If you're feeling stuck in old patterns and are open to having somebody "run the bars" on your head, a practice called Access Consciousness might inspire some fresh insights.
It's not therapy, but it is therapeutic, says massage therapist Patricia Rambach, who applies the technique to clients in Ashland, which means she holds 32 points on their heads, each point having to do with an important aspect of one's life — creativity, control, awareness, money, communication, healing, hopes, sexuality, aging, sadness, joy — held in place by the "electromagnetic components of attitudes and beliefs."
It takes about an hour, and you don't need to talk. If it works, says Rambach, clients feel a release of stress and old, limiting attitudes, replaced by feelings of peace, possibility, hope and happiness.
"You get rid of unrewarding behavior patterns, past hurts," she says. "Losses and fears are released. You function less from old, limiting programming and more from the space of ease and joy."
Audrey Flint, who came to Rambach because of chronic neck and head pain, says, "It's like a huge layer was lifted. I felt so relaxed, and with each session I went deeper, like a deep massage. I feel more connected with my body, less stressed. I feel hopeful, at peace."
The modality was started 24 years ago by Gary Douglas in Santa Barbara, Calif. Access Consciousness, says Rambach, "gives you the tools and processes that allow you to know what you know and come into choice with your life. The essence is learning not to seek answers but to ask questions. When you have arrived at a conclusion, it limits the playing field and the possibilities of what can show up in your life."
Rambach's clients lie on a massage table while she puts on sounds of whales and dolphins. She may hold points for 10 or 20 minutes at a time. Clients get very relaxed and feel cared for, she says.
She calls it "energetic body restructuring," noting that "your body knows what it needs."
Practitioners of the technique employ various mottoes, such as "How does it get any better than this?" and "Life comes to me with ease and joy and glory."
"In our culture, it's hard for us to choose to make choices to let go," says Rambach. "We tend to be a people who hold on. ... Running the bars helps bring an organic process to your life, and you experience maximum relaxation."
Another practitioner, Leigh Spears of Ashland, says it's helped him let go of judgments in his mind, be more candid, stable, relaxed and integrated in his nervous system.
"It brings it into the body and integrates it, so I'm more who I am," he says.
Rambach finds it hard to describe exactly what's happening between her fingers and the head points, but it's not magic, she says.
"The magic is in you, and I acknowledge the points for what they are. The bars teach you who you are, and you take in life with more ease and joy. There's a sense of lightness as the points begin to open and flow, and you release the old point of view. There is more space in your head, so there is more choice. You allow your life to change with less effort."
An Ashland resident for 18 years, Rambach also is a flower-essence therapist, herbalist and reiki practitioner. She charges $44 to $66 for bar sessions and can be reached at 541-488-4381.
For information on Access Consciousness, see www.accessconsciousness.com.