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C h e c k o u t A B M P P o c k e t P a t h o l o g y a t w w w. a b m p . c o m / a b m p - p o c k e t - p a t h o l o g y - a p p . 89 4 To help calm the client's fear center (amygdala), the therapist drapes the client's neck at the occipital ridge with thumbs bracing on the forehead, and the client is asked to slowly elevate and relax his shoulders while the therapist gently resists. Verbal suggestions of safety and support enhance the therapeutic outcome. Fortunately, good bodywork can provide a safe, effective outlet for relieving not only physical tension, but also the frustration, aggression, and anxiety associated with the psychological symptoms of stress. Notes 1. Siang Yong Tan and A. Yip, "Hans Selye (1907– 1982): Founder of the Stress Theory," Singapore Medical Journal 59, no. 4 (April 2018): 170–71, 2. J. M. Weiss, "Effects of Coping Responses on Stress," Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 65, no. 2 (April 1968): 251–60, 3. Mariana von Mohr, Louise P. Kirsch, and Aikaterini Fotopoulou, "The Soothing Function of Touch: Affective Touch Reduces Feelings of Social Exclusion," Scientific Reports 7, no. 1 (October 2017): 13516, Erik Dalton, PhD, is the executive director of the Freedom from Pain Institute. Educated in massage, osteopathy, and Rolfing, he has maintained a practice in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for more than three decades. For more information, visit Watch "Bodywork is Like Chewing on a Stick" may cover them with a lightweight blanket gently tucked to the sides of their body. Once they're comfortably situated, I begin applying slow, graded-exposure suboccipital and upper cervical oscillating techniques, such as those shown in Images 2, 3, and 4. Because the suboccipitals and other upper cervical muscles are innervated with both skeletal and cranial nerves, this is the epicenter for establishing serene body-brain communication. To help down- regulate the client's hyperexcited fear center (amygdala) and stimulate parasympathetic tone via the vagus nerve, I perform a variety of oscillating and slow affective touch techniques while observing for any positive physical or emotional changes. As the client's tissues soften and the protective guarding diminishes, the client will often start making intermittent eye contact. At this point, I begin verbally engaging their prefrontal cortex with suggestions that they have come to the right place, and by working as a team, we will help them recover their feelings of strength, safety, and confidence. SUMMARY Even in an optimally functioning body, maintaining allostatic balance is a challenge, given the multitude of factors constantly taxing our bodies and creating physical, chemical, and emotional stress. 2 3 The therapist's right hand secures the client's forehead while his left hand drapes along the client's neck. A gentle oscillatory counterforce between the therapist's hands stimulates neuromuscular reflexes in the upper cervical complex. The therapist's fingers meet along the occipital ridge and begin a gentle oscillating motion to stimulate parasympathetic nervous system tone via the vagus nerve.

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