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Personal Reflections on the Rubenfeld Synergy Method

When I think about the Rubenfeld Work which I will refer to as RSM, for the Rubenfeld Synergy Method, I think of how Ilana Rubenfeld - a pioneer in the field of somatic psychotherapy - influenced my life… Twice! The first time it was when I trained as Alexander Technique Teacher and she was teaching at the American Center of the Alexander Technique and was just developing the Rubenfeld work, and she became my mentor. I was always interested in her approach to the Alexander Technique and several years later, I joined her faculty as staff Alexander Teacher in exchange for the RSM training! I instantly loved the work, the emphasis on the inner experience of the client, the witnessing heart and hands of myself as synergist.

So, in these few words, I will attempt to describe what can happen when this “Synergy” happens. What is a synergy? A synergy can be described as when the sum is greater than its parts. Through your body, emotions are felt, the mind expands its perception, and something opens you to a greater wholeness.

The process of self discovery that happens when you are in a RSM session might be as follows... You are invited to listen to your body while lying on a table fully clothed, your eyes closed - if that is comfortable. Sometimes you may be seated or in movement. The synergist’s hands gently and respectfully use touch to allow you to release held patterns and open to something deeper. Your mind may be wondering why this or that as your body tells its story, images, sensations or memories awaken. Your heart or gut or throat feels the pain or joy or anger or sadness as the story opens in you and there is no judgment if you “listen” to yourself with compassion as I the “synergist” do with you. The many voices within you have a dialogue. I listen and ask, you speak your experience as best you can. You open to the many voices that are stored within: yourself as a child, yesterday at the meeting, the fears for the future - all these feelings and images are felt in the present moment. All through the session you experience feelings, insights and shifts in perception. The synergy that is the mind, body, emotions and, yes, spirit open you to a wholeness where all aspects of yourself accompany you on your journey. Often, there is a feeling of resolution, a gift of confidence and self love to go onward on this journey. For example, at the end of a session an affirmation for you to remember may come from your depths within. Or there may be a feeling of reunion with your inner child, acceptance from your higher self, or spirit.

Limited belief systems, intense memories may be re-experienced; anger or tears may be needed to release the pain that closed you to other ways to perceive your innate truth. In these sessions it is you who uncover and discover who you really are. When you arise from the table often a different sense of your body is experienced, perhaps lightness and expansion, perhaps a feeling of being connected deeply with the earth. There is no formula, each session is unique, a kind of embodied journey into the depths of yourself.

Who usually comes to a Rubenfeld session? Most often people who feel that they have gotten all the help they could from talk therapy, who want to dive deeper into their being through listening to the body and its entry way into the deepest self. They are willing to discover what is inside, and honor themselves in the process. They want to find guidance from within. For some it is on-going work, for some short term. Those who are interested in the mystery of the mind/body connection and how feelings and thoughts affect the physical body, many come to work with physical pain in their bodies by listening to the emotional pain hidden inside, sometimes there is physical healing, sometimes a metaphor emerges which opens one up to the history behind the physical pain.