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1. The body wants to pulse and flow. On the deepest level, we are vibrating waves of energy. Every body system, from atoms to heartbeat to brain to digestion, is rhythmically pulsing. Sexual trauma is but a temporary interruption to this flow. Some systems may freeze up, for minutes or years. Muscles may lock; nerves may keep firing; emotions may contract. Don't be alarmed; nothing is permanent. This attitude will greatly help your clients move beyond their fears and shame.
2. Sexual healing is a wave. Sexual trauma ripples through the entire being: body, feelings, thoughts, beliefs and beyond. Many people will approach their healing in the mind, and then work their way down to emotions and finally confront their bodies. Be aware that all these systems interlock; waves cross over our neat boundaries. Sometimes a touch can trigger a spiritual emergency, or a memory might release a flood of emotion and physical shaking. Be alert to all these levels. Stay present and open with your entire being at all times.
3. Separation blocks flow. Often sexual trauma is blanketed in layers of secrecy and shame. So long as the story builds a wall of separation – from oneself, one's body, family and friends – the waves can't flow, and healing won't happen. The healer must bridge that gap by receiving the story in any and all of its forms – raw emotion, memories, physical evidence, history. We receive with our ears, hearts, minds and bodies. Our witnessing completes a circuit and allows the pulse to move again. If you can't witness clearly without tripping over your own issues or judgments or horror, pass this work along to someone who can.
4. Don't get trapped in the story. Like many other medical and psychological conditions, we have learned to treat sexual trauma as a thing to be attacked and cured, like a cancerous tumour. Many people, overwhelmed by their own frozen bodies, relate to this perception. They believe their sexuality is a thing, not an interrupted wave. Holding this belief encourages retreating into a drama instead of staying present with the here-and-now reality, which is never as awful as our stories about it. Listen with love but don't get lost. Bring your beloved back into this moment, and focus on the actual feelings and sensations happening now.
5. The body is your ally in the healing process. Healing is the body's natural response to stress and injury. Activate that natural response and the work becomes effortless. Cooperate with the body's desire to pulse. Don't push or pull; rock gently. I use the image of cradling and rocking a baby. Follow every expansion with contraction, every inhale with an exhale, every touch with a pause, and the body will soon remember its own rhythm. Repeat back each sound, mirror back each feeling, and the heart will open, too.
6. When we feel safe, we get real. Safety is the universal lubricant for healing work. Whatever has been closed will open; whatever has been held will be released. Muscles unlock, emotions flow, memories surface, the mind speaks honestly. Safety comes when we are in the presence of peace, strength and unconditional love. You can create safety for anyone by offering your authentic presence. You can create safety for yourself by making and honouring clear boundaries.
7. Follow, don't lead. Always follow the body's lead. Sometimes it will want to contract when you think it should expand, or vice versa. Sometimes the process goes slower or faster than you think it should. Don't re-traumatise by forcing your desire or agenda onto anyone. Empower them to take charge of their own healing. The awkward relationship here is between the "wounded" one and their once-abandoned body. As much as possible, reintroduce them, then give them space to work it out. Witness and encourage, but don't interfere. You are not the main event here.
8. Those who approach you for healing are living, breathing miracles… as divine and powerful as you are. Don't talk down to them or over them. Don't treat them like victims or incompetent children. They have called a powerful initiation into their lives, at the very root of their sexuality, and often at the core of their identity. Some of them are working out family dynamics and societal karma for all of us. Step up and honour this sacred charge
This beautiful piece was written a few years ago by David Cates an American Daka and Sexual Healer; his website now is http://www.deepmasculine.com/
David Cates Eight Principles of Sexual Healing