What Is Biodynamics?

It is the object of a physician to find Health; anyone can find disease.
Andrew Taylor Still

Biodynamics is first and foremost an orientation to that which is always well and whole within us. Biodynamic practitioners know that this wholeness, which we commonly call “Health” or “Intelligence,” is dynamic and alive: a living presence within us and around us always.  We were originally formed out of this field of alive Intelligence by forces and dynamics that are still present in each of us, and which continue to shape our every moment. Practitioners learn to perceive and support these deeper original forces of Health in ourselves and others, creating the conditions that allow for Health to flourish. This aliveness is ready and willing to dialogue when approached with patience and recognition of the wisdom that a body has gained through its lived experience.   The conversation that a skilled Biodynamic practitioner and a client can have about the client’s life story is natural, curative and respectful.

Biodynamics is also a way of being in relationship that is supportive, present and accepting of the whole person. Practitioners learn skills of presence, perception and neutrality that enable them to recognize the right combination of space and contact needed to meet a person’s story and work effectively with their conditions. Biodynamics does not deny or turn away from dis-ease; rather, it supports challenges by holding them within a larger field of Health. By holding both the “good” and “bad,” new possibilities, insights and healing can arise. Biodynamic practitioners support clients in learning to orient to the instinctual knowing of their innate Health and well-being. In so doing, clients build the capacity to hold the totality of their experience — not just the parts they want, but also the challenges that previously seemed impossible to overcome.

Dr. William Garner Sutherland, the most famous student of Andrew Taylor Still, is the man credited with the being the first to explore using Osteopathic principles with Cranial bones. It is from his writings, as well as Still’s and others that  and our  comprehension of Craniosacral therapy descends. Sutherland wrote: “Allow physiologic function within to manifest its own unerring potency rather than apply a blind force from without.” Biodynamic practitioners learn to trust that the innate forces of Health — the potency — will come through and do the healing. When Biodynamic practitioners create the conditions that allow for greater expression of the underlying forces of Health and organization, the structure automatically responds through what has been termed the “inherent treatment plan.” It’s not in “doing” that these deeper therapeutic processes arise. It’s with a relationship to settling, slowing down, and stillness. Slowing down, both physiologically as well as psychologically, is an integral part of being able to re-align to the core levels of our being and to the core levels of Health.

This Health is never lost. It is a level of Health that cannot be diseased, that is and has always been whole.

In order to help clients orient to the forces of Health, Biodynamic practitioners must learn to orient to these same qualities and forces within and around themselves. There are countless practices which help us to continually come back to Health. Practitioners in our courses gradually build their capacity and skill through exercises and practices focusing on aspects of Health such as:

  • Slowing down, settling & stillness
  • Negotiated space & contact
  • Embodied awareness
  • Grounding & centering
  • Widening & deepening
  • Neutrality
  • Presence
  • Wholeness
  • Resonance
  • Receptivity

With knowing and intention and the capacity to rest in a slower place, Biodynamic practitioners guide clients to return to a place within themselves that is as old as the ground we stand on, that moves and has always moved with Intelligence and Purpose — a place that can be still and know, a place that has no urgency, and a time that doesn’t need to be remembered because it is and has always been whole.

You may have noticed our tagline: A Revolutionary Education in Biodynamics. Why is Biodynamics revolutionary?

Biodynamics is a revolutionary paradigm because it is relational, and relationships can create change – the kind of change that is revolutionary in someone’s life and world. To practice Biodynamics, we must be in conscious relationship with ourselves and our clients. It is our sense of connection to each other and to the world around us that makes deep change possible.

In Biodynamics, we consider not just the body but also the field, the space around a person, the space between two people, and the space created by a particular group of people. Biodynamic practitioners learn to create and maintain a relational field, a space where connection can occur and deepen. Biodynamic students and clients are changed by their experience of this resonant relational field. They experience a kind of contact that is deeply familiar to their soul but profoundly rare in the discordant, demand-driven field of the modern world.

In this relational field, we make contact that amplifies connection and allows something new to happen. This kind of contact is present and mutually nourishing. It is neutral because it doesn’t demand us to be a certain way. It also doesn’t demand touch. It can be physical, and a lot of time in our bodywork trainings is spent refining the quality of our touch to meet the person in the moment. But this kind of contact can also be relational, as in how we are present. In this resonant field, we can feel held without touch and understood without words.

I always tell my students that even the attempt to meet someone in this way is revolutionary.

Why? Because the process of trying is the process of becoming present. So much healing happens in the attempt. Attempting to connect in this way is a journey to finding a quality of connection that works for you, in a way that asks what feels good and what could feel better. A Biodynamic relational field has permission in it – the permission to say, “No,” or “Not yet,” or “Yes, or “I’m sorry, can I try again?” The permission to connect, disconnect and re-connect because we want to, not because we have to, can by itself give us a new relationship to times in our past when the kind of contact we had was forced, inattentive, too much or too little.

The ability to be non-reactive and connected, even for moments or hours in this polarizing time, is powerful. This kind of contact is also revolutionary because it is rare. Its potential is as old as life itself, always ready to be called forth when the time is right. Like an ancient seed that sprouts after years of dormancy, our instinctual ability to know right contact and when a person or environment is meaningful and authentic is there the instant the conditions are right. When we are in these places, we are in direct contact not just with others, but with our collective deeper knowing.

That is the second way that learning Biodynamics is revolutionary. A revolution is a repetition, something that returns after being inaccessible – for years or generations – to change things up, to realign individuals or communities towards something we may have been ignoring or forgotten.

Learning and practicing the skills of Biodynamics can bring us into direct contact with our authentic self and our essential purpose. I believe that each of us comes into this world knowing who we are and why we are here. If we can return to this knowing as adults and re-orient our lives to our original nature – something I have seen happen more times than I can count in my years of practicing and living Biodynamics – then that is the most powerful revolution of all.