Calatonia® consists of a sequence of nine touches on the feet: toes, soles, heels, and calves; or alternatively, on the hands: fingers, palms, wrists and forearms. There is an additional tenth point known as ‘Calatonia of the head’ at the base of the neck (occipital region).
During a Calatonia session, the therapist touches the client in silence, in a gentle manner, using light pressure in a sustained and stationary fashion for two to three minutes at each mentioned point. (For a detailed technical description with pictures click here).
The Subtle Touch method encompasses a cluster of other somatic work developed by Pethö Sándor following similar principles, usually light and sustained touch. However, Sándor also developed techniques that involve rhythmic vibration, near-body touch, sounds, passive movements, and several techniques for groups to facilitate harmony and connection.
Calatonia and Subtle Touch use the skin’s high sensibility (cutaneous innervation), extensive circulatory supply, multitude of proprioceptors, and responsiveness to the environment to achieve multi-sensorial experiences. That is, the stimulation utilized is felt at somatic and psychological levels (emotional/feeling, mental/cognitive, and spiritual/transpersonal), restructuring the whole organism, eventually leading the organism to restore its innate self-regulation processes.
Despite its deep effects, Calatonia is a non-invasive technique, which means that the client’s boundaries are respected. Although bodily tensions and chronic somatic issues are not forced to react, those issues buried in the body will start to emerge in the client’s sensorial, emotional or cognitive awareness, within the client’s pace and window of tolerance. This unique quality makes Calatonia a safe and nurturing method, gentle and supportive of client’s resilience and ego strength.