& SELF CARE
- Responsibility to hold space
- Self Study for Understanding Trauma
- Power of Compassion
- Building Rapport
- Methods for Mindset
a. PREPAREDNESS AND SELF-CARE
Responsibility to Hold the Space
In addition to learning the actual physical steps used in the practice of Book Neural Therapy™ (BNT), there is a particular mindset which is crucial in determining your success as a practitioner.
Our deepest need as a human being is to be seen and heard, and BNT allows this at a very deep level—far below the spoken word and ordinary consciousness. During the course of the BNT process, old patterns and traumas are released. How much is released and when, is controlled unconsciously by the client. The release of patterns held in the body may go completely unnoticed, consist of moderately uncomfortable physical sensations, or involve a sudden surge of long-buried traumatic memories. Regardless of how the release plays out, it is vitally important for the practitioner to create a safe space for this deep healing to occur.
Your state of mind is transmitted non-verbally to the client. If you are distracted, judgmental, not fully present or compassionate, the client will sense that, and the session will not be productive. The client’s “radar” is finely tuned to “read” your energy and knows if you are in the proper state for this work.
When practicing BNT it is important to remember that you are not really the healer or actually in control at all of your client’s healing process. Instead you are a guide, entrusted to hold the space in a proper way so healing can occur. You are allowed into the intimate recesses of another human being. It is a precious and sacred place to which few people have access. For in BNT, we go into the places where shame, accidents, perceived mistakes, errors, guilt, and self-judgment are housed. You are privileged to hold the space, and must create a sense of safety and non-judgment for clients as their history surfaces and clears through their body.
Self-study for Understanding Trauma:
Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw
The Drama of the Gifted Child by Alice Miller
Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine
The Luscher Color Test by Max Luscher
The Power of Compassion
Compassion is a sense of shared suffering combined with the desire to alleviate the suffering of others as if it were one’s own. A strong sense of compassion is a key part of the proper practice mindset. If you are not naturally compassionate, it can be learned (see “Reading and Study for Developing Compassion”).
Compassion obviously benefits the client, but also benefits the practitioner. There is evidence that practicing compassion lowers stress hormones, slows the aging process, and improves mental health.
Self-study for Developing Compassion:
Illuminata: A Return to Prayer by Marianne Williamson
Zero Limits by Joe Vitale & Ihaleakala Hew Len
Love and Logic® training
Institute of HeartMath® training
Sufi technique of polishing the heart
Dalai Lama’s writings
Meditation and Ho’opopono
Rapport occurs when two or more people feel connected to each other. It is often described as being “in sync” or “on the same wavelength” as another. It is another important contributor to achieving the proper mindset for practice.
There are many techniques for building rapport such as matching body language, breathing rhythm, or maintaining eye contact. Of these, maintaining eye contact and matching breathing rhythm are best for BNT. A simple eye contact technique to build rapport is to look into the eyes of your client with “smiling eyes”. When you look softly into the eyes of another and the look is taken in, something wonderful happens in the nervous system. The basic, survival brain is allowed to rest and the limbic, emotional brain, is allowed to come forth. Care, bonding, and connection all happen at this level. And this level is an essential part of long-term success with BNT. Matching breathing rhythm is a technique used throughout the BNT process as part of the therapy, with the wonderful side effect of developing rapport.
Methods for Mindset
There are many different methods that can be used to cultivate the proper mindset and center yourself for BNT practice. It is up to the individual to choose the method or combination of methods that suits them best. However, it is very important to consciously prepare yourself prior to each treatment session.
Your chosen preparation method should enable you to:
Fully focus on your client and the task at hand—leave your personal worries and concerns at the door
Compassionately accept your client, without judgment, in their current state
Believe that change is possible
Visualize your client as whole, complete, and perfect
Hold the vision of your client’s beauty and perfection until they believe it themselves
Centering yourself and becoming neutral are other essential components of the proper mindset. BNT relies heavily on muscle response testing (muscle monitoring), which requires a neutral state to function properly. Prior to each session or anytime during the session, a technique of “wiping the slate clean” can be used. In essence, the gesture says: “I leave the past behind, I put aside any other thoughts of the day, and I am ready to be totally present for this person who now comes before me”. For this technique, simply wipe your hand from head towards my foot, in a cleaning gesture.
More detailed information on specific methods for centering can be found in the next section “Fundamental Concepts & Techniques”.
Again, the ability for the client to feel safe and understood is a valuable and essential ingredient for the success of BNT. A side effect of the BNT process, is the healing of those around the client, including the practitioner. Everyone wins with BNT.
Anyone who works in the healing profession or spends time helping others understands the importance of self-care. You have to feel your best physically and mentally to be an effective practitioner of BNT. Also, your clients will be looking to you as a model of health and balance.
Firstly, do you have forgiveness and compassion for yourself? Do you follow the same dietary and lifestyle advice you give your clients? Do you get enough rest and live a balanced life? Do you get regular treatment by others in the profession (i.e. chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage) to minimize stress? It is also very important that you experience and complete the BNT process as a client, so your own nervous system and brain are functioning properly.
More specifically, you need to protect your body during practice. Make sure your treatment table is at a comfortable height. During the various re-alignments, keep you back straight and bend your knees instead of bending at the back.
Finally, your personal hygiene and professional attire should also be considered. With BNT your hands are your tools, so it is very important that fingernails are kept clean and short. Many of the re-alignments will be painful to the client if your nails are not cut very short. You will be very close to your client, so be sure your breath is fresh and your body is clean. Finally, respect the practice of BNT and dress professionally but comfortably. For women, be careful of the necklines and hemlines of your clothes as you will frequently be bending over or leaning on the treatment table.
With some practice, the ability to achieve and maintain the proper mindset and the high standard of self-care needed for BNT practice will become second nature. You will be amazed at how these seemingly small things can be big contributors to your success.