The following has been excerpted from Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdomin which bodywork practitioner Suzanne Scurlock-Durana explains how we can procure wisdom from each major area of the body.

Diagram with chakra symbols and names - Your pelvis

All seven chakras, including the root chakra at the bottom, with names

Reclaiming the power of the pelvis

The pelvis, the area in the very bottom of your torso, is a source of tremendous power, physically as well as emotionally. The Eastern Vedic traditions speak extensively about the root chakra and how important it is to the healthy functioning of everything else in the body. Chinese medicine also honours the pelvis as a major gateway to the body’s vital energy flow. However, many people in Western cultures are ignorant of the importance of this area for the health of the entire human system.

If the pelvis has been injured, compressed or compartmentalized, whether due to trauma or cultural/religious issues, it can have a significant negative effect on long- and short-term health, as well as diminish the life energy available for creative endeavours.

Some people are embodied in their pelvic region, but in a disjointed, compartmentalized manner causing confusion and disorder.

At the bottom of it all, a return to the embodied wisdom of the pelvis is what naturally fuels creative inspirations, igniting them and you in a good way.

Our sexuality and sensuality as human beings are fuelled by this energy as well, and that core energy of who we are is a vital part of living life fully and joyfully.

When we reclaim the energy and wisdom of our pelvis and integrate it with the rest of our body, there’s often a marvellous resurgence of life force, bringing a return of desire. Ecstatic experiences can be the outcome of igniting the fire in the pelvis and reuniting it with the legs and feet, gut, heart, voice and head.

Reclaiming our inner sensations that reside primarily in the pelvis, and linking them to everything else, allows us to feel the deliciousness of being alive. So what gets in the way of reclaiming the pelvis? Often, it’s cultural and religious taboos and trauma.

Cultural and religious taboos

Many religious and spiritual traditions have rigid rules and strict guidelines about how and when the pelvis is acceptable to energetically inhabit and live from, if it’s allowed at all! This fact speaks to the power that the pelvis innately radiates and shares when it’s healthy and integrated with the rest of the body.

Cultural standards dictate when sex is permissible and with whom. We’re given guidelines about how to dress, walk, talk and give expression to our sensuality and sexuality. Manifestation is either allowed or kept under wraps.

I remember being chastised for self-exploration as a child, not to mention the trouble I got into “playing doctor” with my cousins and siblings. As a young teen I was strictly instructed that sex wasn’t allowed until marriage. If I was to be a “good girl,” I must rein in any sensations that might be naturally emanating from that area of my body. Of course, being a typically rebellious teenager, this just piqued my curiosity further.

Based on my experience, I’m of the opinion that one reason cultural directives regarding sexuality are so strong and violations so heavily punished is the pelvis is truly the engine that fuels our core power and joie de vivre.

Kelly rekindles her “inner fire”

A friend of mine, Kelly, grew up in a religious community much like mine, with very strict rules about sexuality. She was an intelligent child, full of enthusiasm for life, who’d often sing her heart out in her bedroom with an imaginary microphone. She played the piano endlessly and was involved in the theatre when she got to high school.

All of that came to a halt as she matured into a woman and realized that she was sexually attracted to other women. This broke every rule in her parents’ rulebook, and she knew the ramifications were damning.

Kelly hid her gender preference, and she definitely kept under wraps her desire for her first love. As she graduated from high school and left for college, she pushed it all down and numbed her pelvis to keep her sanity and be a good daughter.

She became a serious, studious perfectionist about her life and her interests. Upon graduation, Kelly married a gentle, kind man in an effort to convince herself that she was “normal.” It didn’t work, and they divorced several years later.

Kelly’s creativity and juice had disappeared along with her sexual desire. When I met her, she hadn’t belted out a song in decades, much less played the piano. Due to the religious moral code she was raised with, the engine of her body, her pelvis and her sexuality, was forced into hiding.

As she entered her late thirties, Kelly finally openly engaged in relationships with women and told her parents about it. Initially, this devastated them, but she held her ground. When they finally accepted her, it was both liberating and not necessary, since by that point she’d already accepted herself.

Then, this past year, an interesting thing happened. Kelly’s first love, a sweet woman, came back into her life. In allowing herself to reconnect with her and to love fully and deeply for perhaps the first time in her life, Kelly’s inner fire got rekindled. She spontaneously started playing the piano again. She found herself walking around the house singing.

Her pelvis re-engaged in ways that she’d never allowed before, for fear of reprisal, punishment and being made an outcast.

Hitler: A case of distorted pelvic energy?

Entire civilizations and cultures are run by controlling pelvic power and guiding it in ways that are believed to be right and holy, or simply in order to keep the populace in check.

Truthfully, raw pelvic energy is a force to be reckoned with. If this life force is unintegrated with the rest of the body, it can become quite dangerous. This occurs when the pelvis has been awakened but is compartmentalized and cut off from the rest of the wisdom areas of the body.

Consider Hitler. His power was immense, and he manipulated his impoverished people using well-studied control mechanisms. In a culture beaten down and starving after the First World War, he incited people to violence and promised them a return to their own power again.

Hitler and cronies marching in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris - Your pelvisI highly suspect that Hitler’s pelvic energy was distorted and compartmentalized, due to his early childhood shame and trauma. Watch the old movies of the rigid, staccato movements of his military, and you get a peek at the danger in having this powerful engine of the body restricted and only allowed to release in intensely focused ways. Think about the power of an aerosol can and how it’ll explode if heated, releasing the intense inner pressure in a destructive manner.

Unfortunately, damaged leaders throughout the world have since repeated Hitler’s behavior—each time causing fear and chaos and often resulting in destruction and major loss of life.

Trauma and injury

For almost two decades I’ve been teaching a course for women entitled “Healing the Pelvic Floor: Reclaiming Your Power, Sexuality and Pleasure Potential.” Trauma is again implicated in the disconnection from our power. Over the years I’ve seen the debilitating effects of many types of trauma. Trauma from sexual violation or rape is at the top of the list.

In her landmark book Vagina, Naomi Wolf explores the ramifications to a woman’s spirit and general life force when the pelvis is severely damaged, such as what occurs in the repeated rape and violation of women in wartime.

Having a baby can be traumatic due to the business of birthing in our medical system. Surgery for the bladder, colon and reproductive organs can cause pain or numbness, significantly diminishing the ability to feel pleasure at all.

For a woman, verbal or emotional abuse by her family, religion or culture can cause such disempowerment that she may believe she has no right to drop into her own pelvis and harness her innate power.

Men who suffer trauma from sexual abuse or violence to their pelvic region may experience diminished power and capability in the world as well. Violence to a man’s pelvic area or shaming for his genital size can create withdrawal from this area of the body, leaving him depleted and numb. For young men in gangs, trauma is endemic, due to their violent, often sexual initiations and lifestyle.

Ultimately, any unresolved trauma in the pelvis will cause a diminishment of energy and thus of power for anyone.

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Suzanne Scurlock-Durana is the author of Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom and Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body’s Wisdom. Her Healing From the Core curriculum combined with CranioSacral therapy and other bodywork modalities creates a complete, body-centred guide to awareness, healing and joy. She teaches around the world and lives in Reston, Virginia. Visit her online at www.healingfromthecore.com.


Reclaiming your body book cover - Pelvic empowermentExcerpted from the book Reclaiming Your Body: Healing from Trauma and Awakening to Your Body’s Wisdom. Copyright ©2017 by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. Printed with permission from New World Library — www.newworldlibrary.com.
image 1: lululemon athletica via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons BY); image 2: Adamo Corazza (Creative Commons BY-ND) image 3: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons BY-SA)

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