A Metaphor For How Our Nervous System Works

A client came in today all bent over and so her first stop was to put her legs over the spine corrector.  I have a smattering of experience with hands on work and in this case I gave my client a little compression on her feet that I learned from Holistic Biomechanics.  Since some degree of mental engagement tends to enhance our physical experience I gave her a brief reminder of what I was doing (she’s also had some experience with HB).

Back in 2001 when I entered my first Pilates Certification Program, my instructors talked about imagery with respect to cueing.  I was mostly baffled with how to come up with metaphorical images.  But then, I had hardly any personal experience with Pilates.  These days, images tumble out of my mouth before I can even fully picture them and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised with what my imagination conjures up.  Today was such a day.

I was explaining one of the simple facets of how the human nervous system functions.  Our bodies are designed to respond to external stimulus.  When I put my hands on somebody’s foot, that draws the attention of their nervous system.  Once the nervous system has tuned into that area it begins to address anything that requires improvement.  In the case of my client, she was noticing some sensations associated with the release of tension and I was noticing various fluttering movements and an increase in overall circulation under my hands.  This is a basic description of one level of our “factory installed” self-healing system.  And I’ve gotta say, isn’t it amazing?!

So, back to my metaphor.  I likened this cycle to keeping one’s house tidy.  If you’re like me, you tend to tidy up when folks are around.  Even more so if you’re going to throw an official party.  I’ve been saying for years that the key to a clean house is throwing regular parties (having a kid certainly affects this strategy, but kids are only little and all-time-consuming for a few years, right? right?!).  Anyway, a guest visits my house and I immediately start putting things in their proper place.  Little things like gathering up stuff that belongs in other rooms, hanging up coats that have been tossed on chair backs, or sorting the piles of mail that are so often right by the door.  And this is very similar to what our bodies do when we receive a visitor in the form of external stimulus.

I’ve come to trust in this process much more than I used to thanks to HB and MELTing.  My first introduction to the magic of HIgh Bounce Pinky Balls was back in 2001 but at that point I was trying to solve all my physical ailments (there were many) with direct and purposeful action.  In pretty much all cases, I had to get more nuanced in my approach to see the results I was after.  These days Pinky is still a big part of my life, but I use the ball much differently.  Rather than a lot of pressure and a hurts-so-good massage, a light touch with the intention of focussing my awareness is all I’m after.  I trust my body to do the real problem solving.  And it does!

I am often suggesting that my clients begin to care for their entire bodies via their hands and feet with a light Pinky rub.  It’s nothing so strong that it can aggravate their sensitivities, but it begins the process of rebuilding a trust in their body’s power to heal, It gives the body some useful stimulus, and it feels really good.  In nearly all cases, folks come back with good things to report, but I believe that’s partly because they know how to approach what they are doing and what to look for, hence my many metaphors.

Perhaps now I’ve shared enough here to incite your curiosity, dear reader.  I encourage you to try it, you’ll like it!

Hand meets Pinky

Hand meets Pinky

Foot meets Pinky

Foot meets Pinky


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