Sometimes you have to be dangerously close to a problem to see the solution. Chris Smith understands this. A survivor of abuse as a child, Smith found bodywork to be a bastion in uneasy waters as she began seeking means for self-care as an adult.
As a survivor of torture I know how wounds of violation can live in the body and the mind. My recovery included bodywork, and so I know both its assets and liabilities in resolving shock of this magnitude. I am now both a practitioner and a teacher of somatic therapies for survivors, which has added substantially to my perspective on what it takes to rebuild one’s life from the pyres of hatred.
Renee was 4 1/2 years old when she walked stiff-legged into my office. She was born with arthrogryposis, a congenital disease where the elbows and knees can’t bend, and the feet are often malformed. Renee had a milder form of arthrogryposis so that her arms moved, but her knees wouldn’t bend. People with arthrogryposis have difficulty with simple tasks like brushing their teeth or combing their hair. They have difficulty with walking because of foot placement. Not being able to bend the knee makes climbing, jumping or running difficult. But Renee loved to dance.