Suppression

Rocking, swaying and swinging

Category: Actions

Type

Involuntary and voluntary

Introduction and description

Rocking, swinging and swaying are all movements that involve a rolling movement backwards and forwards or from side to side.  The movement tends to act as a relaxing aid, as such it is a contributory activity helping to put our mind in a state of ‘tick-over’.

Many young children and particularly autistic children body rock because it gives them comfort.  It reminds them of when they were in the womb being rocked backwards and forwards in a gentle swaying motion.  Thus one of the mechanisms by which this works is comfort – a reminder of a time when there were no Threats and the world was a safe place.

Medical Gazette of February 24, 1838,
….... examples are found in the soothing influence of a body seen slowly vibrating, or of a distant calm scene, or the motions of the waves, or of quivering leaves ; or in impressions on the sense of learning by the sound of a waterfall, the rippling of billows, the humming of insects, the low howling of the winds, the voice of a dull reader ; or on the nerves of common sensation by gentle friction of the temple or eyebrow, or any sensitive part of the body ; the rocking of a cradle ; any slow and regular motion of the limbs or trunk ; all these instances show that the effect of monotonous impressions on the senses is to produce, in most persons, tranquillity, or drowsiness, …...and ultimately sleep.

   

Background

Prolonged movement of this sort is recognised in the numerous allusions in nursery rhymes, myths, legends and symbolism.  For more details see the entries on the  crib or cradle  and also see Rocking horse.  It is worth adding that the symbolism is not straightforward here, as it also combines with that of the boat or ark and the symbolism of suspension.

Further confusion can be caused because one of the sensations that accompanies an out of body experience is that of a rocking or swinging motion, - see separation methods - as if the spirit was trying to separate itself from the physical body.  But this same motion can help the process so this technique is working at a lot of levels here [for an example see observation 001559 – Swinging].

Method

This technique requires you to find a way of rocking the head and body  backwards and forwards.  You can sit and rock or swing the whole body, or sway or move the upper torso backwards and forwards, but each time the method chosen has to ensure the head moves backwards and forwards or up and down or from side to side.  Over and over and over again for a long time. 

Whilst doing this don’t try to keep your eyes glued to a single focus, let the scene in front of you sweep across your line of vision. THIS IS KEY. 

 Examples of ways which could be used to achieve this include 

  • The very gentle rocking of a boat on a pond or lake where there is only a light swell  -  small regular waves or being on the sea alone 
  • The regular unhurried [so not frenetic] but continuous movement of a walker crossing terrain with no features – such as the desert, or a paved or tarmac road or running track, or even on a treadmill in a gym 
  • A baby being rocked in a cradle or in arms 
  • Swaying backwards and forwards rhythmically, whilst you are seated in the manner used by children when they are taught the Koran, for example [the technique used is no accident, those who teach children to do it are well aware of the effects] 
  • Hammocks or rocking chairs or rocking seats, preferably rocked by someone else 
  • Automatic rocking machines
No, not quite what I had in mind……  Something more modern……

This is closer to what is needed…………..  see the following

Chalmers RM, Howard RS, Wiles CM, et al. Use of the rocking bed in the treatment of neurogenic respiratory insufficiency. QJM1994;87:423–9.

One technique used in certain yoga and meditation classes is called the ‘swaying technique’.

How it works

Physically - This works in part by Reverse REM

This is why it was so important to make sure the eyes did not focus on one spot.  You are in effect inducing a mild form of voluntary nystagmus!

Functionally - It may be helpful here to refer to the Model of the Mind and to have read the generic description of How spiritual experience works.

Functionally, the mechanism at work is that produced by Threat reduction.  As you are generally lying down or relaxed, [although I have added the yoga technique I do not think it is as effective as the other techniques] the body can be relaxed and the rocking motion reminds us of when we were a baby in the womb, safe and secure.  It triggers forgotten memories of safety.  As you can see, the more womb like and cosy warm and safe the rocking machine the better.

Rocking and swaying thus still the Emotions, we become calm and the Emotions are suppressed.

The constant movement – as long as it is regular -  also has an effect on the 5 senses, as a constant movement back and forth, back and forth, from the point of view of the 5 senses is much the same as no movement, thus there is the equivalent of partial sensory deprivation.  Whether we have total sensory deprivation is then dependent on whether we use other sensory deprivation methods.

Furthermore the movement has a suppressing effect on the intellect, there is both nothing to learn and nothing to reason about, so as long as we don’t try to read whilst we attempt this, the mind can relax too.

So rocking and swaying works on a number of levels – it stills the 5 senses, stills the reasoning function, stills the learning system, and stills the emotions.

And once all these have been stilled, the Will has nothing to do, so it relaxes and the Composer can take over and we have our experience.

Advantages

  • It is a voluntary method, offering the chance of immediate escape if anything becomes too extreme [although with something this benign I’m not sure it ever would].
  • Depending upon the particular equipment used, the option exists to combine it with the techniques for sensory deprivation.  For example you could wear head phones and listen to drumming thus completing the back to the womb state.
  • It is legal.

Disadvantages

  • Sickness - The main disadvantage  - depending on the particular method used - is that you can be sick – really sick.  You can vomit and vomit and vomit until you stop doing it.  Some people seem susceptible to this, some don’t.  You will know fairly early on whether you are or not!!
    When feeling motion, the inner ear transmits to the brain that it senses motion. The eyes may not give the same signal.  As a result of the discordance, the brain will come to the conclusion that one of them is hallucinating and may further conclude that the hallucination is due to poison ingestion. The brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin.
    One way to avoid this is to ensure that the movements are regular and of the same amplitude in the same direction.  Thus constantly up and down or from side to side – not both.  Sudden jerky movements tend to be worse for making you sick  than slower smooth ones, because they disrupt the fluid balance more [the fluid in the ear] .  Side to side motion may be better than up and down movement.  “The effect is found to be worst with vertical sinusoidal motion in the frequency range of 0.05–0.8 Hz and is maximal at 0.167 Hz”.
  • Costs - Some of the equipment can be a bit pricey, although the cost is dependent on the equipment you use, you can use none or you can really spend a fortune to get the ultimate automatic hammock – it is up to you.

Blithe spirit – The Hammock,  the Swing and the Sway; Earth, Water, Air

Observations

I have deliberately picked out some examples where there is symbolic and guarded reference to the approach as well as some more straightforward examples.  The more abstruse examples also contain considerable symbolism, where the swing and suspension also alludes to the swinging backwards and forwards between the spiritual world and the physical world.

Related observations