The second instalment of the Healthy Oxford practitioner profiles – Joshua Knight! Such a calm and warm presence, I was fascinated to learn more about his practice in Somatic Experiencing and Seated Acupressure. His influences and inspirations are varied and profound 🙂
1) The treatments you offer at Healthy Oxford are somatic experiencing and seated acupressure, can you tell us a little more about what these practices are and why you were drawn to them?
SE: A therapy designed to work with trauma, especially acute, ‘shock’ trauma, where there are symptoms of PTSD after a highly stressful or life threatening episode. It can also be effective working with chronic trauma where there are more embedded symptoms, like mental health issues, or syndromes.
SA: A massage treatment designed to relieve stress and increase energy levels for people at work or with busy lives. It’s usually a short, effective, clothes-on massage in a special chair that blends Shiatsu, Thai and other massage forms. Mostly I take this treatment into people’s workplaces, but it can be great as a longer, more in-depth massage as well.
2) Can you talk us through a session to explain what a client experience would be?
SE: It really depends on the person’s needs and their intention in coming to work with me. Usually there is some talking and some more practical, experiential elements in a session. It can be a bit like mindfulness mixed with counselling, and it works on many levels. Awareness is the key component, as it has a healing quality in itself when we apply it to our bodies. Usually sessions don’t involve touch but it can sometimes be a really useful support in the healing process.
SA: This is more predictable! After letting me know their particular needs, the person sits forwards in a chair and receives rhythmic massage to acupressure points on their back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck and head. We sometimes do some stretches as well. Part of it is quite stimulating at the end when the person is more relaxed, so they are able to go back to work if necessary!
3) In your experience what conditions or symptoms have your clients found your treatments can support?
SE: Whether or not a person has been diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD, this treatment can help lessen just about any condition, as we focus our attention on what is happening in the here and now in the person’s experience, in both psyche and the body. It’s most effective with acute trauma, where there has been a single event that you feel stuck in, but it can also work very well with more long-standing issues, like chronic fatigue, depression and other mental issues. To be honest, as with any talking therapy, it really depends on whether I’m the right person for the client and whether s/he is able and willing to go into their experience and be a bit patient. I would recommend this to anyone suffering from anxiety, stress, sleep problems, psycho-somatic problems, addictions, phobias, overwhelm, relationship issues (especially where there is a theme of feeling invaded or overwhelmed by others), empowerment and confidence issues, dissociation or the experience of not being fully present in the body.
SA: This is good for stress in all its manifestations – anxiety, tension in the body, sleep issues, etc. and it’s also good for cases where there is low or blocked energy. It’s ideal for anyone who just wants to feel more relaxed and give themselves a re-charge. Specifically, it’s great for tension in the shoulders, neck, back and arms – especially repetitive strain (RSI) type problems. Modern day life stress always impacts on the body somewhere and it’s usually found in these areas, so we take time to soften and release tension. It can also help with computer over-usage conditions like eyestrain, headaches and ‘brain fog’ as it refreshes the energies fuelling everything in the brain.
4) What do you love about being a holistic therapist?
In both modalities, it’s probably the contact with people and seeing the difference a session can make. I like to witness someone’s development over time as well, so this is more tangible working with trauma over a period of months – or longer in some cases. I love seeing people’s willingness to walk the edge, to shift out of where they are stuck and to face parts of themselves that have been kept in the dark. I love seeing people being truly who they are, basically. We humans are powerful, loving, sensitive and creative beyond measure! It’s a such a privilege to be able to witness this first hand.
5) Do you have any area of specific interest and where do you see your practice developing?
Hmmm, recently I have started to do some SE work with teenagers, and it has been a great challenge. So I’d welcome more younger people. More adults would also be fine as well! As I said above, I’ve realised my real motivation is to support others healing and self-realisation, so if the medicine is working I get to be a part of this, and this is good enough for me. I learn and develop so much in every session, so I’m very happy with the way things are panning out…
6) Can you share your experience of a particular influence, e.g. teacher or lineage, that has inspired you?
I feel I am standing on the shoulders of many giants and giantesses… If I was to narrow it down, here goes:
The SE work has been transformational for me personally in so many ways, and I am lucky enough to be passing it on. So Dr Peter Levine, who birthed the modality has to be acknowledged. I have yet to meet him however, so would like to mention Pedro Prado, who trained me. An amazing living embodiment of the SE approach and a Rolfer by background.
Outside of the trauma field, I have an ongoing and extraordinary relationship with the 5rhythms dance/movement practise. Gabrielle Roth who birthed this work has to be mentioned, but again I have not had direct contact with her, so would have to say Oya Moore, a teacher/medicine woman working from her home – The Red Earth Dance Sanctuary – in Spain. She has and continues to have an amazing effect on my life, and my work. She continues to teach me about kindness and courage. A true Warrioress of the light!
Finally, all the non-duality teachers I’ve come into contact with over the years, who plug away tirelessly, even though most of us aren’t able to fully receive what they are saying most of the time! Special mention to Mooji and Adyashanti, two of the ones that resonate with me.
Want to book an appointment?
You can visit Josh’s website: http://www.joshuaknight.net/
And contact him by email – firstname.lastname@example.org; and by phone – 07747 610539