An essay be Alex Vernon
I began the first level of Core Synchronism training three days after graduating from NMSNT. I was excited and slightly nervous. My class had begun practicing Core about two thirds of the way through our program, so, it was not entirely new to me. And yet, there were times when I could palpate the Core Current easily, and others, when I felt nothing at all. I knew though that I wanted to learn more and that the only way to improve my palpation skills was through practice.
The Core Current is usually felt at Bregma, the anterior fontanel, approximately 2″ back from the hairline. With practice it can be felt anywhere on the body. The cranial sacral rhythm follows the Core as it travels from Bregma to between the feet and back up again.
The Core practitioner is a body mechanic who treats the individual and not the pathology. The philosophy is similar to homeopathy, in which there is no set treatment or sequence for a particular dis-ease; the individual’s symptoms are treated as they present and therefore each session is unique. One of the most important aspects of practicing Core Synchronism is the ability to listen and trust what our hands are feeling without our intellect getting in the way. We learn to listen and wait before making any corrections. Core is an active meditative practice; it requires our full attention to the present, the now. One needs a healthy present mind, a focus on this moment, not on what’s going to happen or what has happened. Core treats everything and yet heals nothing. It reminds the body what it should be doing so that the body can heal itself.
Each class of Core is four hours long. We’d begin with theory and spend approximately the first hour discussing the Core Current and how the parts of the body move in relation to it. We’d then go on to hands on practice and trade the treatments with our fellow students. Several of the students in this first level of Core had not been through the NMSNT program, so, they were starting from the very beginning. It was helpful to revisit the basic principles of Core Synchronism and encouraging to see that, with the right guidance, anyone could palpate the Core Current.
Learning how to follow the movements of the bones is initially a combination of intellect and intuition. It requires all one’s focus as the movements are very subtle. A string of questions would run through my head. “What am I feeling? Is what I’m feeling how this bone is supposed to move or is it perfectly out of synch?” Sometimes a bone was frozen, or moving in a strange way, and this would lead to confusion. My mind jumped to thoughts, such as, “Why can’t I feel anything? I have lost the ability to feel this.” Then I would find myself trying too hard. Robert sometimes gently reminded us not to immediately assume that the confusion we felt was ours. It could be the Core Current’s confusion. Thankfully, the corrections required were very simple, either a temporary pause or a full pause, both induced by the therapist’s intent. (Pauses are generally held when the Core is either fully open, between the feet, or, fully closed, at Bregma.) I gradually learned to assume nothing, to allow the Core to reveal each motion, piece by piece. Just because a bone was in synch to itself, or one of its neighbors, did not mean it would necessarily be in synch with another neighbor or with the sacrum. As we worked up the body, we would first synch bones to themselves, then paired bones, next, bones below the waist with the sacrum, and above it, with the parietals.
Another way I learned to dispel confusion was by asking one of the three teaching assistants (or Robert) for help. They would lay their hands on mine and tell me what they were feeling. Oftentimes, this would confirm what I’d thought I had felt, but, because it was unexpected, had thrown me off. Since this is a phenomenon that challenges one’s orthodox beliefs, it takes repeated experience to trust what one is feeling is actually happening.
The last day of Core I was dedicated to the lymph. One of the aspects of this treatment that I especially liked was that it could be done on anyone at anytime, regardless of their condition. Manual lymph drainage is often contraindicated and can do more harm than good, whereas the Core lymph treatment is gentle and very helpful in assisting the body with it’s healing process.
This proved immediately useful for me, as, my four-year-old and one and a half-year-old sons came down with fevers 104°F during Core II. My wife’s parents, who are our babysitters, were out of town, leading me to worry that I’d have to drop out of the workshops. I gave them both Core lymph treatments each night. Alfie, the younger son, made a marked improvement after two treatments while Rex took five to be fully healed. This was combined with homeopathic remedies and lots of rest and some help watching them from friends and family.
I gave the boys their treatments while they were sleeping and was able to complete the lymph sequence in less than 20 minutes on each of them. One of the nice things about working on small children is the speed with which their Cores react and correct. When I had tried Core on Alfie before, he would push my hand away from the top of his head, even while sleeping. But, when I worked on him while this feverish, he allowed me to give him the treatment and now doesn’t fight it nearly as much. Rex would wake up during the treatments and ask what I was doing; when I’d tell him, he’d go right back to sleep. Now, he regularly asks for treatments and exclaims, “I love treatments!” I was able to continue with the workshops without any allopathic intervention for my children.
When I began the Core series I had decided I would go up to level III. I was hungry for more at the end of the first level and excited about learning how Core Synchronism related to palpating chakras and how it tied in with Polarity Therapy. An important part of the second level is reading wave pulses. Each digit, either toe or finger, corresponds to the five elements of Polarity, Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. By learning how to read the wave pulses, one is given clues as to which element is exhibiting symptoms and gives one a direction to take the treatment in. It is also a great check and balance system, because, when we take the pulses again, we can see if we were able to help correct an elemental imbalance or see if we missed something. Robert encourages taking wave pulses in every treatment. As one progresses, it becomes less necessary to take the pulses at the beginning because the treatments will correct almost all the dys-synchrony, but one always needs to check them towards the end. If something is out at the end of the session then the imbalance is deep, and should be addressed.
Palpating chakras is more subtle to me than feeling the movement of bones. It comes down to intuition and opening oneself up to what one’s feeling without judgment. As a therapist, there is often a gratifying moment when the client noticeably relaxes, after correcting the spin of a chakra, or jumpstarting a frozen one. It is a good reminder that what one’s doing is having a profound effect. Our job is to assist our clients into finding a deep level of relaxation so that their bodies can heal themselves. By trading treatments, we were able to experience the relaxation of our clients firsthand, and, the power of the energetic and mechanical working together. After (and during) a class session of Core the energy of the room had shifted to an unusual level of quietness.
Each level builds on the previous, and so, techniques that were learned in I and II are used along with the new. The third level of Core deals mainly with the brain, but, also the Long Currents and Caduceus.
The brain requires us to engage intellectually as there are multiple parts and divisions that need to be looked at in turn, pairs synched to each other and, to their neighboring structures. One must work one’s way through, from superior to inferior, adding one part at a time, to avoid confusion. With practice, the brain can be synched so quickly, as can the chakras, that Robert says, “Why not do the brain, the chakras and the lymphatic system in every treatment?” On almost every person (except perhaps those who are receiving regular treatments) there will be parts of these systems that will be out of synch and will require reminding what being in synch feels like.
In the subsequent levels, we were introduced to more wave pulses, other ways in which the Core moves, balancing the endocrine system, releasing bound fascia, Core commands, the Circular Current, Elemental wheels, other Core movements and, in the final level, discovering new layers of the Core.
Robert teaches the levels of Core as they were revealed to him. He kept asking “Why? Why is this not holding? Why does it hold in some clients and not in others? What is this movement following? What am I feeling right now?” His inquisitive nature led him to each new discovery and to refining his technique. There are things we learn in the higher levels of Core that brought up the question, “Why didn’t we learn this sooner? If I’d known this before I’d have been able to…” But, without the foundations provided by the levels that came before, there would be confusion. We had to learn how the structures related to each other to know whether they are synched to the Core. When Robert started teaching there was only Level I and it grew from there. By taking one piece at a time and gradually adding each layer, we not only avoid overwhelming ourselves, but also, missing something crucial that could prevent true synchronization, stopping the work from holding. As I completed each level, I found myself unable to stop. I was still full of questions and the seventh level brought it full circle, back to One, and, even if there had been more levels, I don’t think I could have absorbed any more. Now I am working on using what I have learned as often as possible. I go back to my notes whenever a question comes up. I feel blessed to have learned, and to continue learning, this wholistic modality.