The Biosynthesis Experience: Year One
By Martha Rolls Collins, L. Ac.
I have just completed the first year of a three year certification course in Biosynthesis taught by Gabriele Hoppe in Santa Barbara, California. Biosynthesis is an interdisciplinary study of deep somatic psychology that endeavors to integrate thinking, feeling and moving and thus promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The disconnections between the ectoderm (thinking), mesoderm (moving) and endoderm (feeling) are observable qualities of one’s physical form, breathing, movement, speech and behavior. A Client’s reconnection between two or more of these systems is the therapeutic goal.
As an acupuncturist, we are taught to use our senses to gather information about our Client, specifically: Looking (observation), Hearing, Smelling, Asking and Feeling (palpation). The elements of Looking include the observation of the quality of shen, face and palm reading, five general body types, color of the skin, etc. It has always bothered me that the finer details of the Chinese art of observation seem to be forgotten or not taught in the United States. Biosynthesis provides a method of observation that fits seamlessly within Chinese medical theory. This method gives Therapists an ability to understand the Client’s posture, style of movement, breathing rhythms, and energetic holding patterns in their body. These patterns are directly linked to the Client’s well-being, and their ability to engage in cognitive, physical, and emotive experiences and expressions. I also believe that the significance of the Biosynthesis work extends beyond the diagnostic and therapeutic value of these clinical skills.
Biosynthesis creates a high degree of integrity as a therapeutic process because it maintains that the propagative seeds of change originate within each Client. Each Client’s healing process is perceived as unique due to the complexity of a person’s genetic history and their prenatal environment, birthing experience, postnatal environment, relationships, perceptions, beliefs, and survival experiences. Biosynthesis healing, therefore, originates from and reconnects the internal, unique resources of the Client. The Therapist does not try to influence the nature of the reconnection charge that is unique to each Client. The reconnection process is an unfolding, spontaneous, impulsive, dynamic progression much like improvisational acting. The reconnection experience brings new physical, emotional, and energetic sensations, which are an activation of the Client’s resources that have been lying dormant, needing to be discovered. The result of the reconnection feels like a newly acquired freedom that feels genuine and authentic to that Client. This progression creates a sustainable shift within the Client because it is resourced and experienced on a deep, organic level.
This kind of organic therapy also requires an appropriate therapeutic environment so that the Client’s energetic resources have an opportunity to unfold and to develop naturally. Biosynthesis offers a means to assess what constitutes a suitable environment for each Client: the treatment space, the Client’s positioning, the nature of therapeutic activities, the Therapist’s energy and quality of touch and manner of speaking. The Therapist’s goal is also to infuse the environment with a sense of security, responsiveness, spontaneity and ultimately with acceptance, peaceful liveliness, and joy. This organic therapy neither forces the Client’s awareness, nor interjects a value system, nor includes the indoctrination of acceptable behaviors. These parameters also contribute to a Client’s sustainable experience of physical, emotional and spiritual integration.
Biosynthesis has become a resource in my acupuncture practice. With this knowledge I have come to appreciate that evolution takes place not only over hundreds and thousands of years but that there is a micro-evolution, one person’s lifetime, as well. Each person interacts with and processes the environments she was born into and experiences on a daily basis. Our environments help to define each of us as we respond to life with varying degrees of strength, pleasure, sensitivity, accommodation, revulsion, etc. These are normal emotional/chemical responses to external stimulus. However, when a person’s internal resources (ability) to manage life’s experiences has been surpassed, her emotional response may be suppressed or repressed. If the experience is intense enough there may be a physical and mental freezing or immobility response. These kinds of non-responses become trapped chemical/emotional charges isolated in the body. One trapped charge or an accumulation of these trapped charges create an energetic disruption or disconnection between any of the three energetic systems (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm). Similarly, classical Chinese medicine determined that an excess of an emotion may disrupt the related organ system on a physical, spiritual and emotional level. The seven emotions are considered to be internal pathogenic factors : joy, anger, melancholy, worry, grief, fear and fright. This was their understanding more than 3,000 years before Candace Perth published “The Molecules of Emotion” which publicized that man is now capable of building a machine which measures identifiable chemical components of emotion and their impact on the body. All three disciplines (Biosynthesis, classical Chinese Medicine, and modern biology) address disease on some level as a somatic manifestation of one or more of these internal, emotional pathogenic factors. It seems illogical to expect external measures such as pharmaceutical drugs, herbs, supplements, etc., to rectify a disease state that the individual is still unable to resolve or to discharge the trapped chemical/emotional charge. It is my contention that an individual’s accumulation of such pathologic charges have created what may be called “civilization diseases”: the auto-immune group, inflammatory diseases, opportunistic/remissive viral diseases, Sjorgen’s Syndrome, chronic fatigue, GI disorders, Lupus, sleep disorders, depression and anxiety syndromes to name a few. Many of these diseases that were relatively unknown a generation ago are now common. This micro-evolution trend of the Individual seems to be accelerating in a reactive, adaptogenic way by acquiring diseases instead of becoming resistant to them. Biosynthesis and classical Chinese medicine provide a means to address such civilization diseases.
In closing, my personal experience continues to be rewarding because of Gabriele’s knowledge, skill, sensitivity, and demeanor. I appreciate how this inter-disciplinary, dynamic therapy has allowed me to experience an enhanced sense of well-being through new body movement. It has invited changes in my awareness, perception, and behavior. I feel, think and move in new and more satisfying ways.
I just can’t wait to see what the second year brings!