CHEK TOTEM SYSTEM
According to the CHEK approach there is a hierarchy to healing. This way of looking at things is one of the reasons I believe the CHEK methods are so successful.
There is an order to healing that can be summed up in the CHEK totem pole created by Paul in 1994 after 10 years of clinical practice as a holistic health practitioner. In order to heal you must work from the top down. I will go into more explanation of how this works later and give examples on but first let me introduce you to each section.
1-Respiration and Breathing- Without oxogen most of us would be dead in about four minutes. The average human take 90,000 breaths a day. How you breath is a huge factor in all of your bodies biological response. Your diaphragm (huge breathing muscle in your stomach) is one of the biggest biological oscillators in your body. Basically you have just as much or more lymph fluid in your body and no major organ like your heart to pump it. It is through the steady rhythmic breathing that the lymph fluid is dispersed throughout your body. One important job of lymph fluid is it carries your bodies hormonal messages and allows your system to send and receive messages. Breath effects everything, our emotions, our weight, and the way we view the world.
2-Mastication/Eating-Without food and water we would not survive long. Our ability to chew and drink trumps many other body functions. This is a simple explanation of a very complex subject. The body will twist and turn everything from the jaw down to make sure your bite is on and that your food gets broken down because without nutrients to feed a body what good is the body.
3-Vision-The way I understand this is that our eyes must be level with the horizon in order to see, run and hunt and survive. Just like the jaw if vision in unbalanced the body will twist and contort to allow for the eyes to become level with the horizon. It is usually the low back and joints below that will feel this the most as the pressure on the joints will be the greatest the further away from the eyes.
4-Hearing/Balance: This symbol represents more then just our auditory functions. It represents our life skills needed for sacred listening and becoming aware of imbalances in the body, mind and life. Your ears (along with the eyes) give you the awareness of where you are at in time and space. If your ability to hear is impaired it often can through off the balance of the body.
The image on the totem is the bottom of the skull (occiput) and the first three cervical vertebra. This region of the body holds great influence over many other organs and functions in the body. It gives us the ability to look all ways in life 50% of the rotation of the head happens in this area. Our eyes, ears and jaw sit atop of the Atlas (first vertebra of the neck) if this area is off center the entire body will adjust and move to keep the eyes level with the horizon. Atlas subluxation also pinches the brain stem affecting the nerves in the body and can result in a myriad of symptoms from the head to the feet.
The health of our organs is felt in the entire body. Your organs have no nerve endings like your fingers or toes so when they are in pain it is rarely felt in the organ itself. When an organ is sick or needs your attention it sends the message on a reflex pathway. Like an SOS message being sent across a wire your right shoulder begins to feel pain because your liver is overloaded with toxins. Or your neck and shoulders are constantly bound up because your lungs/breathing pattern is off. This is why some people keep going to the doctor or therapist for the same issues in the same joints/muscles year in and year out with no lasting relief. It is quite common that the issue lies deeper in the body and it takes a knowledgeable practitioner to identify the organ connection.
This symbol represents the how our thoughts and emotions influence our wellbeing. It is the expression of our thoughts and beliefs in our glands and organs. You can google organs and emotions and you will find that each organ has a specific emotion assigned to it. This symbol is a floating symbol meaning that sometimes emotions can be more important then anything above or below on the totem pole (thats why you find it in the center of the organs). For example if someone has lost the will to live what would it matter if there vision is off or atlas is out. In more recent renditions of the CHEK totem pole Paul has a spirit bird, sun and moon on top. This represents our psyche, and the forces of nature and the cosmos and is an example of emotions making their way to the top.
“Sacrum” means sacred and sits as the keystone of the pelvis. At one point it was believed that the Sacrum was a fixed joint that did not move but we now know that it moves in many directions and without the slight variations in movement we would not be able to propel ourselves forward in time and space. Without the ability to propel ourselves through time and space the opportunity to express our passions and fulfill our dreams would be lost. According to Paul Chek “This is where above meets below of the body and is where our core self-expression is radiated outward down the legs, which ground us to the earth, and upward via our arms where coordinated effort of the above and below are necessary to create and fulfill our dreams effectively and efficiently.” Anyone experience sacroiliac pain could relate to this, until the pain is gone it feels as if your entire world stops.
One way to interpret this symbol is that we become slaves to our own ideas and conditioned beliefs. There are so many engrained norms in society and they become our reality as we grow and learn. Once we accept certain conditions as truth it is typical that we become frozen in our experience. Often the more closed minded a person is the more unhappy they can be with their life this typically shows up as joint and muscle pain. Most of these beliefs were taught at an early age long before our brain was fully developed giving us the ability to agree or disagree with the life lessons. These programs are always running in our subconscious and are often driving our behaviors. Areas like wrist, elbows, knees and ankles tend to become injured due to imbalances higher up in the totem and that is why we refer to them as slave joints (slaves to spinal and organ imbalances).
Paul Chek says, “Those injured doing what they love to do, generally recover quickly, and learn valuable life lessons in the process. Those that are injured or suffer pain and imbalance from doing what they think they have to do or are ignorant of how to make choices to one’s own care, most often heal very slowly, or not at all.”
With all that being said it is clear how a society that is filled with specialist often times misdiagnoses the true issue that is driving the symptoms. We have knee pain and we see a knee doctor but how often does a knee doctor ask if you feel supported in your life or looks to see your ergonomic set up at work learning about how you use your eyes 8-10 hours a day. If you have suffered continual symptoms and only received temporary relief from specialist then perhaps it is time to take a look at the whole picture. When you work with a CHEK practitioner you get the opportunity to get down to the core your being. Fully emerging and exploring all that makes you tick. Once you know the how’s and why’s of your imbalance the power is in your hands to make the changes that allow you to feel happy, healthy and vital for the rest of your life~