Monday, June 4, 2018

What's in a name? SWING your way to healing

SWING stands for Serenity Wellness & Integrative Neuroplastic Growth.


Sounds fancy, huh? It's really not! There is meaning behind those specific words, but also the image and feeling of swinging.

The Swing:

I have used the "swing" concept since beginning this healing journey, because healing is not linear - it happens with back and forth, up and down, sometimes even spinning sideways. Healing can twirl us around in the same way I see my kids wind up the swings on the playground before letting go, fearful at first, but then full of joy and delight in the movement!

Before the many swings forward I've been experiencing, there has almost always been a back or sideways swing. A few times I've fallen off the swing! And that is okay. If we can embrace that swinging motion and make peace with it, riding it gently, with loving self kindness and compassion, knowing that after it passes we will swing forward higher than before, the non-forward swinging fades to the background as we focus on the truth in the future highs. 

Swinging evokes an image of children playing, working first at pumping their legs, needing a push from a parent, trusted friend, or another child. But then, as they practice, they learn to swing on their own, tilting their head back and feeling the wind on their face, giggling with enjoyment, choosing to swing gently, slowly, savoring the motion... or choosing to swing higher and faster when they feel ready. 

The Acronym: 


Serenity Wellness implies making peace with where we are at, using mindfulness in our daily lives to recognize our emotional states, without judging them. Learning to calm our thoughts, our responses, our nervous system, and journeying towards serenity. The goal is to find serenity and wellness no matter what is going on around us, or what happened in the past, empowering us to move forward. 

There is a ton of neuroscience behind the idea of mindfulness, explaining that when we simply recognize our emotional state, our brain is able to calm down just through that process of recognition. Learning this and how to do it is part of what I'll be teaching and providing coaching and resources for. It's been a game changer for me personally, as doing activities like meditation actually calm the limbic part of the brain and shrink the amygdala - the part of your brain that sounds an alarm when triggered.

"MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress.
As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex – associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision-making – becomes thicker."
(Article - Scientific American) 

Win-win! Lower fight or flight, aka the stress response, and increase our awareness, concentration, and ability to make decisions. 

Integrative Neuroplastic Growth is simply using various forms of neurplasticity, the brains ability to change, for our own growth and healing. We are integrated, whole people, with a mind, body, and a spirit (or consciousness, if you prefer), and true healing takes place when we head to the root causes of our problems. The cool thing is, with practice, we can change our brain! We can get "unstuck" from old patterns, unhelpful thoughts, and even illness. We can change our past references and memories so we react differently to triggers that use to bother us! How neat is that? We can integrate new, positive, and helpful ideas and thoughts into our lives, take back our power, and swing forward into health and happiness.

This approach changed my life! I now live free from syndromes/diseases/labels, and am joyful again, engaged in life after 16 years of debilitating chronic illness, pain, and anxiety. As I continue on my own journey of brain retraining, mindfulness, tapping, and reconditioning after years in a wheelchair, the swings have become gentler, and that giggling child inside me is enjoying kicking her feet and swinging with delight at this new found freedom.

Who wants to head to the playground with me?



  1. Im fully on board !!! So helpful to hear you talk about the swing of abreactions. Keeps me pressing on rather than feeling I'm doing something wrong with the process.

    1. Yes, those swings mean your brain is rewiring!!! Keep pressing on, you're doing an amazing job!

  2. I ve swung sideways or something.. Still hanging in though! Soo happy you are now healthy Claire! How inspiring!