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Health Corner
By Julene Tripp Weaver

Continuum Movement

Since 1988 I have been a student of Continuum movement. I have studied with both the founder of Continuum, Emilie Conrad Da'oud, and with Susan Harper. Emilie has developed Continuum over the past thirty years. Susan Harper has worked in collaboration with Emilie for more than twenty years. Continuum is a form of movement work that evolved from Emilie's background as a dancer. When I lived in New York I began to explore a variety of bodywork and energetic systems: Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, modern dance, yoga, hands on healing, Polarity Therapy, karate, and rolfing. In my experimentation I found Continuum and my cells fell in love.

Continuum is an inquiry into our body and it allows our body to express itself as a biological organism. It is the use of breath to soften muscles and tissues; it is the use of sound to experience our bones as tuning forks and to liquefy our bones; it is the use of slow micro movements that ride the sound waves in the air; it is the ability to expand our neural sensibilities and return to an infant-like state not yet grounded in gravity. Within the waves and whispers that is Continuum we listen to new internal ques and allow ourselves to go deeper. It is amazing what one finds. The first time I did Continuum in New York City in 1988 my only explanation was that time stopped. I went so deeply inside my body that the lapse of time that had passed seemed impossible. How could a whole day have disappeared? I was immersed in my sensations. I came in and out of consciousness; I was in an altered place.

My first experience with Continuum changed my life and I knew I had to do more of this work. Within two years of that workshop I had relocated from New York city to Seattle. Spending this first five days immersed in the cells of my body through Continuum movement shifted something deep inside of me. I was able to take a step I had only glimpsed until then. Continuum touched my soul and rearranged my priorities.

When I got to my second Continuum intensive I was living in Seattle, I had finished my Masters degree and I was long overdue for another intensive. I spent seven days with Emilie on Gabriola Island in British Columbia. Continuum had evolved since my first intensive. I was amazed at the new teachings. My body craved this deep intrinsic body work and soaked it up. There was a woman at this intensive with her newborn baby, and the group was able to witness first-hand an infant in relationship to gravity, the constant movement, the subtle movements of a child who has just landed on this planet. Our muscles and our bones form in relationship to gravity, our brain loves patterns and as we grove into the patterns we get more and more set in our ways. A baby is born with many sensory neural passageways, as adults we can go back to this early state, change our relationship to gravity and help find new ways of being in the world by expanding our neural passageways, we can expand our creativity.

Continuum is about the fact that life is movement, movement is not a part of life, life is movement. Bacteria, viruses, cells, are all movement. Continuum movement facilitates healing because it helps our cells communicate better with each other. During Continuum the use of many breaths, many sounds, and many movements all contribute to our intercellular communication patterns. Communication of one cell to another is vital for our immune system, which needs to keep in contact within itself, as well as with the hormonal and nervous systems. In Continuum breaths are layered, movement is never patterned or routine, which ensures we stay present. With this movement we do not get stuck in repetitious movements. We listen inward and we can honor our bodies innate wisdom.

Repetitious movement that is common in our everyday life such as walking, bicycling, weight lifting all are easy to disassociate from. Think of people on treadmills watching TV. They are not in their bodies, they are exercising yes, but they are also forcing their body into a contrived situation and they are not even present or attending to what may be going on internally. Using a variety of movement, breaths, and sounds while listening into our body and going into forms our body calls us into is a mutual process that is healing. In Continuum breaths and sounds are used to help access inner movement, eventually you go into what is called open attention. As you lie in open attention you listen and feel the vibrations and fluid movement inside you. Pulses, waves, and whispers reverberate through you, growing deeper the more you continue this work. The body responds, unfolds, explores, and reexperiences the way a baby moves, and this process is healing.

I finally went to Emilie and Rebecca Mark's Poetry In Motion intensive which combines Continuum and writing. As a writer it had been a long term goal to attend this particular intensive. I was very moved by the integration of the movement and the powerful writing that emerged from everyone in the group. Writing from a body-centered space was very different from any other writing I had experienced. Body centered writing slows one way down, helping the process of listening to the open spaces in the body. Potential space is created in our body where molecules can expand, the environment we live in can begin to be perceived as a support. This combined with the nurturing our internal organic biological being and then writing from that nurtured body is a very powerful experience. I have begun teaching workshops based on this work called Muse To Write.

I offer my Muse To Write workshop where there is interest. Come breathe, sound, move and write with me. I believe it will nurture your soul and be a healing experience.