Healing for Adults with Learning Disability.

Working-with-Client-1EMPOWERING THE CLIENT

Orthodox symptom focused therapy that endeavours to address impaired communication and social interaction, will not be effective in the long term, unless the feelings of the client and their support team are acknowledged, accepted and prioritised.  Initially, as a speech and language therapist and later as principal and senior tutor therapist of the Academy of Spiritual Sciences, I discovered the importance of offering disadvantaged adults a plethora of positive creative choices.  This offered  a different experience which impacted positively on every aspect of their life.

MEMORY AND PERCEPTION

Unreleased negative memory from past experience is held within our cells and within the subtle energetic field (aura) which envelops and nourishes the physical body.  These memories are continually being triggered and reinforced by events and interactions in everyday life and this ‘kick starts’ automatic behavioural response. Our view of the world is restricted by our beliefs which are influenced and shaped by earlier experience which is unrelated to current circumstances.  This can skew our perception of the world.  We all make  choices which are dependent on what we perceive to be true. In order to choose and respond differently, we must make a conscious effort to re evaluate our current circumstances and respond in a way that is not sub consciously programmed by past events.  Easier said than done!

Adults with a learning disability are often at the receiving end of failed communication and stressful situations. Repetitive negative experience  undermines our ability to process our thoughts and make appropriate decisions and choices.  For someone with a learning disability,  social interactions with figures of authority can be stressful and emotionally overwhelming. As a result, the individual may be caught in a loop of triggered negative,repetitive behaviour. Healing can only take place if stress levels are reduced to allow unhelpful and often painful memories of past experience to dissolve and be replaced by new positive experiences and outcomes.

 Limited cognitive capacity may leave a child or adult emotionally scarred and traumatised by life events.  Research demonstrates that emotional wounds and trauma seriously damage the neurological pathways of the brain.  The memory of negative experience  held within the electromagnetic (auric) field and cellular body interrupts energetic flow. This may eventually manifest in physical symptoms of dis- order and dis-ease eg. impaired communication and challenging behaviour.

To restore harmonious flow, a process of safe and effective energetic release is required. This shift begins to alter the individual’s perception of the world around them and changes their view of those who inhabit their immediate environment. With patience, kindness and cooperation confidence is restored .  Here are some ideas that will help:

CREATE A HARMONIOUS AND PEACEFUL ENVIRONMENT TO REDUCE STRESS LEVELS

Introduce plants and fresh flowers to provide healing energy and to oxygenate the room. Provide cupboards and reduce clutter to allow air to circulate. Pay attention to the use of colour and fabrics to create a peaceful space.  Use blocks of calming colours rather than patterned fabric which may overstimulate and cause anxiety. Introduce head and shoulder massage and holistic reflexology where touch is used appropriately.  Introduce fresh flowers because each flower has its own healing signature fragrance. Eliminate silk and dried flowers which emit no beneficial energy and collect dust. Allow the individual to make their own choices.

A client enjoying a session of reflexology

A client enjoying a session of reflexology

USE OF MUSIC

Music can touch our hearts when words fail. Appropriate music allows healing to take place by altering the vibrational field within the room . It can reduce the debilitating effect of a potentially stressful environment and in early childhood, melodious music reduces the impact of colds and ear infections during the process of language acquisition. See research in Sensory Rainbow

Through music the senses are heightened and the ability to receive via the senses is enhanced. To allow memory to release in this way, we need to establish musical association to positive experience and also individual preference, so that we can take the individual on an enjoyable musical journey. Offer a choice of popular; romantic, classical, spiritual, folk, gospel etc until a choice is established. Remember that this may change according to mood. Music is a simple, safe and effective way of enabling the individual to release memory held within the auric field and the physical body. If the individual is severely disabled, take the time to hone your observational skills and watch, wait and listen for preference to be indicated through body language, eye movement, facial expression and vocalisation.

CDs are available at Musical Apothecary

OFFERING A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE

Pressure to learn new vocabulary and concepts will impact on an adult’s way of communicating, often causing distress and withdrawal from interaction. Patterns of failure and low self esteem may be compounded. It is important therefore to provide positive creative experiences to replace the familiar, unhappy, daily feelings of lack of control, lack of confidence, isolation, loneliness and abandonment, all of which impede positive interaction.  Shared enjoyable  experiences enable the adult to make informed choices and indicate preference. Remember that he or she will have no idea of choice unless allowed and encouraged to experience other options.

MIRRORING SYMPTOMS

Adults with a learning disability mirror the anxiety of their carer’s and vice versa. This anxiety may manifest as illness and stress related problems. For example bowel complaints, irritable bowel and constipation are the manifestation of the emotional holding of loss and compounded by fear patterns.

Making one of the Rainbow Chakra Tones with a client.

Making one of the Rainbow Chakra Tones with a client.

Holistic approaches are instrumental in the process of release, which can be facilitated through healing with the voice (toning) and sensory stimulation, manifesting as light, colour, touch, sound and fragrance.

The Emerald Alignment

The Emerald Alignment can be incorporated into individual care plans within Residential Centres and Care Homes. If practised on a daily basis by clients and carers alike, this alignment method aids relaxation and stabilises emotional responses. The alignment process lessens attachment to addictive behaviour by strengthening and sealing the subtle energetic (auric) field. This helps to prevent unhealthy relationships, characterised by co-dependency and a blurring of boundaries on both sides.

Experience as a clinician and holistic therapist has taught me that therapy which focuses on the creative, intuitive aspects of the brain, begins to restore left brain damage and in the process aids thought processing and verbal interaction. I have written extensively about my client work through published  research , blogs and training manuals.

POSITIVE OUTCOMES

Documented positive outcomes of holistic healing offered over a twelve month period within an NHS setting demonstrated that clients became generally more communicative, with increased verbal response and vocabulary. Where expressive language was impaired, clients began to use descriptive words.  They were more able to talk about their experiences and processing and expressing their thoughts and feelings improved.  This led to fewer emotional outbursts. Sleep improved and medication was reduced as a willingness to interact improved family relationships. Clients became less isolated as family visits increased. Toning reduced tension in the bowel area, alleviating bowel problems and constipation for both clients and carers.

The Rainbow Chakra Tones manual teaches a system of eight chakra tones linking to  specific anatomical areas of the body. Jennifer offers online training for those wishing to integrate toning into their work with adults with learning disabilities and children with special needs