden of dead deposits.” The cardiovascular system represents one level of such holistic functional topography in the human body. Embryonic metabolic fields are not limited to the embryo but persist through the lifespan as the underlying physical metabolism of the body’s structure and function constantly being rebuilt. Likewise the topographical features of nutrition delivery and waste removal for example, are also a constant throughout life especially in the blood and heart.
Biodynamic practitioners may also have mindful touch with a part of the fluid body topography known as the fascia. The fascia is a unique kind of liquid. This is important because recent studies have indicated a cellular flow in the liquid matrix of the fascia moving in the tempo of Primary Respiration. I believe that this is relatively easy to palpate for a biodynamic practitioner who lives and explores within the container of Primary Respiration called the zones of perception. One embryologist calls the blood liquid fascia.
The bioelecticmagnetic (BEM) field of the human body is another organ of holistic communication or topography. Also included would be the subtle body and its energetic forms such as the chakras. While these elements of the body need to be included (and I am not going to elaborate on them here), the point is: how are they actually experienced in one’s somatic perception? And if a practitioner has integrated these energetic metaphors within their life work, how is it experienced within the practice of biodynamic craniosacral therapy?
Perceptual exploration: Can you sense Primary Respiration in any systemic flow or direction whether in your body or the clients? For example, take your pulse at your radial or carotid arteries and synchronize your attention with Primary Respiration moving inside the artery.
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