The healing world lost two luminaries in 2012 - John Upledger and Gabrielle Roth. Dr. John was an osteopath who created a set of techniques known as CranioSacral Therapy, and Gabrielle developed a language of movement called The 5Rhythms®. Both were concerned with enhancing the movement of life within our bodies. Our bodies are both matter and energy, physical and fluid; the energy moves the fluid and the fluid moves the physical, which creates energy. This dance of movement from matter to energy and energy to matter is constantly happening in every cell of our body. It is at this “edge” that we work in healing, whether for ourselves or for others.
Dr. John came from a lineage of osteopaths who supported health for their patients by freeing restrictions that inhibit movement of the body. After researching cranial bone motion, he identified the dural pulse of the cerebral-spinal fluid that bathes our central nervous system from head (brain) to tail (sacrum.) This fluid sac, carrying approximately 2 cups of fluid, is completely enclosed and deep within our body. He brought about healing by sensing into the “pulse” of this fluid and removing hindrances thru subtle (energetic) touch. His teaching career started when he showed parents how to treat their children; he eventually worked with children, dolphins, and veterans, as well as training healthcare practitioners. A close colleague described him this way: “he had a huge heart, and was extremely inquisitive… he strongly encouraged us to trust what the body is saying.”
Dr. John founded The Upledger Institute in 1985 to continue advancing and training others in CranioSacral Therapy. He continued to do research and treat people at the Upledger Clinic. He is the author of eight books, including “Your Inner Physician.” Other books he wrote detail the application of CranioSacral Therapy and SomatoEmotional Release.
Gabrielle was a triple threat Priestess - a dancer, recording artist, and theatrical producer. Unable to continue her dance career because of an injury, she was inspired by Fritz Perls at Esalen to create "a way to become conscious through dance." In this period she developed the “Wave” of the 5Rhythms®, a movement practice which incorporates the rhythms of flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. A self-styled urban shaman, her 5Rhythms® has been called an ecstatic trance dance, a characterization which was furthered by the percussive tribal music she did with her band “The Mirrors.” Gabrielle was a dramatic figure, tall and long-limbed with an intelligent face. She taught me an appreciation of how we can use movement to bring up and release emotions, and use emotions to liberate our physical expression. The unconscious comes forward to be transformed and released in unstructured, spontaneous, honest movement.
Gabrielle Roth wrote “Sweat Your Prayers” plus two other books, started Raven Recording to produce 20 albums (I recommend “Endless Wave”) and left behind a theatre group, a non-profit outreach organization, and The Moving Center, which trains 5Rhythms® teachers and holds workshops and classes.
- Bear McKay