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Erfahrungsberichte ...

A way of healing

by Robert Weston
© 2009 My work with Arthur Munyer

The emotional body is the home of our feelings. According to Arthur, there are actually only five feelings: love, joy, sadness, fear, and anger. All of the others are subspecies or aspects of these five. He claims that we are in one of these emotional states or in a combination of them at all times. A suitable answer to the question “How are you feeling?” Would be: “I feel a lot of love and a little sadness.” Or: “I'm feeling a lot of anger right now.” Or: “I'm really sad.” Or:  "I'm afraid of ..." Or hopefully:  “I'm feeling joy right now.” Of course, we usually prefer the usual “I'm fine. How are you? ”To answer.

Love is a feeling of joy and attraction to someone or something. Sometimes there is also gratitude and maybe something of "longing" in love. Desire, lust is an elementary manifestation of love. It is clearly a positive feeling, a life-affirming state, even if it is possible to become a "love junkie" or co-dependent. It is related to joy, which is ultimately a simple expression of enthusiasm or joy in someone, something, or life itself.  Grief, on the other hand, ranges from despair and depression on the one hand to a heartfelt reaction to a situation, a story, a song that touches us with its tragedy or pain.

Anger is a stormy energy triggered by situations that we find unfair or irritating. It can be healthy and motivating or can become morbid when it takes the form of hatred, prejudice, and vindictiveness  expresses. Anxiety is something that eats us up in the form of worry, panic attacks and free flowing  Trouble leads and turns us into cowards and weaklings. In its positive form, it is used for caution.

The mental body is the home of our stories and the source of our choices. It is the place of analysis and discussion. Most of us are more comfortable in this body than in the others. We like to talk endlessly about our opinions, experiences, hopes, desires, plans and disasters. Psychotherapy is often only concerned with this body, as it has the impression that understanding something is synonymous with healing. According to Arthur, that's not necessarily the case. He points out how easy it is for us to get stuck in our own soap operas and life dramas and  how the repeated telling of a story can create a little relief, but can also lead to the trauma intensifying, unless it comes to profound energetic discharges. Arthur insists that in our mental body we can make decisions that affect the way we are. It is the place where we exercise control over our use of language, whether it is talking to ourselves or a conversation. Reversing the negative, critical, derogatory types of internal conversations can profoundly change our experience. Responsibility for our statements through the use of the  Taking over the word “I” instead of projections and accusations can lead one into one's own strength. “I want or want you” instead of “you should”, or  "I'm angry" instead of "You make me angry."

The spiritual body is the place where we experience blessings, cosmic love or agape, peace and enlightenment. It is the landscape of our respective religious and spiritual practices and obligations. It can be a place of dogma and fundamentalism or the place of weird phrases of popular spirituality. In its most perfect form, the spiritual body is an experience of presence, awareness in the now, and unbound love.

Ultimately, according to the Munyer Method ™, the point is that  in a "natural", undamaged state, energy free at all times  flows into and through the four bodies.  However, when trauma occurs, the energy in one or more of the bodies is contracted. We're stuck. We are stuck physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually - usually in all areas. So we cannot be healed. We are not recovering from the "ropes and traps of fate unleashed" about which Hamlet complained so bitterly, about which we all know more or less well. Symptoms that occur are: stiff neck, depression, indecision, despair, migraines, diabetes, cancer, addictions, those after prescribed medication or others that are supposed to drive away the pain. What it takes is a way to reach the condensed energy, whatever body it resides in, to free it and allow it to discharge and express itself. Hence: the Munyer Method ™.

The method is a unique integration of forms of therapy and applications, ranging from Hatha Yoga, Esalen® Massage, Deep Tissue Work, Trigger Point Massage, Feldenkrais and the Alexander Method to Gestalt Psychology (Fritz Perls), Somatic Experiencing® (Peter Levine), meditation and awareness exercises enough. The method is embedded in the methods of Shivananda Yoga and the spiritual teachings of various traditions, which are profoundly expressed in the work of Eckhart Tolle. It's a method that has been created over 30 years.

Arthur's somatic work comes largely from Peter Levine's work on trauma healing. Basically, Levine was watching how animals behave in relation to traumatic experiences - a gazelle that has been attacked by a lion or tiger but has escaped, goes to a secluded spot and "shakes itself" to get the adrenaline that was going on during of the attack was poured out, discharged from the body. Humans don't do that - or at least we have a tendency to quiver, scream, cry, or otherwise “discharge” the trauma, to suppress any urge. And, Levine argues, we carry the trauma in our bodies. It manifests itself in the form of pain or stiffness or, in severe chronic cases, an illness that is mental, emotional, or physical. Somatic trauma healing, as described and taught by Levine, allows the body to show its trauma and gives it the opportunity to release the stored bundled energies through different types of discharge. Discharge can be subtle - body heat, sigh of relief, muscle tremor, belching, yawning - or it can be more dramatic, such as B. crying, rocking, screaming, etc.

Arthur combined Levine's ideas with his own spiritual work and body work. He is increasingly working without physiology-related techniques while trying to lead the client into areas of congested emotional or spiritual energies. If a specific location of the physical body is pointed out, practical body work can also follow after the discussion session.

The following is an account of my work with Arthur over a period of over a year. I visited Arthur every two weeks on average at that time. Each session was unique, but each followed the pattern I described above. The sessions that I describe below are representative of the work that we have done and the results that we have achieved with the "Munyer Method".


When I first came to Arthur, as I mentioned earlier, I was simply looking for a way to relieve my neck pain. I have treated this pain for some time with the help of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements (SAMe, glucosamine, MSM, etc.). In the eight years since I first felt the pain, I have tried a variety of remedies.

At the time I was in Australia and was driving on the "wrong" side of the road. (Notice how right-centered I am: the steering wheel on the right side of the car and the convention of driving on the left side of the road have turned into a moral judgment. Everyone whose car has a steering wheel on the right side and is driving on the left side of the road kind of "wrong.") Turning my head in a different direction to look over my shoulder before getting into traffic or backing up as I'd been doing for 45 years was not just a mental adjustment, it required one significant reprogramming of my body. Unfortunately, I found that I couldn't turn my head very far in the opposite direction without feeling extreme stiffness and acute pain.  My neck was stiff. I'm not saying my neck has stiffened because I've been driving on the right side of the road for 45 years. I'm just saying that when I had to turn my body the other way, he couldn't handle it. And so I went to "fix" the problem.

I started "Physiotherapy" in Australia. In Australia, physiotherapy mostly consists of what is known as TENs treatment. This involves electrical stimulation of contracted muscles to induce relaxation. In some cases it works and makes sense: the muscle is stimulated by electrical charges that fire the muscle nerves. This causes the muscle to contract and relax. It can be assumed that this process loosens the tense tissue in order to relieve muscle spasms or tension, but I have no idea why it should do that.

In either case, it has caused a minor, temporary decrease in stiffness. However, it didn't really loosen the stranglehold that lay over my shoulders and neck muscles from my neck. I've tried other things as well. I put orthopedic insoles in my shoes to compensate for the imbalance in order to induce a change in my neck. I worked with an American chiropractor who adjusted my neck and gave me a 12 pound ball to hang around my neck while hanging my head from the end of a table with a foam roller under my neck. This should restore the neck's natural curve. Then there was Chinese massage. Part of it was an energetic Chinese doctor who climbed onto my back and buried his elbows deep in my muscles. Not screaming took all of my willpower. Aromatherapy was a far gentler treatment. Indian cupping, acupuncture and the occasional yoga class followed.

During the entire time I was throwing in about 600 mg ibuprofen per day and kept driving around tense, flying all over the world with a heavy computer hanging over my right shoulder.

Five years later I was back in the USA, my neck not a bit slacker, but now I was driving on the “right” side of the road again. The pain had now become chronic and now that I was retired and had more time,  pay more attention to finding a solution. Again I went to the usual suspects: acupuncture, deep tissue massage, chiropractors. At times there were signs of relaxation. The treatments were quite pleasant. The users were all professional, affectionate and caring. But a few hours after the treatment, at best a day later, the restriction of my neck and the pain were back. It now pulled itself from the right side of the neck, over the upper back and up over the  Strands of muscle between the shoulders. I also struggled with depression. The transition to retirement did not go so well.

I had started a massage course at the local massage school, the Monterey Institute of Touch, in Carmel Valley. I was considering becoming a certified massage therapist, but my right hand and arm were slowly losing their functionality due to an advanced case of Dupuytren's contracture and a type of bursitis. When I asked about a trigger point specialist - not that I knew exactly what trigger points were - I called the institute and asked for a recommendation. They gave me Arthur Munyer's name and phone number. Arthur had apparently taught for MIT in the past. He lived, I was told, in Carmel, minutes from my home in Pacific Grove.


During our sessions Arthur was dressed in loose cotton clothing and wore a yogi prayer chain around his neck. He was sitting barefoot on a sheepskin draped over his chair. I sat across from him. His hair was gray at the temples and flowed back over his forehead. His features were pleasant and obnoxious. The room in which we sat was sunny and filled with all sorts of paraphernalia - stones, Buddha statues, small fountains, pictures of yogis, drawings of chakras, crystals and sound glasses and singing bowls. The smell of Namchampa incense seemed to permeate everything.

Arthur was alive, quick witted, a bit like a friendly goblin would be imagined. We quickly got in touch. He seemed comfortable with me and I felt comfortable with him. As already mentioned, we talked  us the entire first session, lasting over an hour. I didn't think that was that great at first, but he said he had occasionally worked with people and had a "discharge",  without physical touch,  can evoke. At the time, I didn't see how he could do that. Over the next year, during which we met 20 to 25 times, I began to get to know and appreciate the Munyer method better.

It soon became clear that my neck problem was more of a "reference" than of organic origin. The tension in my neck, in my shoulder muscles and the connecting muscles in the middle and lower areas of the back were my body reactions to "trauma". The only way, according to Arthur, to permanently relax these muscles was to go to where the trauma originated - in one of my 4 bodies - and free it there. But Arthur didn't mean to go into the story of my trauma. A renewed enumeration of all events and circumstances that were traumatic  (painful, scary, stressful) would only increase the likelihood of triggering it again and exacerbating the original trauma. What Arthur wanted was to locate where the trauma was now and allow it to release. This was necessarily a gentle, non-violent, and non-invasive search and release process. Otherwise any effort to treat the trauma would meet with resistance so that it would not help the body to heal itself.

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