Flower Essence Formula
The Spirit Warrior formula is helpful for practitioners in holding a boundary while still being heart-open and empathic.
Guided Meditation: Mother Earth, Father Sky — Ray Castellino
Turn your attention to the tail end of your spine,
the sacrum, and the soles of your feet,
coming into contact with mother earth.
Let yourself receive the felt sense of the earth,
drinking in its moon-like reflective energy.
Find within your body
the places that connect you with the essence of that.
Feel the pull of gravity drawing you to the core of the earth.
Turn your attention to father sky.
Find some place in your head that is a doorway to space.
Let your awareness trace the arc between the above and the below.
Notice the mid-space opening between them.
Now, bring your attention to the back of the body,
the muscles up and down your back, the source of your strength.
Back to the mid space
Now bring your attention to the front of the body, the sensory, receptive part of you.
Back to the mid space
Bring your attention to the right side of the body… and then to the left side.
Let your attention pendulate between both sides, till it naturally settles in the mid-space.
Notice the inside, then the outside.
Enjoy the pendulation between above and below, between back and front, left and right side, inside and outside,
As you pendulate your attention up and down, back and front, side to side,
notice how it eventually brings you back to center.
Direct attention into the body to notice a sensation
This effectively means present-tense orientation, countering trauma’s past-future tendency
Direct the attention to the lower border of the sensation that arose or downward generally
This effectively counters the upwards effect of trauma, which is alarm and orienting responses
Ask about the details of the sensation, 3 questions like “Is it more to the left or the right? Is it deep or shallow? Moving or still?”
This effectively slows down the awareness, countering trauma’s tendency to speed things up
Direct the attention somewhere else for a minute or so, best to be a place far from the first site (e.g. from core to periphery, when in doubt go to your toes if your place was anywhere in your torso, head, etc), then back to the first site. Repeat as needed, slowly and gently.
This effectively re-establishes polarity movement and counters the trauma’s tendency towards fixation.
Why and How This Works
Disease follows fixation. Healing follows movement. Induce movement, relieve fixation.
This practice loosens the autonomic nervous system and re-establishes and supports flow throughout the body and un-fixes the phenomenon. The re-establishment of flow supports healing for a full spectrum of autonomic nervous system conditions. This of note because 80% of conditions that people visit their care providers for are related to the autonomic nervous system (Dr. Jim Jealous, DO). It is preferable to do this practice every day. It is especially helpful before bed if you have challenges falling asleep, because it quiets the autonomic noise from the day and brings your nervous system into the functional range, which supports your body to heal while you sleep. First do this practice without a story or context, and then once you are well practiced, then try it within a story or context. For example, you can do this practice in relation to a trigger, by approaching a trigger and doing the practice, and then the next time move a little bit closer to the trigger, and do the practice. Do this step by step and be patient and gentle.
Exercise developed by John Chitty, RCST, RPP, for more information see and Colorado Energy School, www.energyschool.com, and his book Dancing with Yin and Yang
Imagine that you are inside a bubble or shell that is about one arm’s length outside your body. Starting at the front/center, survey the quality and condition of the inner surface of the shell, one quadrant at a time. Note differences in imagined distance, density, coloration, tone and any other attribute that comes to your awareness. Continue around the whole 360 degree scan, front to right, right to back, back to left, left to front.
Repeat the survey, this time imagining that you are repairing the shell. If it is too close, push it out. If it is broken, patch it with the imaginary repair medium of your choice. Go all around the same 360 degree scan. Be creative with your repair experience: plaster, plexiglass, wood, clay, metal, whatever feels right for you in the moment.
Once the repair process feels complete, imagine that you can sit back and enjoy the safety of your own space. No one can come in without your permission. The shell can be transparent so you can see what is happening outside; it is entirely your choice what happens inside the shell.
Developed by Ray Castellino and refined by Myrna Martin and their students. Elsa and Chanti articulated them here in their own words.
Attachment Booklet — Myrna Martin
This is for your use only. If you want your client's to have copies, you can direct them to purchase the e-book or print form.
Good Parent Messages — Jack Rosenberg, Integrated Body Psychotherapy
Read the information on how to work with the maternal and paternal matrix messages. The maternal matrix messages are developmentally related to very early experience, and the paternal matrix messages are developmentally related to ages 3 years and older.
Look at a photo of your young baby/toddler self and recognize yourself and this is the part of you that you are talking with.
Say out loud the message, and do your best to feel the message in your heart, placing a hand on your heart can help with this.
Write the words down, and look at them, after you know them write them with your non-dominate hand.
Really let yourself cherish that little one that you were when you were not met, and meet yourself now, with what you needed then.
I love you.
I want you.
You are special to me.
I see you and I hear you. It is not what you do but who you are that I love.
I love you, and I give you permission to be different from me.
I’ll take care of you.
I’ll be there for you; I will be there even when you die.
You don’t have to be alone anymore.
You can trust me.
You can trust your inner vice.
Sometimes I will tell you “no”, and that’s because I love you.
You don’t have to be afraid anymore.
My love will make you well.
I welcome and cherish your love
I can set limits, and I am willing to enforce them.
If you fall down I will pick you up.
I am proud of you.
I have confidence in you — I am sure you will succeed.
I give you permission to be the same as I, to be more or less.
You are beautiful/handsome.
I give you permission to love and enjoy your erotic sexuality with a partner of your choice and not lose me.
The Oxytocin Boost Checklist — The Chemistry of Connection, by Susan Kuchinskas
Offer a sweet kiss
Share a warm hug
Have an orgasm alone or with someone else
Sing in a choir
Give someone a neck rub
Hold a baby
Stroke a dog or cat
Perform a generous act
Pray or do a mindfulness ‘gratitude’ meditation
Root for your team
Share something important with someone you care about
Self-Touch Sequence to Regulate Your Nervous System — Anna Chitty
This exercise is designed to stimulate the social nervous system.
Exhale like you’re blowing out through a straw
Stimulate your ears by massaging your ear lobes and touching the ridges in your ear
Touch/massage whole face
Place your fingers over your eyebrows about a half an inch out from the center of your face on both sides, find the slight notch and rub lightly in small circles
Touch/lightly massage on either side of nostrils, straight down from eyebrows
Touch/lightly massage on either side of chin, straight down from either side of your nostrils
Hold your whole face and imagine someone who you light up when you see them/someone who loves you
Massage on either side of neck, from behind ears on either side down
Place your hands on your heart
Place your hands on your belly
Place one hand on your belly and one on your heart
Ways to Tone Your Vagus Nerve
Slow, rhythmic, diaphragmatic breathing. Breathing from your diaphragm, rather than shallowly from the top of the lungs stimulates and tones the vagus nerve.
Humming. Since the vagus nerve is connected to the vocal cords, humming mechanically stimulates it. You can hum a song, or even better repeat the sound ‘OM’.
Speaking. Similarly speaking is helpful for vagal tone, due to the connection to the vocal cords.
Washing your face with cold water. The mechanism here is not known, but cold water on your face stimulates the vagus nerve.
Meditation, especially loving kindness meditation which promotes feelings of goodwill towards yourself and others. A 2010 study by Barbara Fredrickson and Bethany Kik found that increasing positive emotions led to increased social closeness, and an improvement in vagal tone.
Balancing the gut microbiome. The presence of healthy bacteria in the gut creates a positive feedback loop through the vagus nerve, increasing its tone.
Creative Dynamic Opposition Exercise — Myrna Martin
This is an exercise in mutual support, cooperation and healthy contact. It is a tool you can use that allows you to feel good, even in a place where differences exist. This exercise is an opportunity to communicate with another person somatically. It supports safety, and in attachment theory terms, secure attachment. Many of us as young children, even newborns, were not allowed to assert ourselves in a healthy way. In a spirit of cooperation this exercise is designed to help us develop an internal sense of what it feels like to assert ourselves and be respected and met in that assertion.
One of the necessary components of safety is the willingness to be with each other and with what is happening in the moment. This includes feelings of anger, frustration, unhappiness, and conflict. It is important that we do not go into isolation and withdraw from connection. If you need to take space, communicate this need and make a plan for re-connection. When safety and accurate reflection is present, regulation can be optimized and everyone can feel more resilient, working through challenges in present time.
Each movement has five phases: intention, preparation, action, follow through, and integration.
Choose roles: person A and B
Person A will be the one who “pushes” and person B will be the one receiving the “push"
The intention of person A is to push into the other person, while the intention of person B is to offer just enough resistance so that potency builds and the turn person feels empowered
Creative dynamic opposition can be done in a gentle way with one hand, or with your whole body
Wait until you actually feel the impulse to push before you move into action
The key to this exercise is to build potency, not moving into action too soon and then going in to collapse, or starting out in a collapsed place and not allowing the potency to build first
Pay attention to what happens in yourself and in relationship through each of the five phases. This exercise is a process of discovering how you feel in each part of the sequence. Many people will speed up, skip over, or get stuck at certain points. Pay attention for breaks in continuity, which from an attachment perspective, could be places of early shock or trauma.
This exercise works with the very mechanism that supports us to go beyond what we think is possible and feel able to meet life’s challenges. Optimally this happens from the prenatal period through three years old, giving children a strong felt sense of potency, access to a resourced way of meeting challenges, and without having to avoid the hard stuff.
Safety, or secure attachment, is strengthened in places of challenge. This exercise instills the feeling of being fully met, without having to use compensation patterns from the past. This exercise is about listening and communicating on the somatic and emotional levels, building potency, moving energy and feeling empowered!
S I B A M — Somatic Experiencing®
S: sensation, where does it feel good in your body, what does it look like, feel like, temperature, pressure, texture, if in labor: direct to what feels good
I: image, colors, shapes, helpful if sensation is strong like in labor
B: behavior, movement, or gesture
A: affect, emotion, what does it feel like
M: meaning, story
Understanding Developmental Trauma
In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness by Peter Levine
Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain and The Developing Mind: Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology by Daniel Siegel
Trauma Through A Child’s Eyes by Peter Levine and Maggie Kline
Poly Vagal Theory by Stephen Porges
Becoming Attached by Robert Karen
Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt
Sensing, Feeling, and Action by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen
Birth’s Hidden Legacy, Vol I and II by Annie Brook
Human Embryology, 3rd Edition by William J. Larsen
Nature, Nurture and the Power of Love by Bruce Lipton, many talks on YouTube
Bonding: Building the Foundations of Secure Attachment and Independence by Marshall Klaus
Dancing with Yin and Yang by John Chitty. Also go to energyschool.com, to “Reference Library” for extensive reading lists, and “Resources” for videos and podcasts of teachings and exercises
Research & Articles
Chitty, John. Various, see energyschool.com
Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, see www.birthpsychology.com, to “Libraries” for articles, book reviews, and research— you can subscribe to the quarterly publication that includes research from leading experts
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, www.acestudy.org, and see Nadine Burke Harris’ TED talk, How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime
White, Kate. “Interview with Ray Castellino, DC, RPP, RCST, The Principles,” Journey of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 27(3), Spring 2013. — located in google drive
Embodied Movement & Healing
Body, Mind, Centering: www.bodymindcentering.com. Developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, touch and movement re-patterning through experiential anatomy, embryology, and developmental/early infant patterns.
Continuum: www.continuummovement.com. Developed by Emilie Conrad, fluid movement practice, awakening embryology through embodied movement and sound.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy: www.craniosacraltherapy.org. Gentle and subtle whole body approach to healing. Hands on therapy, non-manipulative, non-invasive. Supports and nourishes the nervous system through affecting the flow of cerebral spinal fluid.
Somatic Experiencing: www.traumahealing.com. Developed by Peter Levine, body-awareness approach to healing trauma.
Pre, Perinatal and Birth Psychology: www.castellinotraining.com. Developed by Ray Castellino, also taught by Myrna Martin: www.myrnamartin.net. Process Workshops to re-pattern and heal your own early trauma, and training programs for working with trauma and perinatal experiences.
Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health, www.birthpsychology.com.
Practical Tools to Support Conception, Pregnancy, Birthing & Postpartum