Awakening Bodily Consciousness describes the intention and effect of Carlos’ system of body work. Often clients arrive ‘numbed out’ physically and emotionally as a result of accumulated daily stresses or deeper-seated issues which remain as ‘armour’, tensions and blocks held in the body.
The treatment works deeply through the joints and stimulates the movement of lymph through the body’s drainage system, clearing the blockages and build-up of toxins which are the by-products of cellular function. The main areas for lymph drainage are the nodal regions in the neck, armpits, belly and groin. The massage movements follow through to the head, the nape of the neck and the jaw (which holds a lot of tension and unexpressed emotion) and down the arms and legs to the hands and feet.
Carlos’ training in acupuncture and Five Element Theory and his many years of witnessing clients’ emotional releases have made him aware of the psycho-somatic and emotional connection between the clearing of lymphatic congestion and the meridians associated with specific organs which correlate to various emotional states. In Chinese Medicine it is understood that emotional releases have correspondences with the discharge of toxins from the associated organ, for example, anger and aggression relates to the liver and gall bladder.
Evening Standard article
ABC is not intended to be merely a relaxing massage. It is a deep holistic treatment, capable of facilitating the release of emotional content that the body has been holding subliminally, sometimes for many years, although such releases occur in the client’s own time and are never forced. Carlos uses breath work and guided visualisations to help clients to move comfortably and safely through blockages, resistance and pain. He treats adults of both sexes and all ages but finds that women in particular quickly feel safe to express and release emotional blocks along with the physical ones.
The first 3 videos posted on this website depict the basic techniques used for accessing and releasing a client’s psychosomatic blocks. Video 4 demonstrates a variety of ABC’s more intimate movements used within a session. Since ABC is an organic and spontaneous approach to bodywork, it is important to give an explanation as to its method.
The ABC methodology works on clearing congestion in the lymphatic regions causing reactions elsewhere in the body. The reaction is then worked upon at the same time, resulting in another reaction, and then the two sequences of movements are linked together. A momentum develops, creating a build-up of sensory intensity that will eventually allow the release of emotions such as anger, sadness, grief, pleasure and joy expressed via movement and sound. An unusual but extremely effective technique is the "three-point hold", achieved by the practitioner using hands, feet, chin, elbow or even the head to make contact with three or more parts of the body simultaneously. Acting as a ‘circuit breaker’, it confuses acquired unconscious defences and helps the client to bypass automatic reactions. Shifts are then possible.
As a body opens to this process, a ‘loving force’ is accessed and felt as heat and energy flow through to reveal a body’s unique psychosomatic patterning. Resistance causes pain which is created by pressure and tension in the muscles and stress in the ligaments and tendons. When a person's system is opening, there is a reaction as the life force/ libido re-engages, releasing physical and emotional blocks to surface and express themselves.
The ABC practitioner may use many forms of massage, acupressure, etc to work on the blocks and resistances within the client while at the same time remaining sensitive to the other person’s energies, flowing through the series of reactions that can happen throughout, like the rhythm of a dance.
Love is indifferent to an individual’s likes and dislikes. It will either flow or create pressure (pain/discomfort) when Love (blood flow/heat/energy) is diverted or impeded by resistance to change. As resistance may have been necessary as a protection from memories of damage or abuse, or further risk of repeating a pattern, Love can be perceived as threatening to the status quo when a process like ABC exposes the poison of unloved being-ness. By working through this, the result can be a mixture of vulnerability and profound relief during the treatment.
Change can only come when a safe space is created so that un-safety can emerge and have time to process. Working through the shadowy secrets contained within the Pandora’s Box of age-old repressed, suppressed, impressed and un-expressed feelings is dependent on the person’s ability to allow the expression of their hidden agendas and bound-up boundaries in order to become more aware of wants, cravings, hungers, desires, needs and longings that no longer serve.
Love is a force that makes way for Light, but the process of opening a person’s system must not be taken lightly. The ‘giver’ might be projected upon as the Lover archetype. Negative aspects and patterns that are revealed, and possibly not owned by the receiver, are likely to be cast back at the ‘giver’- coloured by the old woundedness and fears of being ‘loved wrongly’, as in the past – again.
So what’s the answer? Well, that lies in the question: “Can you trust yourself to feel safe?” The answer requires self knowledge, so as not to put blind trust in the therapist until you feel safe – then ‘trust’ is established effortlessly. This is a vital component in ABC, because permission from the client to allow all of the body to be touched (not penetrated) must be granted at the beginning, to allow “un-safety” to emerge during an ABC session without the interruptions which many other forms of bodywork require in order to ask if it is okay to massage here or there or anywhere.
A two-way communication is set up by the subconscious aspect of two human systems, and the therapist learns to allow ‘stuff’ to wash though them; no Velcro or fly tape allowed!
Also, there’s no point having an ABC treatment, which will stir up old psychosomatic issues, if a conventional massage is required.
ABC comes with a warning: shift happens!
It is not always possible to know the ideal meeting point at which the therapist and client can work to awaken and make conscious trauma held in the body. Communication, usually some days later, is key to help work through any resistance or emotional upheavals that may arise after a session.
In essence, ABC prepares a body to reach its place of stillness, from where any repressed or damaged aspects of the person may have space to integrate and heal.