With 20 years of practice behind her and 15 years in the Wakatipu region, Nikki Sainsbury is a name which is recognizable and whom many have either seen for treatment or at least heard about, so I was very pleased to recently collaborate with Nikki, in a promotional role, on her workshop about Trauma Release held at Sherwood to a filled room with eager participants.

Trauma release can carry a heavy meaning for many, the word ‘trauma’ conjuring up associations with painful childhood memories, natural disasters and other experiences which incite a healing journey. But more understanding about trauma and its impact is occurring in the therapeutic and ‘healing’community. Trauma can be anything which creates an interruption in the way memories and experiences are processed, some would say that the natural harmony between the heart and the mind (or central nervous system) is disturbed therefore creating painful patterns and behaviors which can limit ones experiences of their lives.

I can relate to a particular type of trauma which we must all face at one stage of our lives or another, as I experience the loss of a loved one and the all encompassing grief which comes with it, therefore the work that Nikki does is very much of interest to me and I was very grateful to take up her offer of a craniosacral treatment. Craniosacral therapy was developed by a neurosurgeon and has become a popular, gentle therapeutic modality for bringing the mind and body into harmony and a healing state which can in turn, release trauma. It was with a heavy feeling of grief and heart pain, that I found myself at Nikki’s home treatment rooms on a mid winter night.

Nikki was warm and welcoming as I arrived, I had just come from the hospital so we discussed how I was feeling regarding that and the emotional challenges which come with seeing a loved one seriously unwell. As I climbed up onto her massage table and relaxed into the warmth and softness of the bed I unwound all the pain I had been experiencing, verbally – until Nikki’s expert hands lead me to relax completely and I finally stopped talking and started to settle in. She began with my feet and worked her way along each area of my lower body, then reaching my midsection where I began to drop into a deeper ‘healing state.’ She moved between my heart/chest area and my sacral/midsection and I fell further into a dreamy, half awake state where I felt like I was wrapped up in the thick, fluffy blankets I was lying on.

When I emerged, Nikki was gently murmuring she would get me a glass of water. I sat up slowly, sleepily. My dreaminess soon disappeared as I sipped the water Nikki handed me and we discussed the session and her work. I began to feel more relaxed yet alert, the state which is similar to how one feels after a good work out, meditation session or yoga class. As though I had been rid of a heaviness, a weight that had been lifted from me.

Our conversation turned to the importance of the healing journey and the releasing of trauma for people and how therapies which were seen as too ‘out there’ not long ago are now being recognized as new scientific evidence comes to light showing the impact of certain therapies. Healthcare and personal well being is headed in an interesting direction as our reliance on western medicine and medical intervention is being questioned.

Nikki works with people from all different backgrounds, ages and stages of life from babies and children to working professionals suffering with various health challenges such as headaches, anxiety, depression and more straight forward injuries. Nikki described how people ‘release’ in various ways, sometimes through talking their way through the session (as in me), physically through releasing in certain areas of the body or through crying/laughing and finally, release on an energetic level. She says how someone may come to see her for a sore knee, they get talking and may comment “I’ve never told anyone that before,” which Nikki says it part of the great privilege she finds in her work. “There is no end to how deep you can go with releasing trauma,” she says. “Often people come to me in the midst of a huge change in their lives, my job is to help them to shift and I want to help people to shift as quickly as it is possible for them, (therefore) I enjoy working efficiently with people. Crainosacral therapy is a modality that I use but I actually draw on all of the techniques and education I have learnt, as I am the sum total of all that I have learnt up to this present moment.” This includes her background of Bowen therapy and energy healing.

Finally, we finished our evening journey by touching on some of the themes from Nikki’s trauma release workshop, how painful patterns set by energetic imbalances or blocks due to trauma can be changed and shifted, with conscious awareness and various techniques. Really it comes down to making a choice in each moment when ‘being’ in the world. We can do the same old thing and keep getting the same results, such as resisting change or painful experiences even though they may lead us to experiencing life through a richer lens….or falling into old habits which distract us from the truth that we know deep down. We agreed that in any moment it comes down to choosing Love over Fear.

I went home late into the evening, feeling that same sense of being relaxed edging towards tiredness yet alert and clear headed. I slept soundly and deeply. The session coincided with the first day of my cycle so emotions had been running high in the days earlier, I had been welcoming the chance to express my grief and the day after the session I experienced the emotion of anger which may have been trapped in my body and was now being given the chance to be expressed. If only daily life allowed for us to have the space to do so! I muddled through the day with a massive headache thrown in but this also made me more aware of the supports I know to use to help myself through a hard day. I practiced some yoga, I did a heart opening meditation and chanting as well as affirmations. By the time I had reached the end of the day I was in a much more reflective place and I carried this through the weekend and out the other side.

Incidentally my cycle was a lot shorter and lighter. Again, I saw the opportunity for release and have been feeling more stable and balanced in myself as I go forward into another week. I feel my session with Nikki supported the place I am in now and helped me to see my experiences from a wider, more holistic perspective. I am looking forward to booking my 4.5 yr old in with her to see how she may be helped through the sometimes frustrating challenges that come with being a little person…

You can book in with Nikki by clicking on her link below to view her listing in our Spiritual Seekers directory….

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