Waking the Tiger

One of the classic books on the processes underlying trauma “Waking The Tiger” by Peter Levine provides a comprehensive introduction to the mechanisms of the nervous system, and levels of response connected to “fight and flight”, and “freeze”.

Peter Levine

Peter Levine began his work in the 1960’s when he became interested in the mind-body connections. After graduating in medical biophysics, he spent time in Esalen, California, and met Dr. Ida Rolf (founder of Structural Integration) and Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt Psychotherapy). In the early days, he was referred a patient who entered a deep state of relaxation, triggering a release process where she returned to the traumatic event and was able to access a fight & flight response, where previously she had been frozen. This re-regulation of the nervous system, led Peter Levine to develop Somatic Experiencing – a therapeutic method for re-regulating trauma.

This book provides a good introduction and foundation around understanding trauma, its symptoms and underlying processes, for both practitioners and anyone interested within this field.

Here’s a link to the book and further resources below.

Interview with Peter Levine in Psychotherapy.net in 2010


Endometriosis, Fibroids & our female body

Recent awareness around health conditions affecting the female reproductive system have been highlighted in the press this week.

Firstly with accounts and individual experiences of women going through endometriosis, and secondly experiences from fibroids.

BBC Newsbeat: Endometriosis treatment “unacceptable”

BBC: “Fibroids: I worried I might not be able to have kids”

Endometriosis: is when the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus, the endometrial lining, grows in other areas of the pelvis. It can cause pelvic pain, abnormal menstrual cycles and infertility.

Fibroids: are benign tumours of the uterus that can grown in various locations on and within the uterine wall or in the uterine cavity.

Both of these conditions do not have a set cure and the experience of them can vary depending on the individual, location of the condition & its level of development.

Raising public awareness is a brilliant step forward, as frequently these experiences can be swept under the carpet, in the same way that conversations and awareness around menstruation is limited in social scenarios.

It is important not to feel alone. There are a myriad of solutions.

Interestingly it is reported that in a great number of cases, self-learning has been key in further understanding the condition.

There is one book in particular that stands out in this field.womens-bodies

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, written by Dr. Christiane Northrup gives a wealth of information and context. She combines her knowledge as a gynaecologist for 40 years with individual stories and gives a greater perspective on a wide variety of conditions.

There are a myriad of solutions and she helps to share and explain the possible options in an approachable and relevant way. (Please note: this is not a replacement for seeking medical advice, but a great resource to support along the way.)

Recent media and raising an awareness around these conditions is a great step to further supporting women. Communication, social awareness & becoming aware of the options available are key in this area of health.

Vanda Scaravelli – Awakening the Spine

vanda-scaravelliThis is one of the most beautiful books, gently exploring qualities and experiences of the body that can unfold through the practice of yoga.

Vanda Scaravelli studied in her early years with B.K.S. Iyengar and T.V.K Desicachar. She went on to develop a profoundly restorative approach to listening and unwinding the body.

“Working alone, I discovered a new world in this field, a world without rigid goals and without competition, a world where the body can start to function naturally and happily again, allowing expansion to take place in space.

Gravity seemed to hold the key to this new world, and so opened up a new way of doing the asanas. It is not so much the performance of the exercises that matters, but how we approach them mentally and physically.

What I gradually discovered is that we have three friends: gravity, breath and the wave. By wave, I mean that undulating, supple extension along the spine. These three companions, fused into one, should remain with us constantly.

For anyone interested in exploring health & vitality, this book is a masterpiece of wisdom and inspiration.

Awakening the Spine – by Vanda Scaravelli

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