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What are Hands to a Dancer?

When a dancer touches palms together an integrated circuit is formed connecting the entire body.

When the hands are touching and move apart, leaving space between the palms, the integrated circuit continues with signals passing between the palms and between the inner surfaces of the arms.

I love watching babies touch their feet and mouths to establish these circuits.

I experiment with touch as I initiate different dance movement. From my experience as a practitioner of Craniosacral Therapy, I experience touch as both exploratory searching and receiving of information. With this kind of touch, I dance allowing my hands to initiate a movement and catch the movement in mid air.

With dancing I experience a wide range of emotions and qualities of movement. More and more I discover how these experiences build networks of signals. I draw from my Craniosacral Therapy experience to identify diaphragms that cross the entire body and to seek connections between these areas of the body.

As I experiment with the hands, I remember the ways many people use their hands in different situations. This is a review of what I have seen or experience myself.

Touching both knees with my hands, I experience a crouching sensation ready to stalk and pounce.

Hands on my hips is a readiness stance while I straighten my pelvis and pull energy from my feet and pass energy through my body.

Hands to the lower back is a resting pose common to frontier women performing back breaking labor.

Hands to the belly is responding to internal turmoil of some kind.

Hands to the lower ribs in a caving in motion is a response to a blow from trauma, either physically or emotional.

Hands to the solar plexis at mid chest is a sense of surprise and curiosity.

Hands to the collar bone is gasping for breath to deal with a sudden flood of signals rushing from the body to the head.

Hands to the sides and back of the neck is a grasping for understanding and an attempt to stabilize from a flood of new data.

Hands to the temples is a sense of unbelief and a call to all systems to integrate to face what is happening.

Hands clasped at the back of the head is a meditative resting pose that connects to networks for gaining a broader view of our experiences. This is also an important position of the hands in Craniosacral Therapy.

Hands on the brow between the eyes is another call to all systems for help in integrating experiences pleasant or troubling. In some systems this is called the Third Eye.

Hands on top of the head is an anticipation of surrender to new information passing through the body.

How do the understanding of hand movements relate to the dancer?

Each area of touch is a sensory platform or diaphragm that dancers explore to build signal networks. The dancer explores each area being touched as platforms to initiate movement and to gain access to sensory data. Improvisational dance movements will often touch these sites to vary the dancer’s experience of an infinite variety of qualities.

Different qualities of signals within a touch requires a level of awareness and access to sensory data that is not easily studied. My guess is that the child is moving at light speed through subtleties of emotional and physical connections. This level of growth and learning may be overwhelming to us as we get older. This might explain why we relegate this kind of sensory data to spiritual exploration and to the realms of the artist. The isolation and demeaning of these sensory explorers might be just an adult fear of traveling at light speeds within us.

Just a note is that within a light wave are many spectrums and a variety of speeds that produce an infinite range of intensities and qualities that require the human system to slow down in order to process. This experience of slowing down and speeding up may be one of the ingrained phobias of the human.
Tim Hurst 11/01/17

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Healing My Trauma

My experiment today is to explore an area in my cranium that began healing in a CranioSacral Therapy with Maria Scotchell yesterday. I reexperienced an injury at birth when the physician used forceps to reposition me in the womb.

The two areas that I sense now are under my right ear and at the top left quadrant of my head. I began moving by bobbing the base of my skull around the top Atlas vertebra of my spine. My movement felt restricted. For whatever reason, I felt myself in open space.

Placing my hands gently on these two areas, I moved my head side to side. And then I entered a familiar experience when I allow my movement to follow any path it seems to follow. These pathways are usually what I know as the smallest curves becoming circles and spirals and loops. The movement is continuous and gently shifting toward every direction, rising and falling into any position or orientation.

These areas of experience are ones I have avoided or limited my awareness. To go into this memory obviously has created resistance in me because I now feel a reluctance to continue.

However, the free flow of curving motion is bringing me to an awareness of this entire complex experience and allowing me to release it. This may be a process I will repeat over time or maybe I will allow myself to decriminalize the sensations and memories involved.

The word decriminalize just came out of me. I may have been avoiding the experience by directing blame on myself. This reminds me of the experience of football players with head injuries who direct violence on themselves and others. What a process we assign ourselves!

Yet here it is. a movement that allowed me to accept and go past the experience. It is here that I ask if this free flow of motion in every direction and dimension is basic process of life. Am I replicating the movement within every cell?

Of course life is beyond the smallness of my system. After all it is my brain body coalition that says, “Stop. Do not go further.” Within the tussle of myself is the desire to both withhold from life and completely burn myself up with life’s energy.

I lay down for a nap in this, my early morning play. The sensation of falling through space brought out more questions. Unspeakable images of malleable shifts went beyond my simple concept of pathways and lines and circles. Continual responsiveness. Beyond yearning and resisting. Beyond my thought of a moving body. Beyond floating and malleability.

Within the experience is a knowing of personal response and receptivity. My inability to conceive this vastness and the complete interconnection of everything translates into an experience of personal care and a regeneration of life.
Tim Hurst 09/02/17

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CranioSacral Therapy and Dance

CranioSacral Therapy, John Upledger
Touch is a common thread of interaction with self and other.
Enter common personal space with another person and persons.
Neutral agenda: purpose to listen together
Gentleness and effortless attention support a neutral agenda for listening together.
Therapist enters neutral space by asking to experience unknown connections
Therapist studies in depth the interrelationships of physical structure, interactive movement of energy, fluid, and signals through the physical system, interrelationship of brain and tissue and intention.
Therapist observes and follows the interactive connections being made by persons present in therapy.

Osteopathy: send signals through tissue
CranioSacral Therapy: Signals sent also return with infinite amount of personal information

Fascial tissue connects the entire body
Dural fluid nourishes and protects brain and the neurological system
Send and receive signals through tissue and fluids

My experimentation is the practice of Craniosacral Therapy on myself and others to discover the sense of neutrality of agenda and how to listen to the workings of the human. Beyond that is the experience of asking and observing the multiple pathways within myself and a client and working with other practitioners. This is not my business so I have taken my time in this process.

Then I began to involve touch with my hands in my movement. Touch to get another sensation of movement internally and externally. Touch to follow a movement. Touch to catch myself at the bottom of a wave form. Touch to encourage a spiral or to initiate a slight loop that returns a movement to where it came from. Touch simply to provide a resting platform in the process of following a path.

Contrary to my inclination to direct my movement with touch, I practiced gentleness and listened for the information that was being carried in my movement signals. All this experimentation is very rewarding, opening new areas of curiosity all the time.

On one occasion several years ago, I performed this process while singing improvised songs which I often do when I will not wake my sweetheart in the early morning hours. The result was satisfying yet terrifying for me to perform and show such vulnerability.
Tim Hurst. 08/27/17