Intuitive Gait Sessions:
Working with trapped energy in the body
through posture and walking patterns
Clearing Your Form for True expression
Molly Jarin, MSPT
What are they, how do they work?
“Gait” a term for the walking pattern of a human or animal.
How it started:
Intuitive gait readings are something I started working with spontaneously about two years ago. Ive been evaluating gait and gait abnormalities for almost 20 years through my graduate and professional work as a Physical Therapist. I always enjoyed, marveled over really, human and animal locomotion. To me there is amazing beauty in the movement of any living or even mechanical joint, and the functionality aspects are just plain fun!
At one point I started offering gait screenings for runners as a focus for my practice. These were performed with visual analysis of joint position at the foot, ankle, knee, hips, trunk etc., using slow motion digital video and were used as an adjunct to the formal PT Evaluation to help detect and treat runner’s injuries. Although, as with other traditional aspects of my practice I gradually veered in direction, feeling a continual draw toward something deeper (for me) in terms of how I would work as a healer.
Working with energy using the medium of human motion:
We can all recognize certain ways in which people walk. Maybe you can identify your friend or a certain family member by their walking pattern? But have you ever felt the energy behind the pattern, or seen/felt a very subtle energy before it manifests obviously in the physical form or movement of the form?
When I watch people walk I can see/feel energies in the body. Sometimes these come through as descriptive words, for example the word “doubt”. Or a character will be felt such as a model, a mouse, a lumberjack. Sometimes my emotional field is triggered and I may feel fear, anger, or even a fun playfulness. Sometimes I see/feel a disconnect in the two halves of the body, vertically or horizontal, or with a particular body part.
Working in this way is fun for me because I get to work from my traditionally trained mind and my intuition, and what appears of course is different with everyone. Instead of looking with an analytical eye for the biomechanical asymmetries or alignment issues as I was trained to do as a physical therapist, I instead “wait” and feel what arises as I watch the person walk. This intuitive approach to working with clients, although challenging initially to allow to come forth, seems to be seeping in to my work whether I want it to or not. My formal training as a PT no doubt is incorporated at some level, especially when it comes to suggesting various movements that may help the person either release the stuck energy or help to integrate a new desirable pattern in the body.
I work with the energy patterns simply by first bringing the person’s awareness to them. Sometimes it takes a little creativity and or playfulness to bring them out. By this, I mean I may suggest a person walk as if they are at work, for example, or walking fast to “catch a bus”, or window shopping, etc. Sometimes certain energies will be expressed in some walks or scenarios and not others.
What do we do with these energies and who cares?
Once we identify a particular energy, I may have the person exaggerate the walk (the walk that contained the energy pattern) so they can really feel it in their body and so they can more easily become conscious of it when it does show up in their body. If the person is open to working with me in this way then usually when a word or character is shared with them, a light bulb goes off and they start talking about what is associated with the word or character.
If we are working on healing, the energy uncovered typically is something that is holding them back from healing and from True expression of their being. Often one might say or find that the energy revealed in the gait session is an energy belonging to someone else. Just the recognition of it, might be enough for it to leave, but often some additional work needs to happen. This can simply be through embodying the opposite, or the true expression that you want – practiced consciously in the walk. So the exercise thus becomes exaggerating the old energy pattern/walk, then exaggerate the opposite. The idea is that the person then has a choice, whereas prior to identifying the trapped/old energy they were not even aware that it was there blocking a piece of them. As the repatterning begins to take hold, the person more naturally falls into a relaxed healed expression. And this will unfold into all aspects of their life, especially I think it will help them become more available to other healing modalities, even traditional physical therapy. There are of course other situations when the person may need more intensified work and help and time releasing the old energy pattern (To be discussed in a future article).
What is really fun to see, is the person walking with the “new” expression. It is also fun working with walks and patterns that the person embodies that they want to keep, that are in resonance with who they are. When I see them come up I will encourage the person to “use” this walk more often in their day. Again the person may not be aware of that Positive side of themselves and now they can use it to help in their healing process.
The beauty also of this work is that people can become more aware of their own bodily intuition and how it can be used with a simple and clear way of movement (exercise) to assist in their healing journey.
The work intensified:
Facilitating energetic releases through movement and posture,
Clearing your Form for True expression.
…to be discussed in the next issue.
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