GET TO KNOW: Jackie Leavitt
Can we have periods with little to no pain? How does Cranial-Sacral practice benefit period pain?
Yes, I believe it is possible to have menstrual cycles with minimal to no pain. Painful periods are very, very common but not necessarily normal. There are typically underlying issues that may be contributing to the pain, such as stress, hormonal imbalances (which is often linked to stress), trauma, nutritional imbalances, environmental factors. It is often the body trying to communicate with us to “get our attention” to something possibly deeper.
Is it helpful to have downtime during our period? How does this time help us to connect to our innate wisdom?
Yes. Absolutely, it is very helpful to take some downtime to connect with our bodies. I feel that our senses are enhanced while we are menstruating. And honoring any feelings (physical and/or emotional) that may arise is important. Befriending our pain and emotions will allow them to be less intense. A wise teacher of mine once told me, every period is a loss because our body is not pregnant. So, each period can feel like a loss. Giving in to that can allow it to not be so intense. And, take that special time to tune in to what our bodies need – more hydration, more rest, sleep, movement, mediation, trace minerals, support like massage, healing, acupuncture, etc.
Speaking of innate wisdom, I know you've helped your clients connect with their innate wisdom to their womb. Why is this important and what is “innate wisdom” and why is the womb so important?
Innate wisdom is the inner knowing that we are all born with inside us. For example, when a healthy baby is born, and they are placed on the mother’s belly, they will crawl up to the breast and latch with minimal to no assistance. Over time we may lose our connection with this inner knowing/wisdom due to social responses and how we are taught to trust others instead of ourselves. Our bodies hold incredible wisdom and also memories including emotional, physical, and environmental traumas from conception to the current day. Every organ has a consciousness that if we get quiet enough to listen to, we can hear our body’s messages. Everyone holds different memories and experiences in their own body. However, I have witnessed themes. What I know to be fairly consistent is that the womb is the seat of creativity. It can birth new ideas and our creative potential, and our life’s purpose. It can also store unintegrated childhood stresses/traumas, pains, grief/loss, etc. When we can connect more deeply with our body’s needs (in this case, in our wombs) by sensing, feeling, hearing, acknowledging these emotions, pains, unintegrated traumas, we often shift it and can have access to that internal peace, joy, and a sense of purpose and have more manageable periods.
Tell us a little about what you do and how you approach your work?
My license is a physical therapist, but I consider my work to be more of a healer. I find energetic and physical blockages in the body and help to release them. In essence, I help people connect to their bodies and connect more deeply to who they are. I do this through integrative manual therapy using several different modalities, two of them being craniosacral therapy and visceral manipulation. Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle and subtle technique that balances the nervous system and treats traumas held in the tissues. Visceral manipulation is also a gentle and subtle technique to find connective tissue restrictions and imbalances in the organs that may be contributing to musculoskeletal problems.