Wednesday Breakfast with Miriam Blog
– with Phil Greenfield
Hi today is my ‘Wednesday Breakfast with Miriam Blog’ and I’m chatting with Phil Greenfield about Zero Balancing and his book….‘Unravelling – Letting Go, Getting Well’
Good morning Phil, what are you eating for breakfast and what is your view as you eat?
Hi Miriam. I’m sitting at home in the conservatory, enjoying a Full English today, with buttered white toast and good coffee, as I do two or three times a week. A well-meaning soul once expressed concern over the potential health hazards accompanying such a regularly indulgent start to the day. I told them that I was a little busy to think about that right now, but promised to get back to them when I was ninety five.
I see signs of Spring in the garden, but my attention is primarily drawn by the Zen-like gaze of my little dog, Lily, who sits by the table, constantly in hope of a little something falling from heaven.
So tell me about your work?
I’ve had a bodywork practice in Derby for twenty years. I graduated from the McTimoney Chiropractic School, Oxford in 1992. Back then it was all about ‘bad backs’. It wasn’t until I encountered Dr Fritz Smith’s Zero Balancing that I was awoken to the remarkable depth potential that bodywork has to facilitate profound and positive change for an individual – something that was never really touched on during my chiropractic training, but which is made quite explicit in the model offered by ZB. A person’s body, their mind, their emotional responses, and their life in general, are threads spun from distinctly different substance, but ultimately all woven into one fabric. Work one thread, and you work the whole cloth. Bottom line, it’s about increasing comfort – reducing strain – releasing potential – on all levels.
I see bodywork as being primarily educational. Manual intervention is important for sure but should, in my opinion, be as minimal as is practically possible. My watchwords? Education; awareness; empowerment. This little triad, for me, is where it’s at. Much of what I do is detective work. Why does this person, with this history, have this particular problem at this particular time in their life? This really is the most challenging and satisfying aspect of what I do, as the answer to that question can be very subtle, quite unexpected, and very often well outside of the remit of current ‘orthodox’ evaluations.
My bodywork style these days is quite hybridised – I call it ‘Core Alignment Bodywork’ – but I still offer pure Zero Balancing when called for, and as a member of the UK Zero Balancing Teaching Faculty, teach Zero Balancing to movement specialists and therapists of all persuasions, not just bodyworkers.
Why did you decide to write Unravelling?
At the suggestion of a client! In my practice, I’ve always endeavoured to ‘do myself out of a job’, as it were, by offering sufficient guidance and reflection, alongside various tools and techniques to do with posture, movement habit and style, breathing and body awareness, so that those who come for help, once ‘out of the woods’ (so to speak), might remain that way without need for excessive levels of ongoing help, thereby encouraging health autonomy. A client one day suggested that I ‘get all this good s**t down on paper’, primarily that he might have a permanent reminder of what I’d told him! So the book ended up as a broad collection of ‘stuff’ about how to become, stay, and be well. It’s since become a popular ‘maintenance manual’, helping people steer a steady and effective course through life’s unpredictable and often stormy waters. It considers many aspects of ‘being human’, but always returns to the importance of being thoroughly grounded in an awareness of the corporeal body. The book also expresses a deep faith that I have always possessed, regarding a human life’s exquisitely designed and inbuilt urge toward ever greater levels of well-being; and that in order to reveal this notion as a personal truth, all we have to do is… ‘just go with it’.
I’ve been told that it’s an engaging and humorous read, about a quite serious subject. I like that. That’s what I ‘d hoped for.
If you had to put your message into a sentence or a motto what would it be?
Stay soft and gentle in the face of change.
I do like that, Phil, and of course change is the only constant. After talking with you many times I do feel that the overlap between your approach and mine is significant although we have different looking therapy rooms! I like the concept of the responsibility lying within the client, obviously I too do detective work in therapy and see the symptoms as a clue to the person and their history. I think both approaches trust self-regulation and adjustment if the client is helped into awareness (that’s what we call it in Gestalt, it’s the goal and methodology of Gestalt – awareness). With awareness we have choice, or as you say empowerment. As I have blogged before, the idea of the paradoxical theory of change – just be where you are – seems similar to your ‘just go with it’.
What does the day ahead hold for you?
Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat. Then see what shows up, and engage warp drive!
Make it so!
I wish you a good day ahead and every success in your projects.
Thank you Miriam. You too. I enjoyed our chat.
Phil is presenting a talk and demonstration of Zero Balancing to the Swadlincote FHT Support Group, today Wednesday 27th February at 7.30 pm.
The venue is Freedom Therapy Rooms
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum,
Swadlincote DE11 9DG
Phil’s first book – Unravelling – Letting Go, Getting Well – was published by TrueAlignment in 2010. To purchase a copy, visit the bookstore at http://www.theunravellingbook.com/
Contact Phil http://www.corealignment.co.uk/