Consciousness & the spine
State of being and your body
Our state of being (aka consciousness) is always informing this physical form that we call our body. On a basic level this means that our tone/vibration/or that which we are, is showing up in manifestation through this body. Said another way the body is a physical mirror or manifestation of our non-physical self or our consciousness. Due to this we can learn about ourselves and our state of being by paying attention to what our body is expressing.
We are often not conscious of ourselves so our body gives us the opportunity to see ourselves through its physical form. In fact most people identify themselves as the physical form itself and not the consciousness that gives the form its shape and expression to begin with. This is largely why people feel disempowered. Identification as the form rather than the consciousness that creates the form leaves us feeling rather helpless as we are trying to manipulate the form(s) from the belief that we are the form. When you recognize that you are not the form but instead that which makes the form come alive now infinite possibilities open up to you.
You can liken this to clip in the movie the Matrix where the child talks to Neo about the spoon. He says you can’t bend the spoon, that would be impossible, you can only realize there is no spoon. In this way you are recognizing state of being rather than form and therefore any shape or configuration becomes possible because you are aware as the consciousness rather than the form. This is also why what you think and believe to be so is so. Your consciousness believes something to be and thus that is what it becomes and what you perceive to be. This emphasizes why it is important to discover what you are believing to be true (rather than simply accepting the agreed upon societal delusions that you’ve been taught), as they are shaping your reality and body.
So lets connect this to your spine. Clearly your spine is part of this physical form that we call a body and so its subjected to the same rules I’ve stated above, namely that your state of being directly informs the tension, holding or freedom of motion patterns within your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is that bundle of fibers that relays information between your brain and body. It allows consciousness (you) to express through this physical form via movement and function. If your spinal cord is severed (like in the case of a significant injury) or more commonly is stretched/distorted, then the functions and ways that you can physically express yourself become limited. Let’s take look at how the spinal cord stretches/distorts in response to your state of being.
Consciousness & the spine
Fragmentation and the resulting spinal cord distortion patterns
In the Network system there are 5 primary patterns or ways that the spinal cord stretches/distorts that have been identified. When your spinal cord is stretched in one or a combination of these patterns, then you will filter your life experiences and what you perceive to be and how you express yourself through the lens of the distortion pattern (particularly if you believe yourself to be the body). It is how you will perceive life. Each of these 5 patterns is connected with a state of being. Lets run through the nuts and bolts of those patterns.
The first pattern is connected to tension in the spinal cord at the level of the first bone in your neck, which is called C1. When this area is pulled taut it is often in connection to the perception or state of being that there is not enough time. Some of the manifestations of this are you feeling like you never have enough time in a day, you can’t get it all done, running up against deadlines, perhaps procrastinating, find it hard to be on time or are very rigid about your time schedule, always feel over booked, can’t trust the natural timing and rhythm of life events, etc. The basis of this pattern is lack or scarcity of time.
The second pattern is connected to tension in the spinal cord spanning from the fifth bone in your neck down to the 2nd bone in your thoracic spine, or C5-T2. It is connected with the perception that you cannot trust others, self or life. There may be a sense of betrayal, people not being there for you or not reliable, feeling unsupported by others, a tendency towards anger and aggression towards others as you react to not being able to trust them, feeling like you can’t trust yourself particularly in relationship. This is where the fight response of the the fight/flight mechanisms occurs (the above C1 pattern being the flight response). The basis of this pattern is lack of trust.
The third pattern is connected to your sacrum bone in your pelvis. Here lives your sense of identity and who you are in the world. When there is tension at this level of the spinal cord it is connected to having to be ‘somebody’ often other than yourself, feeling pressure by what society or others think you should be, aligning your center to something other than you, feeling confused about or like you don’t know who you are, often “losing” yourself in others. The basis of this pattern is confusion or conforming your identity to what you’ve been taught or what others think you should be. There is a lack of knowing self.
The fourth pattern is connected to tension in the spinal cord at C2-C3 in your upper neck area. When this area is pulled tight it is connection to the perception that life is about doing, accomplishment and thinking. Some of the manifestations of this are you noticing that it is hard to feel, you tend to think or talk about your emotions rather than feel them, need to be in control, there is a tendency to overdo or over-think, may feel lost in thoughts or ruminating, tendency towards numbness or using your head over your heart, rationalization is chosen over intuitive knowing, life is not about fun but about accomplishing, tends towards over-achievement, etc. The basis of this pattern is lack of passion.
The fifth pattern has two separate manifestations to it. The first manifestation is tension at the C5 bone simultaneous with tension in the coccyx/tailbone. This pattern pulls through the spine in a flexion/extension direction and is one of the highest tension patterns that manifests in the spine. When there is tension in this patterning the state of being is one of not feeling safe and/or not having enough in terms of resources. This may manifest as feeling like you never have enough money or physical resources, not feeling safe to interact with others or the world, feeling like things have been taken away from you, or feeling violated or invaded by your environment or others. The basis for this pattern is lack of abundance of resources.
The second manifestation of the fifth pattern arises with tension at C2 in the neck simultaneous with tension in the sacrum. This pattern also pulls all the way along the spine in a diagonal direction. The manifestations of this pattern are connected with lack of abundance in relation with yourself and who you are in the world. Often feelings of unworthiness arise, feeling like you are not enough, like you don’t matter, like there is no room for you in the world or that your presence isn’t worth taking up space, your life feels like not your own and that you don’t have anything to offer the world. The basis for this pattern is lack of abundance of self.
It is important to remember that none of these patterns are you. They are simply ways that your spinal cord has distorted due to the way your consciousness has interpreted events in your life. We all have aspects of each pattern with the tendency towards stronger propensities to some. These patterns are not stationary or permanent. They change, even within a given day, or within a single entrainment session. The amount of tension or distortion within these patterns also changes as you progress through care. In fact that is part of what the levels of Network Care are all about. As you move through the levels of care the tension within these patterns unbinds and the energy that was configured in particular distortion patterns within your physical form is released. You become less bound or seemingly solid and more of the light of consciousness that you are can permeate and emit out through this vessel we call a human body.
If we go back to our earlier example of the Matrix and the realization that there is no spoon but only consciousness, we can see how you becoming less solid and permeable to the light of awareness fits. As you unbind your tension patterns you become less identified with the form and realize/experience more of self as consciousness rather than the body. With this your consciousness views itself, and your perception, behavior/self-expression and the structure/function of this form change as well. They literally can’t not. So than rather than trying to change form from the belief that you are the form, your form simply responds to your awareness recognizing itself as the consciousness it is. This is recognition of wholeness and the freedom of expression and motion is the result.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado