The Body Selectric: How The Body Moves From Flight/Fight/Freeze Back to Flow by Kathy Allan RN, HTCP/I, HNC, SEP

Kathy Allan RN, HTCP/I, HNC, SEP
Kathy Allan RN, HTCP/I, HNC, SEP

“Trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering”
Peter Levine

Three weeks ago I attended Kathy Allan’s two day workshop called The Body Selectric, that combined the latest research on traumatic stress with energy healing.

Kathy is an amazing therapist and teacher and watching her work was a priceless gift. She did several demonstrations that showed how subtle, yet profoundly healing, releasing deep trauma in the body can be.

With the soft modulation of her voice, her gentle body movements, and her centered, compassionate presence, she created a safe and supportive container for the person she was working with to release and heal on a deep level. I felt like I attuned to a whole new level of energy and healing possibilities just by watching her demonstrations.

We learned about the body’s natural ability to regulate itself in a variety of traumatic situations. Kathy spoke about Post Traumatic Stress Injury (not Disorder) and how people can heal from it. Even though this workshop was about trauma it was very optimistic.

The class covered how our nervous system is continually processing information through our senses to make sure we are safe in our environment. Neuroception is a term coined by Stephen W. Porges to describe how our neural circuits distinguish what is safe, dangerous or even life-threatening to us. Neuroception takes place in the primitive parts of our brain without our conscious awareness. Before we are ever aware of danger on a cognitive level, our bodies are already gearing up to fight, flee or freeze if it perceives a threat. We can release trauma in our bodies without having to activate our nervous system by telling the story of how we were traumatized.

Talking about trauma can bring up trauma, and as Kathy said during the workshop “Everyone has trauma, we are all wounded healers.” The workshop was strategically paced so we had time to process anything that came up for us and the space was grounded and safe. I became much more aware of how my own nervous system is activated. It was slightly overwhelming at times. I decided it would be a good idea to cut back on my coffee intake.

Kathy led us in a fairly simple exercise to increase our neuroception as healers, so we could detect nervous system activation in ourselves and our clients. It was incredible how easy it was to feel the shift in another person who was all the way across the room. I thought this exercise alone was worth the price of admission.

After taking a healing workshop, I usually have to sit and process the information and techniques before using anything new in my healing sessions. Not so with this class. The next working day after the workshop I found the simple techniques created a profound release for two clients. I have since continued to be amazed at the impact this one class has had on my healing practice.

Thank you Kathy!

Jeri Lawson is available for Healing Touch and Clarity Breathwork sessions, Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm, in the Temescal Area of Oakland, California.

Healing Touch California’s 7th Annual Regional Symposium on Self-Care: Post Traumatic Stress

IMG_5571I had signed up for Kathy Allan’s Pre-symposium Workshop It Takes a Special Person to Be a Healer even though I had never heard of Kathy Allan before and had no idea of what to expect. All I knew was that her class was right after Anne Day’s Journaling Your Healing Journey and just before the networking gathering and pinning ceremony.

The presentation turned out to be one of the highlights of the conference and has given me a deeper understanding of emotional and energetic release in my Healing Touch Practice.

First of all, Kathy Moray Allan is remarkable. She is a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner and Instructor as well as a Board Certified Holistic Nurse. She studied energy healing with Rosalyn Bruyere for three years, taught Integrative Imagery for Beyond Ordinary Nursing and graduated from the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute as a Certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Kathy is also on the Advisory Board of One Freedom, an organization that provides trauma education and training to the military, their families and care providers.

The focus of her workshop was on how prolonged exposure to clients who have been traumatized by natural disasters, domestic abuse, family break ups or terrorist threats can affect the healer. The Symposium was right after the Boston Marathon Bombings, so maybe that had something to do with how profound and timely this workshop felt.

Kathy talked about Practitioner Traumatization, Compassion Fatigue and old fashion Burnout. She described the symptoms healers may notice in themselves, and gave out strategies to prevent practitioner trauma.

Some of the strategies were: get Healing Touch Treatments (of course), spend time in nature, develop and nurture a sense of spiritual connection, sing, laugh and listen to Bellruth Naparstek’s Guided Imagery CD’s.

Kathy spoke about Post Traumatic Stress, a topic that is now being addressed frequently in the healing world. One reason for this being the increase of War Veterans that are now dealing with it.

Kathy’s handout stated this about Post Traumatic Stress:

“Although it is a source of tremendous distress and dysfunction, it is not an ailment or disease, but the byproduct of and instinctively instigated, altered state of consciousness.”

I also found this quote from her handouts by Peter Levine very inspirational:

“Remember, traumatized individuals had the strength to survive the experience and with a little help they can learn how to restore the wisdom of their bodies and the joy in their lives.

…Not only can trauma be healed, but with appropriate guidance and support, it can be transformative. Trauma has the potential to be one of the most significant forces for psychological, social and spiritual awakening and evolution.”

Post Traumatic Stress is not just about veterans, war and major disasters. In my healing practice I have always observed how beneficial it is for my clients to regularly release trauma from surgeries, minor car accidents, dental work and even the paralyzing effect of constant financial stress. Regular Reiki, Breathwork, Massage and Healing Touch sessions really keeps stress from accumulating in the physical body.

This short post does not give justice to the insights I gained from Kathy’s presentation. I feel like I have come back to my own healing practice with a fresh perspective and deeper awareness on how to better assist my clients.


Here are a few more links about the Symposium and Self-Care Techniques that may be  of interest:

Self Care: Shine a Bit Brighter Each Day an article by Caroline Elliott, BScN, RN, HTPA, who was on the Symposium planning committee.

Here is an article by Anne Day called Journaling for Self-care and Development. Anne presented the pre-symposium workshop Journaling Your Healing Journey, which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

A free voice guided Chakra Meditation by Ellen Long.

A Huffington Post’s Healing Touch With Guided Imagery Could Help Relieve PTSD Symptoms In Soldiers, Study Suggests

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