Come IN from the Cold and Warm UP this Winter!

Come IN from the Cold and Warm UP this Winter!

Elevate Your Healing Bodywork Practice!

with Matthew Sweigart, CI

February 3-5, 2017
Friday evening: 6-9pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10am-5pm
Registration open now!

Come IN from the cold and warm UP this winter! Come share warmth and connection with fellow travelers on the healing path. Enjoy this inspiring, hands-on exploration of the healing arts.
This workshop will include fun, invigorating movement, healing touch, and profound self development as you give and receive innovative, heart-centered bodywork.
You’ll learn one safely performed Flying HeartMind Shiatsu lift that will astound and amaze you and keep your clients coming back for more!

Elevate your practice to the next level!

Free Demo Jan. 26th, 6-8pm
Bodywork Bistro Living Arts Center
3825 Iris, Suite 300, Boulder, CO

Weekend Workshop Fees
$267 by Jan. 26th  ($297 thereafter.)

*This course is included in the 500-hour HeartMind Shiatsu Professional Training.
* Based on the popular Harmonizing Heaven & Earth DVD and Companion Manual.

The Five Freedoms, and the Five Elements

The Five Freedoms, and the Five Elements

In my recent Pathways of Qi, Exploring the Meridian Medicine Wheel workshop in Chicago, I introduced the idea of the five freedoms. These are essential to exercise in the presence of unconditional love for a true, full and deep sense of wholeness and self-acceptance. They offer a sure way to escape the struggle of toxic shame and self-deprecation, and to claim and exercise them is a significant piece of ongoing personal cultivation.

The five freedoms simply stated are: 1) to perceive, 2) to think, 3) to feel, 4) to want and 5) to choose. In order to live fully from our authentic and realized self, we practice affirming our five freedoms.

  1. We affirm our own unique perceptions of the world around us. We have the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the truth of our experience. No one else can tell us what to perceive, though conversations with others regarding their perceptions may shape our perceptual experience. What is essential here is to know that ultimately it is our right and responsibility to trust and grow our own perceptions.
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  2. We affirm our right and responsibility to think for ourselves. No one can do our thinking for us, though perhaps many have through the art of persuasion tried to influence our thinking. Even education in a system can be a subtle form of external conditions shaping our thoughts. Again, what is essential here is to realize that we are ultimately responsible for our thoughts, and knowing when and how to express them in a good way. Sinclair Lewis’s character Babbit was a perfect example of someone who struggled to find his own original thoughts. Of course, this is a caricature of a human being, but it can be hauntingly real if you tend to be overly influenced by the strongly expressed opinions of those whom you invest with authority.
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  3. Affirming your rights and responsibilities to your feelings is an essential skill to develop in order to live a highly functional life with a minimum of victim thinking. To me, this area is the one that ultimately is completely our own. No one can tell you what to feel. No one can make you feel anything. Your feelings are your own. No more can you say “you make me mad.” Rather say,” I find that I am mad when I reflect upon your behavior and your words.” And that is where your work begins. To own your feelings is to have the ability to be strong in your authentic self-expression. To know what you are feeling in any giving moment or setting is to have in your consciousness the power you need to be fully alive. To learn to navigate your own inner emotional landscape and to fully own the rights and responsibilities that go with your emotional being is perhaps the single most important task you can undertake.
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  4. To affirm your right to what you want, and what you desire is another essential step on the path of personal freedom. And it is founded on the previous three freedoms. If you are free to perceive, think and feel for yourself, you will be clear about what you want and desire in your life in any given moment. And here the art of being in relationship is most sorely tested. The fact that there are so many choices, and so many things, places, experiences, available to us to chose from, and that everyone has their own unique set of tastes and needs, the art of doing things together that everyone in the party agrees they also want is a high art indeed. of course if we were completely alone, we might always in every moment find that what we want is never in conflict with what others want. Yet this is not the case. We live in social settings, and in order to maintain social harmony, there are often compromises, or delays and a need for a great deal of flexibility. But the clearer you are about your own desires, you can use them to point the way to your best outcomes. And like the Rolling Stones song tells us, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, I think you’ll find, you get what you need!”
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  5. Finally the right to chose is the last essential step on the path of freedom. Based on all the previous freedoms, your own personal choice is before you. No one can ultimately make any choice for you. You must make it inside yourself, and then work to actualize it in the world. Make a commitment to the world you wish to live in, the choices you make to devote your time, attention, energy and love to, and watch your world come into focus and begin to yield fulfillment and satisfaction. yet at the same time, see that this freedom demands stepping up to your rights and responsibilities. If you have chosen for  yourself, then you have no one else to blame. This is not easy! For many, the idea of having another person chose for them can lead to a sense of relief. Gosh, I admit, sometimes it’s just hard to know exactly what the right choice is. And giving that over to a trusted friend or advisor can really help guide the way. But that is the key… a trusted friend or advisor must also always know that ultimately your reaction to the choice and alignment with the choice is essential. For myself, I like to use a “non-human source” as a guide. Some sort of divine or spirit being to help guide me. There’s a lot to be said for the line in the Lord’s prayer “Thy will be done!” To align yourself with the divine purpose for you is a profound key to fulfilling this final freedom.

So now that we are familiar with the five freedoms, how do these relate to the Five Elements. For this, I draw the link to the daily cycle of energy flow.

Perceptions I see as related to the Metal Element and the Wei Qi field. Our contact with the world around us is the first edge of experience.mgq-large-intestine

Thoughts relate to the Earth Element, our nourishment and rumination energies. We take things into us, and we roll them around in our mind’s eye. The spirit level here is known as the Yi. The Yi is the rational intellect and it falls in the purview of the Spleen Channel energies.mgq-spleen

Feelings / Emotions I give to the Fire Element, the element of the Heart and Small Intestine, Triple Warmer, and Pericardium. These energies are deeply related to our inner world of truth, interpretation and essential self-awareness and realization. There is a strong argument to be made for the emotions to be rooted in the Water element as well, but here is where I see Water being most closely related to realm of wants and desires.poq-pericardium

Water governs the deep, driving forces that shape our motivations into life. Our Zhi, our will forces are here in the Kidneys, and they arise from within us, even from our unconscious. One can even say that Heart is the awareness that we are conscious of, and Kidney the awareness that is revealing itself as we go along. There are few places in life where this is more clearly revealed than in our wants and desires. An old German song speaks of Hans, who has everything he wants. But what he wants he doesn’t have, and what he has, he doesn’t want! And yet, he has everything he wants! We can all relate to this in one way or another as we seek that elusive feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction along the journey of life.mgq-bladder

And finally, to chose, simply put, this is the realm of the Wood Element. Our Gall Bladder and Liver are charged with the task of making the strategic choices at each step of the way. To weight the two sides (or many sides) of any given situation and to take the ultimate responsibility of making the choice. And then once the choice is made, to learn and grow, striving ever onward in life toward the goals and rewards that await a “job well done.” mgq-gall-bladder

So these are the correlations. And in the task of fully embodying your five freedoms I encourage you to look and see where you may be weak or strong, need attention, or can rest confidently in your sense of achievement. If you struggle with your emotions, practice Fire Element cultivation. If you are not sure about what you perceive, check your Wei Qi field and develop your Lung and Large Intestine Qi. Apply this to each of the five freedoms, and use the Five Elements and their corresponding meridians to access the energy you need to more and more fully realize those freedoms in all areas of your life. And any place where you see your freedoms being compromised, slow down, pause, take a break and honestly assess where you are at. Then affirm once more your right and responsibility to be fully in your perceptions, thoughts, feelings, desires and choices.

I encourage you to take this into your life and put these five freedoms into action. In so doing, you will eradicate the monster of self-deprecation and banish the demon of toxic shame from running your life forever. And further, make a commitment to surround yourself with others who affirm your right to your five freedoms, and also claim the right to their own. It can be a lot of fun to be in a dedicated group of beings on the path of freedom. Let freedom ring!

And… See you in class!

Matthew

 

 

 

Basic Training 2016: Enrollment opens Oct. 12th

We will begin accepting applications for our 2016 Basic Training in Boulder, CO next Mon., Oct. 12th.

We are incredibly excited to run the program again next year, having evolved and refined our presentation, incorporating student feedback from this year’s program.  Newly graduated Certified HeartMind Instructors Becky Whitmer, Dave Goetz, and Jessica Van Antwerp will teach the first three levels of next year’s Basic Training, and our lead instructor Matthew Sweigart will fly in from California to teach the final level.

Prepare for a deep dive into Traditional Chinese Medicine and all of its mystery.  Learn how the Five Elements express themselves within Nature and within human beings to gain a better understanding of people in your life.  Learn techniques to balance your own energy so that you may be healthier and livelier in your own life.  And learn how to balance the energy in other people’s bodies so that they may be relieved of common aches and pains and feel their own vitality radiating out of every pore.

Stay tuned for application details…

 

Five Element Flow – HeartMind Shiatsu 102

Building upon the content of 101 students now learn the Theory of the Five Elements and how they manifest through the organ networks to enliven body/mind/spirit. The traditional correspondences of the Elements are the cornerstone of the course, grounding students in the basic attributes of each of the Five Elements and how they express themselves in Nature and in Humanity. Students begin to discern the signs and symptoms of each of the Elements, and in this way, begin to practice the art of creating treatment plans tailor made to the specific needs of each client. Yoga-inspired Meridian Stretch Exercises are practiced as both a tool of treatment and assessment, and traditional  shu point assessment methods will be introduced.

103: Balancing Yin & Yang

In this level students learn the art of pattern recognition through a study of kyo/jitsu deficiency excess model of Master Masuanga’s Zen Shiatsu system and the use of the Four tools of Assessment: Looking, Asking, Listening/Smelling and Touching. All previously learned material is integrated into flowing sessions led by movement, awareness and pattern recognition with multiple points of contact using thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows and knees. Additional elegant positions and movement combinations are introduced.  Much like vinyasa flows in yoga, various sequences of movement and acu-point stimulation are practiced to give students a full range of technical approaches for clinical application.  Masunaga’s Front and Back Assessment Areas are studied, and effective assessment palpation practiced. A semi-private tutorial with the Instructor is required between 103 and 104.

 

203: Five Elements, Organ Networks, Yin Yang, Deficiency Excess

In Five Elements, Organ Networks students deepen their understanding of Organ Network energies, particularly focusing on the nature of yin and yang and excess and deficient patterns in great detail the psycho-physical realm.  Leon Hammer’s seminal work, Dragon Rises, Redbird Flies, provides the springboard for the study and treatment of the signs and symptoms of life energy patterns in body, mind and spirit. Students learn to discern between Yin Deficiency and Yang Excess, Yang Deficiency and Yin Excess and how these patterns of disharmony manifest and how they might best be treated to restore balance and harmony to the entire system.  Of particular interest is the process of development and maturation over time, the recognition of enduring patterns, and the choices we have to shift to new and more powerful ways of being in the world. Students apply these principles to their own life, and by extension discover how they can use these powerful insights to assist clients in the treatment room.

202: Classical Chinese Medicine Patterns and Syndromes

In this level, students learn the rich and detailed tapestry of human wellness through an in-depth study of Etiology, the discernment of External Pernicious Influences, the Internal Endogenous Causes of Dis-ease, and the Five Fundamental Substances and Spiritual Essensces.  These topics are covered through a lively combination of guided meditation, selected readings, lecture and discussion.  In addition, tongue and pulse Assessment are introduced as tools for discernment of signs and symptoms. Practical discovery of the various patterns and etiologies as well as effective clinical strategies for treatment are explored. Much time is given to Supervised Clinical Practice throughout this level leading to a refinement of skill and increasing treatment room confidence.

 

201: Meridian Extensions, Six Divisions, Eight Temperaments

Students deepen their work with the Masunaga Zen Shiatsu method through study of the Meridian Extensions and Six Divisions of Yin and Yang in body, mind and spirit. We explore the various manifestations of yin and yang, especially as expressed through Temperament and Personality. Yin Yang theory is creatively descibes the changes and transformations that occur in any natural system throughout time and space The recognition of the stages of transformation in any living system leads to deep and powerful insights into health and balance. By understanding the interactive dynamics of Yin Yang and the Five Elements, students learn to treat deficiencies or excesses in any element through any other element as a function of Creation and Control Cycle dynamics. In this class, we explore the application of this transformational theory to both the physical and psycho-spiritual body. Masunaga Meridian Extensions, Eight Temperaments theory of Yves Requena and Five Element Creation and Control  Cycle theories inspire and inform our study and practice.

 

104: Clinical Application

Incorporating the content of the previous three levels, students embrace a total overview of the body/mind/spirit energy to effectively meet clinical challenges that may arise in their practice.  Additional tools of Extraordinary Vessel Theory along with extensive Clinical Supervision and Discussion bring students to the place where they can confidently integrate HeartMind Shiatsu services in a professional clinical setting. With successful completion of this level students earn a certificate of satisfactory completion of the HeartMind Shiatsu Basic Training.

 

102: Five Element Flow

Building upon the content of 101 students now learn the Theory of the Five Elements and how they manifest through the organ networks to enliven body/mind/spirit. The traditional correspondences of the Elements are the cornerstone of the course, grounding students in the basic attributes of each of the Five Elements and how they express themselves in Nature and in Humanity. Students begin to discern the signs and symptoms of each of the Elements, and in this way, begin to practice the art of creating treatment plans tailor made to the specific needs of each client. Yoga-inspired Meridian Stretch Exercises are practiced as both a tool of treatment and assessment, and traditional  shu point assessment methods will be introduced.

 

204: Extraordinary Healing

In this final course of the Advanced Training, Students review the entire training. Refinement of all technique, theory and practical clinical applications of HeartMind Shiatsu are the focus, concluding with a final comprehensive written exam. Students are encouraged to step into a full, embodied expression of the method, demonstrate an ability to hold space and give effective treatments to meet the myriad conditions that clients bring into the modern clinical setting.  The three layers of health; Reflexive, Conditioned and Constitutional are explored as a context for understanding how to facilitate extraordinary healing in the treatment room. A brief introduction to Graduate studies, and Constitutional Healing through the Extraordinary Vessel treatments as taught in the Classical Chinese Medicine interpretations of Jeffrey Yuen complete the training.   A Graduation Ceremony, acknowledging student accomplishments, grants a certificate of Satisfactory Completion of the HeartMind Shiatsu Advanced Training.

 

Taoveda Qigong & Flying HeartMind Shiatsu in Baltimore

Taoveda Qigong & Flying HeartMind Shiatsu in Baltimore

2 Upcoming Courses

Taoveda Qigong~In this workshop, Matthew will guide participants in the Taoveda Meridian Qigong form.Participants will experience the vibrant medicine wheel of Meridian Channels, gaining valuable insight forpersonal and professional healing practice. Taoveda Qigong is excellent for client education with accessible,functional and inspirational stimulation of Meridian Energy Flow in a daily exercise format. In cultivatingMeridian Qi through Taoveda Qigong all systems of Body, HeartMind and Spirit can be purified, nourished andenergized.

Flying HeartMind Shiatsu~Interactive, engaging, and uplifting! Enjoy atasty bite of Flying HeartMind Shiatsu with a delicious serving of movement,contact, deep stretches and leveraged lifts, practiced in a traditional floorbased bodywork forum. These elegant moves can even elevate the receiverentirely off the floor to grant a feeling of total surrender. Matthew createdthese Flying techniques in clinical practice, and they serve to have aprofound effect on the extraordinaryvessel system.