Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thank Heaven For Tickle Dreams

Thank Heaven For Tickle Dreams

My title paraphrase of Maurice Chevalier's famous song fits well with how I, the last many years, evolved to see and interpret my memories and reactions to my vivid dream life. During more than the first half of my life, however, I experienced my dreams, predominantly, traumatic. They contained sudden falls from mountains and tall buildings, searching for exits that never appeared or participation in insoluble projects/crises. Surprisingly often, I decided, in the midst of the most traumatic part of the nightmare, to cancel the futile struggle in which I participated. When I withdrew, I woke up without feeling too well.

After I experienced my first success with PT / The Primal Principle directed by Art Janov, my dream life changed gradually. The turning point was related to the fact that I experienced how an epileptic grand mal seizure was transformed into a traumatic, painful and wordless birth primal. This dream process developed over many years and was becoming less dramatic as my life became less neurotic. The process, which starts simultaneously with REM sleep, have, for many years, emptied my pain clusters/containers into an extent that my birth trauma = my epilepsy has been reduced to an easily tolerable level of pain. Nowadays, an everyday conflict/failure (eg to find the right rhythm with my tenor sax) is during sleep being translated into a dream, which eventually ends in an electric tickle in the brain. The dream development, and thus the tickling feeling, is often linked to a female partner who symbolizes my father. It happens that I, stimulated by the tickle, wake up laughing with flowing tears. A bearable and pleasant situation that feels curative. 

Yesterday I had a tough day with my tenor sax. It sounded miserable no matter which reed or mouthpiece, I combined. Add to that my inability to play from my memory ... Therefore, when I later went to bed, tired and disillusioned, I expected nothing encouraging in my dreams. However, things do not always progress as one would expect, they may even be better. My wandering life (literally) was played back in the dream. My walks in beautiful surroundings in the south of Sweden, in Denmark, in and around Santa Monica, Ca., in Boulder Col., in Valencia and in Genovés became a vision of the future. I imagined how resources were at the disposal of the residents. They would be able to preserve and develop the beauty I passed on my walk. There would be an automatic balance between private, municipal and business interests in order to prevent abuse and selfishness.

I imagined a common goal of sustainable development for future generations that mental health, beauty, and personal development would benefit everyone. Psychotropic drugs could be virtually eliminated and psychotherapists found work as personal coaches in beauty and environmental conservation. Suddenly I came to a treatment center, and in the door,  I saw Dr. Janov. He wept uncontrollably. I was immediately overwhelmed and hurried to comfort my benefactor. Jan, he said, do not worry, I weep for joy! I cry because I am no longer needed. Now I finally have time to deal with my own shit before it's too late!

Jan Johnsson

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” - Albert Einstein 


When I later today trained with the tenor sax, I managed to perform fully intelligible versions of both "All Of Me" and “Autumn Leaves “.....   JJ

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"The Body Never Lies"

“The Body Never Lies”

A Norwegian woman told in a TV program, how her head in a car accident hit the windshield, and she lost her memory from the previous nine years. She told us about the complicated rebuilding of her memory. Her reconstruction was filled with doubt and mistrust directed both to herself and to others, and it took a long time because memory is an elusive individual phenomenon that also changes and is stained in a way that is difficult to predict (which research has confirmed eg in connection with witness psychology). 

A key point in the woman's story was that she had had a child under the lost memory period. She had absolutely no recollection that she was a mother. The word memory, however, received a new dimension, when she was confronted with her child. The child rushed, at the reunion, spontaneously up to her mother and embraced her overwhelmed by happiness. Then the woman felt in her body how physical memory/recognition welled up. Just as Alice Miller so brilliantly described it: "The body never lies.” It has no fake/alternative news!

In the primal circles, my combination of PT and Rolfing has been met with skepticism and warnings, but I have been unable to understand why. The curative aim of Rolfing is, with deep physiotherapy, releasing blocked/fixed grown memories. They are physical manifestations/extensions which reinforce/defend the memory of repression of painful experiences (of varying types) back to the fetal period. The goal of Rolfing, to restore posture and fascia in harmony with gravity laws has in my case freed several memories of painful (repressed) character. My body's memories have not lied to me, but behind an unaware, abnormal physical deviation (a crooked spine, a stooped posture, blocked or shallow breathing, etc., etc.), there has been a link to the experiences during early childhood and adolescence. When I / my body released / re-lived those memories, I became aware of the painful experiences, which I thank Primal Therapy, eventually have been able to enter, and that meant access to experiences during my dramatic birth and hence to the root of my epilepsy. 

The therapist asked, during a Rolfing treatment, why I wore my hat in a certain way because it affected my head posture. I had no prepared answers. Suddenly, I remembered how a former female partner and my father criticized me for being cocky and confident. This led me, provocative, chose a style that was pretended to be easygoing and challenging and the style grew firm for decades and hid my underlying uncertainty. When I slowly dared to show my deep uncertainty (which was hidden first by ADHD and later by lifelong activity mania), my repressed memories from a 48-hour traumatic birthing gradually floated to the top and took over the role from my longstanding epilepsy symptoms. In my therapy process, spread over 40 years, two series of treatments, at 30-year intervals, with Rolfing, have played a crucial role in stimulating my re-living the process of my birth trauma. Here I want to emphasize the importance of the knowledge that I received from Art Janov in how evolution has developed a survival method to suppress pain, which was too extensive that a fetus could survive. These insights into the Primal Principle, I have internalized, both in practice and in theory, for several decades, and at a few important occasions in contact with the inventor himself. Without my insights/knowledge from Dr. Janov, the meaning of my sessions of Rolfing had been significantly reduced. The same can evidently be said, regarding my sessions in PT/knowledge of the Primal Principle, unless Rolfing had been available.

The combined, natural, Janov / Rolf methods have given me a less neurotic life with good health/good vital signs and I am now capable of a moderate pace. I have re-evaluated several of my activities. Music got during my first 75 years no active place, though I listened. When I now work with my tenor sax I become aware of how my body and psyche still create blockages/tensions, which originally were meant to hold off the explosive pain from my birth. In woodwind to produce a relaxed sound, to transpose, to go from classical music to jazz swing is not without problems for a normal youth. For a 77-year-old neurotic with built-in tensions, it is an extra challenge. The rhythmic problems haunt me, sometimes, into my sleep. During REM sleep my father or former female partners may appear and criticize my activities and my immediate pain takes me, through an awakening, infallibly into my birthing. Nowadays, re-living remnants of the birth process is a piece of cake, however painful and wordless. The re-living means after a few days that my tenor-swing sounds better (and that I, hopefully, am less torturing my neighbors ….).

The body never lies... Alice Miller wrote about it and Ida Rolf treated the physical effects of it. Art Janov has, over the past 50 years, practically and theoretically proved the same. AJ has, with own suffering, outperformed the academic/intellectual world when he skillfully and innovatively informed  and treated us of the consequences of the two-headed nature of evolutionary repression. Repression is a lifeguard for the sensitive fetus/child, however, at the cost of later/future wear and diseases appearing where the organic body system is the weakest/most worn.

Jan Johnsson