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July 5, 2023

How Trauma Became My Unlikely Catalyst for Health

Mcleod Ganj sits high in the Indian Himalayas, with incense, silk, snow and prayer flags wafting in the breeze. I grew up in Tibetan Children’s Village, a boarding school with the Dalai Lama’s sister as our principal. Among a thousand orphaned Tibetan kids, I was the only western child. With white skin, blonde-hair and blue-eyes, I looked different. Yet, I was right at home.

Just 200 kilometres south-west of Tibet, elephants, cows, monkeys, colourfully painted trucks and rickshaws, these were all a part of life. Sometimes, dark skinned, wandering Indian pilgrims, with their dusty orange robes and rosary beads defied the laws of nature. They would be in suspended animation, sitting upside down in lotus posture, head buried in the dirt for over a day. God knows how they breathed. Life was wild, full of culture and spirit.

Still, in all that wonder, I shared an uncomfortable bond with my schoolmates. We were, the most of us, without an enduring connection of our biological parents. The impact of which, whilst it seemed harmless at the time, echoed later into my adult life.

In my twenties, I struggled with extreme back pain for several decades. Although I saw many therapists, the pain kept returning. I began practicing and studying yoga, meditation, art therapy and massage, fueled by a thirst to end the pain that at times debilitated me.

In 2002 my mother ended her life, resulting in a grief that at times overwhelmed me. In 2016, I nearly took my life at a cliff’s edge. With tears rolling down my face, I thought to myself ‘if my spiritual practice counts for anything, it’s now that it matters’.  I recalled Eckarte Tolle’s teachings and remembered to allow the pain space in my life instead of trying to escape it.

Fast forward into my forties, I began studying trauma and its influence on the body and mind. I began receiving Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy also known as Cranio. This became a profound catalyst for my health and enabled a far better quality of life. In time, I discovered an awareness of my body and mind being far more healthy and resilient than I ever thought possible. Whilst this took time with many ups and downs, I learned resources that could sustain me from within.

One day a friend struggling with intense Sciatic pain was barely able to walk or sleep. I went to give him a massage. On arrival, I found his system over-stimulated, he’d been over-working. I knew instantly a gentle, minimalist approach was key. At that time, I’d had no formal Cranio training, it was my personal experience of its effectiveness I drew upon to give him a session. Deeply relaxed, my friend fell asleep on the table with his pain significantly diminished. He had been unable to sleep for weeks without painkillers. He’d visited two other therapists, both had left him in more pain after seeing them. Blown away, I decided to train in Cranio.

It is hard for the mind to comprehend how just by offering stillness, doing so very little and simply listening to the body has such a profound, positive impact on health. It flies in the face of so much of what mainstream medicine teaches us. Yet, it is the body’s natural intelligence that seeks balance, it only needs to be listened to, heard and acknowledged. In Cranio we allow the body to unfold and express its own nature, which is always health. I remain fascinated and love sharing this work with the world. It inspires my business Quantum Bio-Intelligence and prompted me to host the Embody Nature Retreat in early September 2023, on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland bringing together five gifted facilitators. Who together will  share the art of deep nature connection, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Yoga, creativity, sound healing and sacred Australian indigenous culture.

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