Points and Positions Touch Technique is a gentle, non-invasive touch to help clients to move deeply in and reconnect with lost and undeveloped aspects of themselves. Typically, most physical manipulation techniques in both body psychotherapy and in the manual therapies involves the application of different forms of force by the practitioner in order to bring about change, to “break through” the physical, psychic and emotional contractions and resistances. It is the action of the practitioner that is responsible for any therapeutic changes.
This approach had various limitations. One was that some character structures such as the oral or depressive, could not/would not engage in these types of activities. Others, with physical handicaps could not perform the exercises properly. Most important of all, for the client engaging in these activities the same response happened. They felt challenged, confronted, even attacked by this approach and the first response was always that the defences got stronger. The struggle against became more intense. Nothing was different, only the stakes had been raised.
In Functional Analysis the input from the therapist is intended to evoke the client’s own auto-poietic, self-regulatory resources.
The positioning technique was adapted from Dr. Lawrence Jones’ Positional Release approach, whereby the technique does not work against the block, but with it.
Jones wrote : “There should be no surprises for the nervous system.” When there is a contraction, the therapist does not try to free the contraction by exercise or manipulation. Instead the therapist positions a muscle or that part of the body where the contraction is and applies gentle pressure in the direction of the contraction, supporting it, not working against it by stretching the muscle back, outward or forcefully manipulating the tissue.
The compression allows the muscle to release neurologically and lengthen, once the therapist slowly releases the compression. There is no pain even though the tissue is sensitive.
We found that this method could easily be applied to body psychotherapy, focusing on both physical and emotional pain simultaneously, because in our functional model, the bodily contraction is the physical equivalent of the emotional pain. We can then touch sensitive tissues and sensitive issues without alerting the defence system.
The “Points” aspect of this technique is placing light pressure usually on the tendon of the insertion point of the muscle similar to a Shiatsu touch.
Also there is an alteration in the model of what a contraction is.
It is not a muscular contraction that is holding the muscle. A muscle cannot hold a contraction for years and years. It is the fibrous buildup of connective tissues in this area due to chronic stress/danger that “holds” the muscle contracted and that is the hardness we feel if we touch such tissue. Stress and soft tissue memory is not held in the neuromuscular system but in the connective tissue. Recent biophysical research has also revealed the primary role of the network system of connective tissue in carrying the bio-energies and hormones throughout the body.
The touch techniques works with the incredible plasticity of connective tissue that allows it to return to its prestressed state under the right conditions, such as pressure.
The non-invasive quality of both the points and the position creates pressure on the tissue allowing it to release itself.