For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been conducting a personal experiment on the relationship between women’s pleasure, specifically sexual pleasure, and health.
My commitment is to spend at least thirty minutes a day pleasuring my body, exploring what ignites and inhibits my experience of pleasure, as well as what expands it.
My practice has included self touch, primal movements, like arching, twisting, contracting, writhing on the floor, dance, breath, sound, sexual toys as well as receiving pleasure from others. My vagina is always included, but not the sole focus. Sometimes I orgasm-sometimes more than once, and other times not at all. The point is to feel the pleasure of desire and desirability, of love and beauty flowing through my body.
I began my pleasure practice on Valentine’s Day 2014 and as I approach the half way mark I’m delighted to report some exciting news. In adding resistance stretching into my daily routine, which is the practice of simultaneously stretching a muscle group while resisting the stretch in order to heal scar tissue within the fascia, (www.thegeniusofflexibility.com), I got to receive a private session with the creator of this profound work, Bob Cooley. During the two hour session, which begins with the legs, then the arms and ends with spinal work, Bob, who is a master of the physical body and Chinese meridian system, who works with Olympic athletes and Cirque dancers, tells me he can’t find a trace of scar tissue in my legs and hips.
Bob kids around a lot during the sessions so I initially think he is joking. But when he continues in all seriousness to tell me how rare it was to have no scar tissue in the lower body, and that I am actually one in five thousand, I begin to realize the profundity of his words.
In further educating myself on the meridian system, I learn that different muscle and fascia groups are associated with different organs. With the exception of the large and small intestine, most of the organs within the pelvis and torso are accessed through meridian points on the legs. Which means that when we apply resistance, while simultaneously stretching a muscle group within the legs, we not only heal scar tissue within the fascia, we heal physical and emotional scar tissue in the organs associated with that particular muscle group.
For example, the inner thighs are connected to the liver, the outer thighs and gluts, to the gall bladder. The fascia in the groin is connected to the kidneys, the quads- the stomach, the medial hamstrings-the pancreas, the lateral hamstrings-the bladder, the psoas the sexual organs, the central hamstrings-the sexual brain.
Considering I was sexually violated as a little girl, gang raped as a teen ager and have had my share of less than honoring and loving sexual relationships over the years, the belief that I can, let alone have healed myself, is almost as shocking as when I first began to have memories of violation.
“Really? Me? Not damaged? But why do my hips constantly ache and why are my hamstrings so tight?”
“You are just feeling the contracted energy that is available to you,” Bob answers with a certainty that clears my doubt. “All you need to do is open to it. Most people aren’t even aware of the life force that is available to them, because it is covered up with scar tissue. They feel numb in their hips and pelvis. Aching is the beginning of feeling.”
“Oh, I thought it was because I’m turning fifty this year.”
“When we age we start to pay more attention to what’s going on inside of us rather than outside of us-usually because of what we haven’t paid attention to in our younger years.”
When I tell Bob about my pleasure practice, he nods, “Nice work. I’ve stretched thousands of women who have been sexually abused and I can instantly tell where they are still holding trauma in the cellular tissue. It’s just not there with you. ”
Although I could say my sexual healing journey began in my early thirties with my first Tantra workshop, it has been my primary focus for the last five and a half months, during which I have drawn from all of the knowledge and tools I’ve gathered over decades of study and experimentation.
Bob goes on to explain. “The first layer of opening is sensation. When I stretch a person’s psoas, for example, they will experience more sensation in their hips, which initially may be soarness, followed by more space within their pelvis to experience sensation. The next layer of opening is feeling. The person will suddenly feel more excited about life. It is not a feeling they have to conjure in their mind or try to make happen- they simply feel a renewed sense of aliveness. Opening the psoas also allows a person to access a deep feeling of self worth. Again, this self worth isn’t dependent on accomplishment or being loved by another or taking Saint John’s Wort or saying affirmations, they simply feel their intrinsic self worth.”
I nod, understanding, feeling. It’s one of those holy moments when the path becomes crystal clear.
“The next level of opening is knowledge. Once you begin to experience the various feelings associated with each of the muscle and fascia groups and their corresponding organs, all of the file drawers in the body start to open,” the master says.
“So it really is possible to heal ourselves.” I finally allow my new reality to sink in.I allow my well of faith to be replenished.
“Then it also must be possible for us to heal the damage we have done to the earth.”
“Your work now is to map how you got here and show others. Get to it,” he says.