The spinal gateway

The spinal gateway 

What the heck is a spinal gateway?

Touching something unknownEarlier this week one of you lovely people asked me “what are those spots you keep touching on my back’?  What a fantastic question!  I bet more of you have that question so I thought I would take the opportunity to write this week’s article in answer to that very question.  

If you remember my article from a few weeks ago that was entitled “Consciousness & the Spine” I wrote about the five different tension patterns that occur within the spine.  Those tension patterns get created due to some experience(s) that we’ve had that we haven’t been able to fully integrate, and if you remember there are different states of being (consciousness) that correlate with each pattern.  So why is that important here?  Well in order for you to become aware of those tension pattern within your spine you need an access/entry point or a “gateway” into that pattern.  You need to somehow, someway become aware of that pattern in your spine so that the tension pattern can begin to unwind itself.  The spinal gateway is just that.  It is an access point, an opening, into a particular tension pattern in your spinal cord where you can begin to become aware of that pattern.  So when I am making those touches on various spots on your back I am working with your spinal gateways, helping them open and develop so that you can become more aware of yourself, including how you hold tension and where you have resistance.

One of the things I say frequently to many of you is that awareness does so much, in fact I believe it does pretty much everything.  It brings that which was unnoticed or unseen into realization, and then through realization, you as an individuated expression of the One have the capacity or power to work with what is.  The only thing left after the moment of realization is for you to come into alignment with that which was realized.  All of that to say that the spinal gateway is a portal for the light of awareness to realize itself manifesting through a particular pattern of tension in your spinal cord.  This is important and what I feel differentiates Network from a lot of other work out there.  It really is a  self-awareness method.  Its not about me doing something to you, but instead about helping you find your own self, become aware of your own self, so that you can self-regulate, self-align, and self-adjust.  Everything that I “do” is to support your awareness waking itself up to your self and the development of the spinal gateway is one of the prime ways I do just that very thing.  

Development of the spinal gateway 

How the spinal gateways change and grow

Touching something unknown

Spinal gateways live between each of the bones in your neck and also along the sacrum bone in the pelvis.  They have both a very precise structural aspect as well as an energetic portion to them.  This means that they have a particular physical location (which is dependent on the tension pattern that is present in your spinal cord on any given day), but that they also have a nonphysical aspect which can grow.  You can think of the shape of a spinal gateway as a little vortex, spiraling with energy, but anchored into the spine between the bones in the neck and sacrum.  Also remember that just because the gateways are at these precise locations doesn’t mean that they are impacting only those precise locations that I’m touching.  The gateway is just the access point into a particular pattern and the pattern can be either localized to that area or have resonance at various other locations in the spine or body that I am not directly touching.  The beauty of the spinal gateway is that when it is accessed it can find all the other areas in the body that have the same tonal frequency or resonance with that pattern without requiring that it is directly touched.  This is why often you might become aware of some sensation, energy, or tension in a different part of your spine or body when I am touching say a spot on your neck or sacrum.  

The spinal gateways grow with continued care, contact and reinforcement.  This is one of the reason why the frequency of care is so important, especially in the first year or two of care, which is when a lot of the development of these gateways occurs.  It takes a certain amount of repetition to create these gateways and then for awareness to unwind the tension patterns associated with them.  When people first start care the gateways are often small and very close to the physical body.  They are felt as areas of rapport.  This is where your bioenergetic life force lives and as the gateway develops here there is greater awareness of the physical body and a sense of safety that arises.  As care continues and I have you lift your neck or sacrum you are beginning to stretch the spinal gateways both physically and energetically.  This activates your emotional body and emotional energy becomes the fuel that gets the gateway to stretch and grow more.   The energetic portion of the spinal gateway begins to live a few inches away from the physical body in what’s called your emotional field.  With this people often begin to have more awareness of their emotions.  

Then as care continues two spinal gateways start “talking” to each other.  One stretches and then the other stretches and a rhythm starts to develop between the two of them.  This activates the lower mental body where clarity, personal sense of self and discernment lives.  The energetic portion of the spinal gateways grows to about 2-3 feet away from the physical body at this point into your lower mental body/field.  This then continues until a “figure 8” motion begins to develop between two spinal gateways.  The rhythmic motion becomes more organized and fluid.  This activates the upper mental body where you can begin to see beyond boxes and stories and have more a visionary sense of self as creator of your life.  Here the energetic portion of the spinal gateways have now grown to 6-8 feet in distance away from the physical body into your upper mental field and with that your sense of “body” and self begins to become much more expansive.  

Heart Chakra concept. Inner love, light and peace. Silhouette inAll of this spinal gateway development occurs in the first two levels of  Network care.  Then in the third level of care the focus is on the development of the heart gateway, which is similar to the spinal gateways, but there is only one heart gateway rather than multiple like the spinal gateways, and the location is around the physical heart.  The heart gateway develops throughout the 3rd level of care and a coordination is learned between the development of this heart gateway with the spinal gateways that where developed in the first 2 levels of care.  In this 3rd level of care both the heart gateway stretches and grows in distances of several feet away from the physical body and the spinal gateways grow to about 8-12 feet and beyond.  This is where your soul body/field lives.  The coordination that develops between the heart gateway and the spinal gateways is one where your heart/soul is informing your thoughts, emotions and physical body.  

When people are fully in the 3rd level of care as their baseline the patterns of tension that were originally in the spinal cord aren’t really there in a traditional sense of a constricted tension pattern anymore, but instead just mere resonance or tracing.  In that way you can fully glean the awakened or oneness perspective of any pattern that previously had you held in a separative frame of mind.  That becomes the lens with which you see all of life.  The dance between soul/spirit and human becomes evident here and ultimately culminates in where the personal self stops leading the show and the soul prevails as the one that guides this human vessel.  

I hope this helps you understand the importance and function of the spinal gateways and why I am always touching those particular points on your spine.  I like to think of them as portals into more of you and as they grow you get to access more and more of yourself.  It is quite literally upgrading the neurological circuitry and with that you can communicate with more of yourself through having developed these access points into you.  At the most fundamental level they provide you with a way to become aware and resolve tension patterns in your spine and life so that you you can participate more ease-fully with life.  At the more developed levels they allow for integration of various aspects of yourself to come into awareness, helping you transcend perceived limitations of an individuated personal self, into the one heart, one love, one being that we all are.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Evolution of the nervous system

Evolution of the nervous system 

The nuts & bolts

19040114 - 3d rendered illustration of a human receptorDepending on how long you have been in care with me some of you may or may not remember the conversation we had on your first visit regarding the evolution of the nervous system and how it corresponds to the 3 levels of Network Care.  As a refresher this article will be a brief synopsis of the neural strategies that emerge as people go through each of the levels of care, describing how the nervous system is evolving, and what it all means for you.

Let’s start at the beginning.  This delicate thing that we call our nervous system begins its development 18 days after conception from one of the three germ layers called ectoderm.  Only the skin and nervous system are derived from this germ layer, therefore our skin and nervous system come from the same developmental origin.  This helps to make sense as to why our biggest sense organ is our skin and the direct impact that touch has on our nervous system.  Our skin is constantly receiving  information from the environment and relaying it through the nervous system.  

All of the structural building blocks of the nervous system are in place at 16 weeks in utero and last for the duration of our life.  Connectivity (or the firing of neural pathways) begins at 5 weeks in utero and continues strongly during the first 2 years of life outside the womb.  There then begins a pruning and selection process of particular pathways over other pathways as we become more identified with being our individual selves based on our experiences and environments.

Our nervous system is a receiver of sorts.  I think of it as having the function of tuning and picking up particular frequencies of self that are in the field, or what we normally think of as empty space, but which is really packed full of energy and information.  The tone/tension of our nervous system (including our spinal cord) will determine what frequencies we can tune  into and therefore what information is available to us.  For example if the tone of our nervous system is held in a particular tension pattern then we will only tune to those frequencies that correspond (or are in resonance) with the tension of our system.  When our nervous system changes its tone/tension pattern than it can find resonance with different frequencies (aka information & energy) that correspond to this different tone.  

In addition to the tone/tension of the nervous system another important factor is having receptors to pick up the information.  For example if a signal or frequency is in the field but we don’t have receptors to it in our nervous system to pick up the signal, then we won’t be able to receive it (aka be aware of it).  So the combination of tone/tension of nervous system and the receptors the system has to pick up the information, are vital components to the evolving nervous system and thus the evolving being.  

Emergence of neural strategies in Network Care

Levels of care

So you might be thinking what creates the tone/tension patterns that our nervous system holds?  The answer is that it is based on our experiences.  When we have experiences that are harsh or intense, and that we don’t have the resources inside of ourselves to process and integrate fully, our spinal cord will literally distort.  It will stretch, pull tight in certain places and often lock into a particular tension pattern and position.  We can see that patterning or positioning visually through our posture and it can also be felt when assessing the spinal subsystems (which is what I do when you come in for an entrainment).  In Network we call these spinal distortion patterns the “five phases”.  What that means is that in Network we have identified 5 particular ways that the spinal cord pulls up tension patterns in response to not being able to process an experience.  

One of the goals of Network is to help the system unwind these distortion-tension patterns so that the nervous system can receive and become resonant with different information & energy.  The way that Network does this is through the development of something called “spinal gateways”.  You can think of spinal gateways as the receptors that are needed for the nervous system to tune into different information.  

Level 1

16313855 - woman hand touching virtual screenIn level one of care these spinal gateways are small, flat, and located at the skin level between the bones in the neck and sacrum.  By lightly touching these areas we are bringing awareness to them and with awareness they begin to light up and become active.  As awareness begins to find a particular spinal gateway the strategy that will emerge will be a  respiratory wave.  We call this the emerging strategy of level one of care.  Its emergent in that you can’t make the system do it, you can instead only set up the conditions that allow it to occur.  Those conditions are a combination of presence with specific intention, knowingness of what is possible and an allowing for the organic natural rhythm to express.  The emergence of the respiratory wave is very important for the nervous system because it creates a sense of safety, stability and ease and also begins to unwind the tension patterns within the spinal cord.  This unwinding of spinal tension patterns provides energy  for your life force or bio-energetic intelligence, which is the intelligence or information that is connected with how your physical body functions. The goal of level one then is to increase your access to bioenergetic intelligence and unwind bound energy within your spine and connective tissues, which when liberated increases your life force energy.  This is the first step that is required in the evolution of your nervous system from more survival-reactive based into rest.   You will feel this as an effortless breath that arises after a light touch is made on the spinal gateway.  

Level 2

In level two of care we are working to develop these spinal gateways so that rather than small, flat areas located at the skin level between the bones of the neck and down at the sacrum, they become little vortices.  In the beginning of level two of care we start to physically and energetically stretch these spinal gateways.  This allows their surface area to increase and with increased surface area we have more area to receive information.  Increasing surface area allows for greater complexity, and greater complexity means evolution.  You can see this in the way that the brain has all of these intricate folds called gyri and sulci.  Those folds increase the surface area of the brain and are part of the evolution of our nervous system as well.  The stretching of the spinal gateway activates our emotional energy.  Often when our spinal cord distorts there is an emotion associated with that distortion or tone/tension pattern.  When we lift and stretch a spinal gateway we are also accessing the emotion(s) that is connected to that pattern that got locked into place and time.  The spinal gateway stretching is now giving us access to our emotional intelligence and through feeling we liberate bound energy from our emotional subsystem which has connections along our spinal cord and in the musculature along the spine.  The strategy that emerges is the stretch response of the spinal gateway.  We call this level 2A of care.  Our nervous system is now evolving to include strategies that allow us to find and feel our emotions, which allows them to move freely through the system rather than bind in particular locations.  

As level 2 progresses and we have the stretch response in at least 2 spinal gateways the next strategy that begins to emerge is a coordinated timing between 2 different spinal gateways.  The experience of this is having one gateway stretch, rock or move and then close in timing feeling another gateway stretch, rock or move.  The fancy term for this stretching, rocking or movement is called oscillation.  Two gateways begin to oscillate in a coordinated timing.  This is the emerging neural strategy of level 2B of care and with it we get access to lower mental intelligence.  Lower mental intelligence is information that is important for facts, rules, linear thinking, and also for discernment, identity as separate self, and knowing what works and doesn’t work for you.  As this strategy of 2 spinal gateways moving in a coordinated timing emerges and activates lower mental  intelligence it also liberates the bound energy stored in mental boxes and containers about who you think you are and aren’t and also deeper spinal cord tension patterns.  

Touching something unknownLevel 2 continues into what we call level 2C.  In level 2C we are still working with 2 spinal gateway regions like in 2B.   In addition to these 2 gateways moving in a coordinated timing they now also have a spatial movement component that can be experienced or felt as a figure 8 motion occurring between 2 gateways.  This emerging property of figure 8 movement occurs in 2C along with something called the somatopsychic wave.  The somatopsychic wave is an energetic wave that moves longitudinally along the spine.  As this wave moves along the spine it liberates any remaining defensive or bound energy, and with the spinal gateways developed, this liberated energy can be redirected into the spinal gateways.  With this the spinal gateways grow even larger, getting juiced up by all of this liberated energy.  As these gateways grow again they are increasing their surface area, becoming a larger vortex and their distance away from and deeper into the body increases to the level in the field of upper mental intelligence.  Upper mental intelligence contains information about seeing the bigger perspective and breaking it down into its parts, it allows for complex mental concepts and conscious choice rather than programmed responses.  As you energize this intelligence through the emerging neural strategies of level 2C you become increasingly aware and aligned to what serves and what doesn’t serve and are able to take appropriate, consistent actions in accordance with what is next and your preferences and choices.  As you are aligned in this way you are empowered in yourself and your ability to create impact and change.  

Level 3

Like level 2, level 3 also has 3 parts, an A, B and C.  In level 3 rather than the primary focus being on the development of the spinal gateways (though they continue to develop) the focus shifts onto the development of what we call the heart oscillator (or gateway).  Level 3A of care starts with the stretch of the heart oscillator.  Just like you learned to stretch a spinal gateway in level 2A of care, now you are learning to stretch the heart gateway both physically and energetically.  In the beginning it can feel more like a physical stretch, but as the strategy emerges more fully you get a more energized stretch response.  Again as we stretch we increase surface area and as we increase surface area we have more receptor space availability to receive information.  The information that is available in level 3 of care is soul intelligence.  Rather than the energy fueling the neural strategy coming from bound energy in the system, the energy that fuels this soul intelligence comes from us stretching open the heart and connecting with unbound energy.  As you connect with intelligent information at this level you begin to recognize the emptiness and formless aspects of reality.  

heart lightProgressing into level 3B of care there is an emerging strategy that develops between the heart oscillator and 2 spinal gateways.  Similar to level 2B where there were 2 spinal gateways moving together in a particular timing, in 3B the heart oscillator moves  in timing with 2 spinal gateways.  The 2 spinal gateways have the figure 8 motion that they learned in level 2C and they learn how to coordinate their rhythm with the heart now.  It is often felt as the heart/chest rising and then falling and then the 2 spinal gateways move in a figure 8 motion and then the heart/chest rises again.  They go back in forth, one moves and then drops out and then the other moves and drops out.  We are still working with soul intelligence and information in 3B, but deepening to the level of knowing your interconnectedness with all beings and expanding into increasingly subtler and more highly organized energy.  The spinal gateways are even larger vortices now extending further into the field at the soul level of intelligence.  

Similar to level 3B, level 3C continues to evolve this rhythmic coordination between the heart and 2 spinal gateways.  The emerging strategy of this level of care is to have engagement of the heart and 2 spinal gateways using free, unbound energy to fuel the strategy in sustained coordination.  You also begin to feel oscillatory movements in your hip and shoulder areas.  The somatopsychic wave that develops in 2C moves increasingly more forward in your body throughout level 3 of care.  In 2C the somatopsychic wave goes directly through the spine, in 3A it moves to the area between the spine and heart, in 3B it goes right through the heart and in level 3C it moves in front of the heart suspending any remaining defense between your individual heart and the universal heart.  The experience at level 3C of care is of fully knowing one’s truest self as one being while simultaneously sharing your soul’s unique expression at this human level.  

Summary

In summary this is the progression of how the nervous system evolves through Network Care.  It is through this evolution that we are able to regulate the tone/tension in our nervous system and simultaneously increase our ability to receive information through the creation of spinal gateways and the emerging neural strategies that come with their growth and development.  Through unwinding the bound energy in our spinal-neural system and stretching open our heart to connect with unbound energy we are able to fuel these various intelligences (bioenergetic, emotional, lower mental, upper mental and soul) that contain all of the information vital to living our fullest expression in this human form.  This is evolution of the system and therefore of our beingness in form. 

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado