Calatonia and Subtle Touch are two gentle psychotherapeutic techniques that facilitate the re-setting of self-regulation mechanisms in the body and take a person from stress into well-being, often inducing a state of profound relaxation.
Calatonia was developed in the late 1940s by Dr Petho Sándor, a Hungarian doctor working in Brazil. Dr Sándor was very interested in the work of the Swiss psychiatrist Dr Carl Gustav Jung and incorporated Jungian psychology into his method. Dr Sándor realised that problems, stresses and trauma can manifest themselves in physical symptoms and illness. Calatonia aims to harmonise the body, emotions and mind to restore self-regulation of the autonomic nervous system and to enable the establishment of new connections in the central nervous system. The new connections are very important because they facilitate the recovery of some movements lost through illness or trauma. Calatonia and Subtle Touch present no adverse effects and the gentleness of the method often have a profoundly relaxing effect.
How it Works
Calatonia consists of a series of delicate touches on the patient’s toes, soles, heels, calves and the head for between 1 to 3 minutes each. Subtle Touch works with other parts of the body or with no physical contact, relying instead on the warmth of the hands, blowing, sounds or passive movement. Clients are not required to undress. They simply remove their socks and lie on a massage couch.
Both therapies encourage a multi-sensory experience which triggers feelings of relaxation, well-being and heightened awareness. They have been developed in line with recent scientific research into the link between skin receptors and the limbic system, an area of the brain which is believed to control various emotional patterns of behaviour and is associated with emotional, pre-verbal and non-verbal psychological history.
At a physiological level, Calatonia enables the body to establish new connections in the central nervous system which may help with physical symptoms of stress, tension, trauma or sickness. Psychologically, the meditative state of relaxation induced by Calatonia may contribute to finding a way to resolve conflicts and problems and develop new insights or release pent-up energy resulting from stress and trauma. Calatonia helps a person attain better self-regulation and a greater sense of integration.
Calatonia is usually embedded as part of other therapeutic approaches at The Oxford Development Centre and your therapist will individually tailor its use to your particular needs. Many clients, especially when they have experienced trauma, find it difficult to stay connected to their body. They may drift off or find it difficult to relax. Calatonia can be very helpful to establish a greater connection to the body and enhance the ability to relax over time. It is often used to complete a trauma-therapy session to help you regulate and find inner balance before you re-enter outside life. The effects of Calatonia gradually lead to greater well-being and a sense of inner calm and peace.