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Brugh Joy and Ida Rolf: energy work

I just got back from a 4 day class on structural cranial work with Jim Asher, Ph.D., an advanced Rolfing teacher with the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration, a structural cranial therapist with the Colorado Cranial Institute, and an early student and teacher of Ida Rolf’s work.

He showed some videos of Ida Rolf working, and talked a bit about the advanced-advanced class that she and Brugh Joy taught together, which Jim assisted.

Certainly, energy work wasn’t the only topic of conversation for Brugh Joy, M.D., and Ida Rolf, Ph.D.

The talk and doing of it was certainly fascinating for both of them, though.

This particular one of Jim’s remembered events with Brugh Joy was arranged by Ida Rolf for the advanced Rolfing practitioners and occurred in 1978 in California.  Several Rolfers who had taken the advanced Rolfing training came together for this 6 day course,  which opened with 3 days of exploring and practicing chakra balancing with Brugh Joy, and finished with 3 days of considering and practicing the advanced Rolfing series in the light of that work.

Besides physical manipulation of the system, basically the opening and closing and plumping up of the system, Brugh Joy also believed that certain pitches or sounds could make an impression on the chakra system. He was an expert meditator, including meditations on the various chakras with music during the meditation, and chanting during the meditation.

I think this was a pretty bold move by 2 scientists.  The regular world was  just getting used to the discovery of Beck’s use of the defibrillator to start the “open” heart (1947) and the first use of a defibrillator to start the heart without cracking open the chest (1956).

So, the idea of the chakra system of bioelectric energy was (and still is in some circles) “out there”.  As usual, California and Esalen were leading the esoteric pack.  In this idea of melding a very concrete work (as it was then being described for the public by Ida Rolf ) with a  very non-concrete work, there was seemingly a big chance being taken by Ida Rolf, the always curious.

However, both Ida Rolf and Brugh Joy knew that earlier in the ’60’s the Menninger Foundation in Topeka Kansas had begun to study Swami Rama and his ability with processes thought to be involuntary, such as the rate of the heart, in a very controlled medical environment.

This made their explorations of Indian (the continent!) studies less risky, especially in the climate of Esalen; their early leadership broke ground for many ideas which are taken for granted today, but that still could use some serious study.

The following link courtesy of Google shows hundreds of artistic images of the chakra system, including some which show which pitches or colors benefit which chakras.

Have you had experience with the chakra system?  Please share, if you care to….

This Post Has 2 Comments
    1. Hi Sonia! Nope, was not familiar with the art of Alex Grey.
      There are some beautiful things there. The idea of a chapel with the art is kind of interesting, a religious ecumenity.

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