Integrative Bodywork

Integrative Bodywork Sessions offered at Whole Brain Whole Body bring together Brainspotting with other bodywork modalities to bring a more active approach to treatment. Currently this is offered to help mother baby dyads who are seeking support with feeding difficulties. Sessions are offered jointly by a bodyworker who agrees along Nina in her role as an IBCLC and Brainspotting Practitioner and last 1-1.5 hours. Follow up session and travel fees apply along with an added $50 fee for self pay clients and $100 for insurance clients. Costs for Nina’s time are as follows. The additional fees are not billable to insurance.

 

When working toward correcting feeding habits, resolving tension associated with feeding and alleviating feeding stressors, brainspotting is used to facilitate the body’s instinctual ability to make progress. Together, the modalities encourage lasting neurobiological change so that clients can integrate new patterns as they continually adjust and adapt away from old patterns. A typical session with mother baby dyads involves the following:

  • One or both parents are in attendance
  • The baby may be held by one or both parents, rest on a table or mat or held by either practitioner
  • A bodyworker will offer light touch and tactile listening for both mother and baby before, during and after feeding
  • As a brainspotting practitioner, Nina will offer continuous use of the CrocoDuck to locate and hold the baby’s field of vision or pointer to hold spots within the mother’s field of vision
  • As an IBCLC, Nina will offer routine lactation management and feeding support as would be expected in a typical follow up session

Bodywork refers to many different approaches including but not limited to craniosacral treatments, osteopathy, chiropractic treatment, etc. The person receiving bodywork is usually in a passive position as they are receiving treatment. Brainspotting engages the person more actively in the process for improved results.

Brainspotting is a powerful brain-body based modality focused on the use of a “spot” readily accessed in the field of vision. We all, particularly as infants, naturally gaze at different “spots” and these spots are windows into our deep brain structure and processing. During a session, the practitioner will observe where the client is looking relative to desired or unwanted behaviors. The practitioner will then engage with the client to hold their gaze in spots that indicate their activation or regulation accordingly to allow for deeper processing and learning of the desired changes. The clinical encounter is entirely driven by the client and as it is observational and experiential in nature, the method is completely hands off (no touching).

As brain development occurs most rapidly in early childhood from in utero to age 5, brainspotting is in many ways a natural experience for newborns and infants who are learning & growing so quickly. In the first year of life, brain size doubles in size and ~90% of the brain develops by year 5. In addition, feeding is a neurobiological experience, and brainspotting is rooted in neurobiological approaches. It was developed by David Grand and he discovered how to access the role of the deep brain (subcortical brain) in both storing experiences and changing behavior while using the method. The motto of brainspotting is “where you look affects how you feel” and act. Our eyes & brains are intricately woven together, and the entire nervous system connects in the eyes. Vision is the primary way that we humans orient ourselves to our environment. Signals sent from our eyes are deeply processed in the brain. The brain then reflexively and intuitively redirects where we look, moment to moment. The brain is constantly processing and organizing everything that we are experiencing as our field of vision changes and calibrates constantly. Brainspotting uses the visual field to guide the brain to find and integrate information necessary for important change. This can be particularly helpful when navigating difficult, overwhelming or repeatedly dysfunctional experiences at any age. Currently, brainspotting is used for children and adults of all ages, and is most well known for its effectiveness with trauma, performance & creativity.

Monika Baumann, a clinician based out of Austria, pioneered this work with infants & children who have a range of issues from birth trauma to feeding difficulties. At Whole Brain Whole Body, brainspotting has been used effectively with newborns infants during bodywork sessions and as a standalone process. Infants as young as 3 weeks old have held their gaze with the CrocoDuck for more than 20 minutes at a time, completely self-directed, with immediate release in tension related to feeding that led to lasting change.