In a field where I value truth and intention over almost everything else, there is one place where I haven’t been completely honest. This is something that has been nagging at me for a long time, but I have been afraid to put it out there. Afraid of seeming disrespectful to the amazing thinkers and innovators that came before me in this field and laid the groundwork for everything we do every day and the peers that I respect around the world now.
I feel like we need to have a conversation about Stacking (Pause Lock, Circuit Retaining Mode, whatever you want to call it).
Some background: Many have heard me present at conferences, speaking about SIPS and humourously recounting that I would never have had a chance to see how amazing SIPS is if I hadn’t challenged my Touch for Health Instructor Trainer Cheryn about Circuit Retaining Mode. At the time, I was young and naïve and new to the Specialized Kinesiology world and I had never seen a modality that uses extensive stacking before. I told her that CRM didn’t make any sense to me. She began explaining the whole thing to me about ruffini end organ proprioceptors (REOs) and steady state signals to the brain and I had to say something like, ‘yes, I understand all of that. But in TFH we are already saying that every time we start a session with a goal we are now testing all of the muscles in relation to that goal right? We are already testing muscles against a piece of information and noticing a difference in how they respond. Why is it, when I want to test one muscle against another, I suddenly have to do this weird thing with my feet?’ We went back and forth like this for awhile until she said, ‘You need it so you can do SIPS.’ She did a SIPS (Stress Indicator Point System) demo for me after class and I saw stacking in proper action for the first time. I was instantly in love with what SIPS did and how it explained my world and I never looked back.
This is the story I tell at conferences, but the truth is slightly different.
Because, while it is true that I use stacking when I am teaching, when I am demonstrating and even made it into the ‘S’ in GEMS (Goal, Element, Mode, Stack – my little class that help TFH students become seriously efficient practitioners), the real truth is I don’t use it in my sessions. Ever.
I have been thinking about this and trying to figure out how best to share my thoughts with others in this field and what has held me back is the desire to have some proof. I want to be able to show with some kind of irrefutable experiment that there is a different mechanism involved before I put my neck out there by saying it publicly. But something hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks this past weekend while I was attending the Kinesiology Federation conference in Oxford: there’s no proof that it works the way that we say it does either. Unless I am much mistaken, our current explanation of stacking and pause lock basically comes from Allan Beardall trying to figure out a way of holding information so that it could be tested against and hypothesizing that these proprioceptors could hold information. And it worked. Later, Richard Utt added the idea of flipping the information back and forth between the hips and the jaw to allow for more and more information to be added into the circuit. We know that it works, because we seem to be able to create complex stories of information, but in truth we don’t really know why it works. This has never been subjected to actual rigorous testing. The REO proprioceptors sending information to the brain is a desirable explanation because it satisfies the logical side of our brains, but it doesn’t really truly make sense that this information is transferred, for instance, from one person to another or from the hips into the jaw. We know that we seem to hold this information and we are stacking, but correlation is not causation.
What if it has nothing to do with proprioception?
I have been thinking a lot about crystals lately, specifically the crystalline structuring of water within the body when we look at water that creates a gel-like lattice (see Gerald Pollack’s work on the fourth state of water). We know that crystals can hold and transmit energy and information. That’s not New Age weirdness, that’s physics. Because of this, crystals are used in watches, computers, radios, cellphones, etc (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_oscillator). If we have water that seems to behave like a crystal within our cells and our extra-cellular matrix that connects and holds everything together within our body, and crystals can hold information and pattern energy, is it possible that we are holding the subtle energy patterns of our muscle testing within our own crystals while we work? This seems more likely to me at this point in time that that it is being transferred back and forth between my hips and jaw while I work.
I have seen people wiggle about when they work in such a way that the REO proprioceptors would be firing like mad – they are not ‘holding circuit’ in the least, but it seems to work. I have seen people hold the circuit by flicking the pineal point and by stretching the skin and by simply holding it in their head and all of these seem to work. It feels like there must be something else at play here and we cannot currently explain it. The REO explanation may have been the best one that we had 30 years ago, but we don’t need to keep using it if it no longer seems to quite make sense. The crystal theory above is just a theory – I have no way of proving this and can’t think of any logical way to experiment, but neither can I think of a way to prove that stacking works via REOs. Maybe it has nothing to do with crystals either, but is more about holding the frequencies of information in the subtle energy field that is the aura. Perhaps the movement is key, but more as a way of coding and defining for the body what exactly it is that we want to look at; pay attention to this bit because it’s important; no, we don’t need that bit. And it is uncomfortable to say that we don’t know how this works, but I want to be open to new ideas. I have been doing Specialized Kinesiology sessions for the last 12 years, mostly without stacking in the way that I have been taught and have had good success. I have experimented occasionally with doing one ‘proper’ session and then one ‘lazy’ one back to back and I can’t see a difference at all.
I’m expecting to take a bit of heat for this one, but I want to hear from you anyways! And I am interested in hearing if you have a way of proving how stacking works that I haven’t heard of before. Note; I don’t want proof that it does work – we all know that we hold information while we are in session and can add bits of it together to come up with something cohesive. That’s not what is in doubt. What I am curious about is the mechanism that allows this to happen. Thinking that we know how this works has kept us from looking into it more closely in the last decade with new information that we have available. Maybe it is time to open this up for discussion again.