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Brief introduction to SHEN

SHEN Therapy® is a somatic (body) oriented therapy. It is a powerfully effective, yet surprisingly gentle, hands-on method of relieving bodily tension and healing old, deep seated emotional wounds. It is also successful in healing physical ailments, which have a emotional component.

During a SHEN session you lie fully clothed on a SHEN cradle which is supported beneath by a massage table. The cradle enables me to place my hands above, to the side of and below the body as needed. SHEN involves non intrusive, safe, very light touch.

Brief introduction to SHEN

SHEN Therapy® is a somatic (body) oriented therapy. It is a powerfully effective, yet surprisingly gentle, hands-on method of relieving bodily tension and healing old, deep seated emotional wounds. It is also successful in healing physical ailments, which have a emotional component.

During a SHEN session you lie fully clothed on a SHEN cradle which is supported beneath by a massage table. The cradle enables me to place my hands above, to the side of and below the body as needed. SHEN involves non intrusive, safe, very light touch.

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SHEN has proven very effective with a wide range of symptoms including: anger, anxiety, blocked sexual feelings, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, depression, eating disorders, existential angst, emotional/physical abuse, grief, relationship difficulties, Irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual distress, migraine, recurrent nightmares and panic attacks.

As the legacy of long held emotional pain in the body clears, clients report that positive qualities shine through more brightly. You can feel more empowered. New insights come, self-esteem and confidence improves and creative energies are freed up. With less fear and inhibition, people also report feeling more compassionate both towards themselves and to others.

Shen Therapy Session

SHEN was developed by the American scientist and researcher Richard R Pavek. Over a 12 year period from the late seventies, Richard worked out the physics of the Biofield (see below).

From his observations in the clinic and in life, Richard developed the principles of emotional dynamics and emotional release that form the basis of SHEN practice.

Historically, methods similar to SHEN were used long ago, both in the Greek Healing Caves of Aesculapius and in the Egyptian Per Ankhs, or houses of life.

Richard R Pavek
Shen Diagram

The Biofield

SHEN restores the natural, healthy flow of the body’s biofield. Biofield is the widely used term to describe the subtle flows of electromagnetic energy that run through and around the body. These flows of energy run in a particular pattern. The main function of SHEN is on inner emotional healing. As disruption to the biofield also affects body tissue it can also help physical illnesses that have a emotional element. Relieving daily stresses, tension and fatigue is another positive bi-product of SHEN.

There is a growing body of scientific research that shows the human body is pervaded by a subtle energy field which extends beyond it. This field is an electromagnetic field – atoms and molecules are surrounded by such fields. These fields combine into a large biofield, just as individual fields around atoms and molecules of iron combine to form the larger magnetic field of a magnet.

The idea that there are subtle energy flows in the body is not new. Many eastern therapies with this perspective, like acupuncture, can be traced back thousands of years. SHEN therapy is among the first of such therapies to have a background in modern scientific research and reasoning. The energy in the biofield is known in other therapies as Qi, prana, life force or subtle energy. For SHEN to be effective it is not necessary to understand or even believe in the biofield.

How SHEN works

The biofield circulates in specific patterns around the human body.  In a healthy and happy person, the energy flows relatively freely. In an ill or upset person, the energy in certain parts of the body will appear to move slowly or sometimes not at all. This slowing or blocking of energy flow eventually impacts the physical body. The electromagnetic field around the body is its life force, and the physical and emotional health of the body deteriorates when this field is not moving freely.

SHEN aims to ensure that slowness or blockages in the biofield are freed. This is done by the therapist placing their hands in precise areas of the body which coincide with the direction of the flows in the human biofield. By aiding the healthy flow of the biofield in this way, stagnancy and blockages are released.

There is a strong link between emotional upset or trauma and blocks in the biofield. Often when blocks are released during SHEN, this releasing is accompanied by memories of events which are linked to these emotions. Often these are events which caused emotional trauma in the past and the effects of these events have continued to stay with the person. For example, a person can carry a lot of fear, anger or feelings of insecurity from earlier experience in life. Once the block is cleared, people report that they no longer carry the effects of the trauma with them.

Link between Tension and blockages

Richard Pavek discovered that painful emotion – such as fear, grief, or hopelessness – trigger the Auto Contractile Pain Reflex (ACPR), an instinctive spasm intended to stop tissue damage from broken bones These emotion-contractions grip and upset the heart, stomach and/or other nearby organs. Since the brain has no control over spasmodic contractions, they continue to upset the body for as long as the emotional pain continues – often for many years.

The contractions caused by ACPR squeeze the tissue of the organs, restricting the flow of blood and other cellular nutrients and prevent the removal of waste metabolites; this prevents the organs from functioning normally. The contractions will continue squeezing as long as the painful emotion remains inside. When the painful emotion leaves, the contractions will end, and the organs will regain normal functioning.

In SHEN, we selectively apply polarized ‘qi-energy’ between our hands in specific patterns that ease the involuntary contractions which trap the emotions. SHEN procedures counteract ACPR, relax the body tension around emotional pain, and allow the emotion to surface.

Shen Diagram

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