January 1, 2011

HealingHeartPower Newsletter

Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue
Couplehood As a Spiritual Path
Sugar Addiction
Join Our Mailing List!
About Linda
Me and Flora

Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades.

Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 14-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda . . .

HealingHeartPower Calendar
Would you like to learn how to do Emotional Kinesthetic Psychotherapy

Applications are being accepted for the 2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship group meets once a month for a weekend training session beginning in September 2010. For more information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com or call Linda at (617)965-7846.

If you would like to apprentice in EKP and get involved before January, you may want to consider participating in a half-day EKP workshop or a special seminar for current apprentices.

The Sunday night EKP Therapy Group has room for new members. If you would like to be part of a committed long-term group using EKP, this is a very special group. An interview and one EKP session are required to apply. Contact Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com

Sunday Night EKP Therapy Group
seeks new members
6 - 8 pm
 Newton, MA

January 23rd
Community As Healer
 1/2 day workshop
1 pm - 4 pm
 in Newton, MA

February 16th
Healing and Nourishing Your Heart
Emerson Hospital
Concord, MA
EKP Apprenticeship Program begins 

If you are interested in being part of an on-going EKP group that meets once a month, let me know. We had run a Sunday EKP Process group for many years, and could consider forming another one, if there is interest. Whether your schedule is too busy for a weekly group, or you live far enough away that a monthly session is more sustainable, if a monthly group would best meet your needs, we can try to put one together.

EKP opportunities in Newton include:
* Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
* Apprenticing in EKP

If you would like a Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop near you, or have a group of people who you would like to bring EKP to, please contact LSMHEART@aol.com.

To find out more . . .
Special workshop on Making Peace With Money
 More details to follow soon

The beginning of a New Year is a time many people look ahead and think about their vision for the coming year.
A vision that has been growing within my heart, is developing a team of heart-centered healers who help bring "Community As Healer" experiences out into the community, where people need them.

Our EKP Community Clinics are very meaningful.  However, I feel myself called more and more to help pass on the tools to create safe healing space in the larger world, and to help empower people to literally, "lend a helping hand."

If you have an organization, community group, school or other situation where members might be interested in learning these skills, please let me know.

The long-standing Thursday night EKP group is now transforming into a Sunday night EKP group beginning on January 9.  The group will meet from 6 - 8 pm in Newton, and we have room for a couple new members.  The group is a wonderful way to do deep healing work in a safe, community space, and work on vision and goals as well.

This winter, I look forward to leading two workshops in Emerson Hospital's innovative Health and Wellness Program.   "Healing and Nourishing Your Heart:  The Physical-Emotional Connection," will take place on February 16.  The date for "Understanding Your Child's Emotional and Spiritual Needs" is still being set.
January 23 will be a, Community As Healer half-day workshop in Newton.  This workshop provides an opportunity to explore and experience what is involved in literally lending a helping hand.

 I have created a new blog at HealingHeartPower.blogspot.com. Sign up for new posts and please add your thoughts to discussion threads.
Articles in this issue include "Couplehood As a Spiritual Path" exploring how heartfelt communication is both a form of meditation and contributor to a sense of emotional coherence and "Sugar Addiction," a more invisible and less talked about addiction than alcohol or other substances, but a powerful addiction, nonetheless.

You can also "like us" on our HealingHeartPower  Facebook page. By "liking us", you will be notified whenever a new blog post is published.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!



What is EKP?
EKP is Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, a heart-centered, body-centered psychotherapy method Linda Marks developed and has taught and practiced for nearly twenty years. Working with the heart, touch with permission, the wisdom of the body and the intuitive guidance of the spirit, EKP creates a special sense of intimacy that deeply touches and transforms most all who participate.

Participants can be "client," witness or helper as an individual group member has a "turn" to do deeper heart-centered, body-centered psychospiritual work in the center. Since the electromagnetic field of the heart extends out 10 - 12 feet from our bodies, as we go deeper and open our hearts, we are all touched.

EKP helps restore our capacity as organs of perception. The skin is our largest organ, and a source of soul deep knowing, perception and expression. When our hearts and hands can work as one, we move beyond defenses safely and respectfully and find freedom, connection and expression.
Couplehood As a Spiritual Path

  Many years ago a client gave me a powerful quote that has been posted on the walls of my writer's cave.  The paper is now yellowed with age, but the message remains fresh, powerful and true:


"To 'listen' another's soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another."


                           --Douglas Steere, From Gleanings: A Random Harvest


Being listened to, really listened to, is a basic human need.  Having a caring listener, who is emotionally invested in hearing how it is to be who we are, and who can share and follow us in our life's journey over time is empowering, healing, validating and nourishing.


Being able to truly speak and listen from the heart to the heart, allows for much deeper feelings, thoughts and experiences to emerge and be felt and spoken.  This kind of listening space is very sacred and provides a kind of relational heart meditation for both the speaker and the listener.


When we are in a relationship that is meant to last the test of time, and provide a structure for companionship and connection over the course of our lives, developing the ability to speak and listen from the heart can allow both the relationship and the individuals who comprise it to develop emotionally and spiritually.  In this sense, couplehood can become a spiritual path, if both members of the couple choose to envision and engage in communication from this special, deeper place.


In an interview published in the Ericksonian Newsletter (Volume 29, No. 3), relationship author Harville Hendrix notes, "When we ask listening partners to quiet their minds and focus on the messages of the partner who is sending, they not only listen more accurately and deeply but they become more peaceful inside.  They refer to this as being more centered similar to what is described by people who meditate."


In EKP couple therapy, when I invite a couple to slow down, get grounded, take some deep breathes and begin to speak and listen from the heart, I witness a sacred safety and co-holding that allows both people to go much deeper within themselves and express much more deeply with one another.  Heart to heart communication not only enhances emotional connection between the partners in the here and now, but also allows a space of healing to develop,in  which past hurts, traumas, disappointments and misunderstandings can be released, rectified and processed in the here and now.


Hendrix explains, "When this happens, emotional memories, that have been housed in the amygdala are translated into words and relocated in the hippocampus--thus putting the past in the past.  This process integrates alienated and isolated aspects into the self, thus contributing to the recovery of wholeness, which is another aspect of healing that is both spiritual and psychological at the same time."


In this sense, couplehood, can be a spiritual path, and as Hendrix reflects, "dialogue is a spiritual practice."  If those of us who share our lives with a partner appreciate this possibility and develop the skills and awareness to slow down, take time and space and speak and listen from the heart regularly with our partners, the quality of both our lives and relationships can increase tremendously.


There is truly no need for fighting, reacting out of old triggers, and "othering" a loved one.  If we can only taste the possibility of emotionally safe, grounded, heartfelt relating, our relationships can become more meaningful and less limiting or entrapping.


Copyright 2010 Linda Marks

Sugar Addiction

When thinking of "addiction" or "chemical dependency," substances like alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, pain killers and other "drugs," come to mind.  Rarely do we think of the food we eat as chemical compound.  And while we might classify foods as "healthy" or "junk," we may not think about the possibility of an unhealthy food to create an addiction or emotional or chemical dependency that can undermine and even jeopardize our health in powerful ways.

While we may think to limit sugar consumption for reasons of weight and calories, becoming aware of the biochemical impact of sugar on our physiology and psychology is important.  Sugar is often considered one of the "comfort foods," we turn to when we want to "feel good," and sweets are often referred to as "treats," a way to reward ourselves with something special. 

One reason sugar may have such a strong pull on our moods and emotions is that sweets may impact our biochemistry in ways that are similar to opiates, such as heroin.  In a publication from the Society for Neuroscience, "Brain Briefings, " October 2003, it was noted that "some brain actions and characteristics associated with thet intake of sweets and drug addiction may overlap," primarily in the area of the brain's opiate receptors.  Some of the original work about the activation of mu opiod receptors in the brain by sweets was done in the late 1990's by Kathleen DesMaisons. 

In 2008, Nicole Avena published data affirming that sugars could be expected to have addictive potential because they affect opioids and dopamine in the brain.  People binge on sugar, can become physically and psychologically dependent on sugar and experience withdrawal when trying to detox from a sugar addiction.

Sugar impacts our moods and energy level.  We can move from high to low, from euphoria to depression, from energized to exhausted as sugar is metabolized by our bodies.  When we look at mood issues and hyperactivity in children and teens, sugar can be a central culprit.  Sugar issues also impact adults, and perhaps this part of the picture has been most under the radar.

How do you know if you are sugar addicted?

*  Do you have a hard time getting through the day without eating something sweet?
*  Do you think about sweets all the time, to the point of obsessing about eating them?
*  If you feel sad or tired, do you reach for a food with lots of sugar?
*  Do you find yourself constantly munching on candies or drinking soda or eating sweet treats over the course of your day?
*  Do you eat cookies, candies, chocolates or cakes every day or every multiple times each day?
*  If you are uncomfortable, do you reach for a sugary snack--including at a similar time each day?
*  If you don't reach for something sweet, do you become uncomfortable or agitated?
*  Are you lethargic, moody or depressed?

If you find yourself moving away from a balanced diet of healthy foods and filling your eating time and options with sugar foods, you are removing the nutritional grounding that can help you say no to sugar and contributing to a potential dependency or addiction to sugary foods.

To recover from sugar addiction, making dietary changes is critical.  Eating protein and vegetables is an important foundation.  Substituting fruit, which has natural sugars, for cakes, cookies, candies and soda, allows you to have something sweet that won't hurt your body.  Aspartame and artificial sweeteners, corn syrup and salt can all exacerbate the problem.  Whole grains are much better for your body than processed carbohydrates.  Eating a good breakfast which includes protein will help stabilize your body and your moods.

While it might be hard or uncomfortable to ween yourself from sugar and go through the detox process, once you have gotten used to a healthier diet, you will feel the difference.  Anxiety, depression, exhaustion and difficulty focusing may ease.

It is important to remember that food is a biochemical substance as well as a nutritional substance, and there is much more to consider than just calories!

My first blog at www.heartspacecafe.com/blog will still be active, but it is built in forum software, which many people find more cumbersome to use than official "blog" software.

In an effort to cultivate more dialogue in more contemporarily relevant ways, my new blog at HealingHeartPower.blogspot.com is user friendly, and even something you can subscribe to.
Please let me know what you think of this new blog.


Linda Marks

email: lsmheart@aol.com
phone: (617) 965-7846
web: www.HealingHeartPower.com