The Manipulations: A Glossary
Allowing oneself to be moved by the giver requires from the receiver to constantly work on minimizing muscle tension while avoiding resistance and simultaneously observing the impact of the manipulation.
One is said to be running on autopilot when the process of actively observing the experience has stopped, when one’s attention has become fixed and when one’s actions have become automatic.
Making oneself available means allowing oneself to be moved by the giver; availability enables creating a body that is not only moving from the awareness of the body itself, but also from the awareness of the body’s environment.
Camera is a metaphor for bringing bodily sensations into focal consciousness; the idea is that there is always a multiplicity of cameras operating simultaneously.
Cutting refers to the action of interrupting the impulse to move by yourself and, instead, to become available; it also refers to constantly shifting, redirecting and redistributing one’s attention.
Dissecting the body denotes the process of carefully examining the receiver’s body, creating understanding, both for the giver and the receiver, about its current condition and anatomic constitution.
The receiver’s task is to constantly minimize effort in terms of muscle tension while maximizing effort in terms of attending, sensing, perceiving, and observing the experience.
One speaks of fixing when the process of observing is frozen in one mode of attention or in one area of the body, and when the condition and the organization of the body are no longer actively observed and negotiated.
Being in the flow is a condition where one is no longer actively processing experience but where the perception of experience has taken over; as soon as one has become aware of flow, it should be broken through redirecting one’s attention.
The task of the receiver is to make herself available to receive the giver’s manipulation in the form of weight, touch, twisting, compression, stretch, relaxation, expansion and extension.
The issue of handling is learning and knowing how to give a manipulation in such a way and with such sensitivity so that the receiver can feel reasonably safe and trust the giver when being taken to her physical limits.
Holding is a type of muscle tension and one of the three attention points that are constantly checked and observed in the action of minimizing muscle tension.
One of the main requirements for the receiver is to constantly recapture and put into action tasks and points of attention such as minimizing muscle tension and observing sensations.
Paying close attention to sense perceptions in all possible modalities: including intero- and proprioceptive as well as exteroceptive experience, i. e. stimuli perceived both from inside and outside the body. The receiver should treat all modalities as equal.
In order to maintain the process of receiving alive, the receiver is asked to constantly redistribute attention and to prevent herself from fixing, flow, tunnel-perception and running on autopilot.
The main objectives of manipulating the body are altering perception, crafting a body that is available and receptive to external influences, and creating experiential insight into the anatomical structures of the body as well as into the operating mode of consciousness.
Minimizing Muscle Tension
One of the main tasks of the receiver is to constantly work on minimizing muscle tension on the basis of asking three questions: 1. Is the tension of your muscles on zero? 2. Where are places of holding? 3. Where are you in a mode of standby?
Monitoring is the action of maintaining the aliveness of the process of observing, of checking the points of attention, of tracking changes and making sure that one does not fall into any automatism (flow, fixing, autopilot, tunnel-perception).
Negotiating, in the action of receiving, refers to the constant and deliberate effort to stay in physical dialogue with the giver, and to be ready to go beyond one’s own limits even under the perception of pain, for example through allowing.
Observing sensations and maintaining an overall picture of the process is one of the main points of attention in receiving; observing creates a distance between the observer and the observed and, thus, objectifies experience.
Peeling off refers to the action of minimizing muscle tension, and to the undoing of habitual patterns of movement and perception in order to attain a more objectified experience of the body’s sensations.
Checking the condition of the body and attending to its sensations is understood by the word reading; a close reading of the body entails attending in great detail to micro-perceptions of the body.
Receiving is a highly active process of sensing, perceiving and reflecting on the effects of a manipulation. Receiving is accomplished by a wide range of tasks that are maintained simultaneously such as installing, reading, scanning, allowing, observing, cutting, peeling off, listening, surrendering, switching off, and undoing.
Resistance against a manipulation physically manifests itself in the form of muscle tension; the receiver is asked to undo resistance by constantly working on minimizing muscle tension.
Constantly checking the condition of the body, in great detail and part by part, minimizing muscle tension and observing sensations.
Standby is a quality of muscle tension that arises from a mode of anticipation in which one is ready to move by oneself; standby is one of the three attention points in the action of minimizing muscle tension.
Surrendering denotes giving oneself completely over to be moved by the giver, while actively processing the sensory experience; the process of minimizing muscle tension enables surrendering, its opposite is resisting.
Switching off muscle tension is accomplished by consciously sending the command to the body to release tension; switching off plays an essential part in minimizing muscle tension and is similar to actions like cutting and peeling off.
The strategy of working towards implies that one is always engaged in approximating a goal that actually cannot be reached, that one is working on a task that can never be fully accomplished, and that the process of negotiating never stops.
Transposing denotes the sending, directing and emplacing of the giver’s touch and attention in the body of the receiver; the receiver’s responsibility is to allow the transposition to take place, making herself available to being manipulated.
Tunnel-Perception is a type of concentration in which the focus of attention unconsciously gets fixed in one modality of sensing and perceiving, or in one location in the body, for example in a place of tension or pain.
Undoing refers to the action of constantly switching off and minimizing muscle tension, thereby increasing the receiver’s availability and capacity for being manipulated.