The Critical Alignment therapy sessions focus in particular on spinal problems, especially lower and upper back complaints. The classes are designed to find out the cause of tension and manifestations of stress. CA Therapy looks at underlying (physical and psychological) tension patterns to become aware of personal preferences. The proactive CA exercises support the restoration of balance, stability, and strength and provide tools to structurally resolve complaints and prevent a recurrence.
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Why Critical Alignment therapy?
Negative Feelings cannot be quieted by language and should not be suppressed by medication.
Feelings are experienced in the body, not in our minds. This makes the body the basis of our emotional household. The release of physical tension is, therefore, directly related to the release of psychological tension. Negative feelings tend to fuel conflict in our lives, over and over again. By physically processing our negative emotions, we become stronger in our bodies and more stable in our feelings.
?Science brought us to the moon, and soon it may even take us to Mars. Why then does it seem impossible to re-align vertebrae just a few millimeters to create a stable and pain-free spine??
According to CA founder Gert van Leeuwen, our over-attentive attention to knowledge damages our relationship with our body. “I notice how little language people have the words to express their sense of well-being.”
Almost everyone experiences an injury at some point in their life. This injury can have an acute cause, such as an accident. The injury can also build slowly, such as ‘repetitive strain injuries’ (RSI), which are common in working environments. In addition to the physical tension, we can also experience psychological stress, which can enhance both acute and chronic problems.? Emotional instability can lead to anxiety, burnout, and other mental and/or physical health problems.
The impact of social interactions
CAT recognizes that we are born in social and cultural traditions and that we are influenced by the environments in which we grow up. An example of this is that we are all in some way trained to be successful. The downside to success is that others feel frustrated or depressed because they think they haven’t achieved success. Yet these early nurtures and mindsets determine our identity. Competition and ambition are socially praised. In trying to reach the levels we were taught to we contribute to the conflict in society and come into conflict with ourselves. We feel that our behavior hardens, but we cannot pinpoint where the shoe is pinching. Critical Alignment reveals these, often unconscious structures, and offers a connecting alternative. If you feel connected to your own body, it will be easier to connect to others.
Survival strategies & Nocebo effect
The first step in resolving tension is recognizing that we are not guilty of our stress and/or injuries. Unfortunately, this idea is often evoked in medical contexts. We need to learn that our, often unconscious, habits are developed at a young age. As children, we are all dependent on the care of others, so our survival strategies have a function. They are a direct response to survival. Unfortunately, they also damage our relationship to our bodies.
We tend to approach our (chronic) complaints mentally. We ask out friend Google for information about our problem. We look at scans and MRIs even though we don’t know how to interpret them. We go from therapist to therapist in search of new answers. For the most part, the knowledge we acquire has a negative connotation, which causes a ‘nocebo’ effect: an effect that turns a simple problem into a chronic complaint. In this way, a complaint quickly becomes stressful, which triggers our survival strategies. Fighters will fight, escapees flee, and others will take little initiative, follow authorities and freeze in their own development.
The self-regulating Placebo effect
The survival strategies, as mentioned above, suppress the self-repairing mechanism in the body, the so-called placebo effect: a manifestation of positive symptoms and natural healing. This regulating mechanism shows that healing is only possible through radical self-examination and a process of letting go.
In addition to the refined practice method, CAT uses the placebo effect to resolve complaints. This radical self-examination can be very challenging. Throughout a lifetime, everyone develops ways to feel safe in unsafe conditions, and unfortunately, dangerous situations cannot be avoided. CAT asks to investigate and let go of old beliefs and stories. This opens the door to get closer to ourselves and to stand in our own strength. For many, this process is a life-changing experience.
Balance in the spine leads to transformation
The CA’s unique characteristic is that the transformation mentioned above is directly experienced through the changes in our body, especially in the spine. The back of our body interacts directly with gravity. The correct use of this relationship makes it possible to experience physical relaxation. The front of the spine supports sensory areas of the body, such as the abdomen (associated with internal rest) and the chest (related to inner space or lightness).
CAT uses uniquely developed props that mobilize the spine and restore the connection to gravity and positive feelings. This anatomical change increases mobility and stability in the body, and the psychological change gives the body a new meaning. Negative emotions, such as doubt and uncertainty, turn into feelings of strength and independence.
CAT teachers are partners in this endeavor. They recognize that while there is a common cause of injury and pain, everyone’s experience is unique.