For thousands of years humans have known about the power of rhythmic movement. Rocking is a natural instinctive response to stress and dis-ease and the need for comfort. We were rocked in the womb, when we cried or were afraid and we brought this rhythmic movement into our dancing, chanting, music and other activities.

Holistic Pulsing is a body-mind centred approach which uses the power of gentle rhythmic touch and movement. During a session, the practitioner (pulser) applies easy rocking, stretching and opening movements to the clothed client (pulsee). The rocking induces a wave-like motion throughout the whole body, reminiscent of being rocked in the womb or floating on water.

As the body's inner flow is amplified by rhythmic movement, areas where the flow of movement stops or changes may indicate tension or contraction due to injury, stress, trauma, or habitual holding patterns. These may be explored and released through inner awareness, spontaneous movement, breath, and sound. Resistance, whether physical or emotional, is deeply respected as a normal part of healing and growth. The emphasis is on assisting the pulsee to gain deeper awareness of themselves, to fully explore and accept themselves as they are, and to reclaim their own powers of healing. The pulser focuses on ease of movement, wholeness, and enjoyment rather than on what needs 'fixing'.

How does it work?

Holistic Pulsing works with all the major systems of the body. It enhances the flow of blood, lymph, cerebrospinal and other fluids, increases joint mobility, relieves structural (muscle, tissue, fascia) contraction, aids the digestive and respiratory systems, relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system, and connects with the body-mind.

While the body is being rocked, gentle stretching and lengthening techniques are applied, offering an invitation to open and expand, and to bring awareness to our tendency to tense and contract. The continual rhythm can be conducive to a deeply meditative state, rapidly relaxing and calming the whole nervous system. There is an invitation to come back to our embodied self (our true nature) and connect with awareness in every present moment (mindfulness).

Body-mind connection

In modern Western culture we are conditioned to live in our heads. Everything that happens to us is automatically processed by thinking, planning, analysing and problem-solving. These are important skills, but only half of what we have available to us. It is impossible to ‘think’ our way into and out of feelings. The same is true for tension, trauma and stress, which are physiological (body-based) as well as psychological (mind-based) issues. The body has insights beyond the limits of what our minds believe or know. Tuning into the body enables us to access our sub and unconscious responses, our innate intelligence and basic life force. Holistic Pulsing supports the inner exploration of our body wisdom, providing an opportunity to reframe and release the energy from both developmental and impact trauma.

With greater inner awareness of our bodies, we can develop a deeper relationship with ourselves. As our physical bodies begin to relax, expand, and let go, our emotions and responses to our life stories are encouraged to surface and be expressed. This can result in dramatic effects on our physical symptoms and life patterns, as we release past trauma and out-moded beliefs. Healing and integration can flow to those areas where we were contracted, rigid, or in pain.

Pulsers may enter a state of meditation and heightened awareness while pulsing, and the effects of the two-way process can be profound for pulser and pulsee. The pulser receives pulsing at the same time as giving it, as the rocking is generated by the pulser’s whole body, often with re-vitalizing results. The pulser is encouraged to focus on ease of movement and inner awareness for themselves as well as the pulsee. Practitioners often remark on the ease of giving Holistic Pulsing sessions compared to other body therapies.

How can Holistic Pulsing be used?

Holistic Pulsing can be used in conjunction with any other therapy, or as an approach in it’s own right. It can be safely used with most people irrespective of age or state of health. Holistic Pulsing can be used with babies (link to baby pulse?) and with severely ill or injured people. It is an important adjunct to massage and other body therapies, where it can be helpful for relaxation, diagnosis and where contraindications to massage or manipulation are present (such as injury, skin problems, loss of structural mobility, severe tension).

Holistic Pulsing can be a deeply pleasurable experience, reminding us that we can heal through pleasure instead of pain. With pleasure, we have no need to defend and close ourselves against hurt or attack, opening instead to very profound dimensions of our being.

No two practitioners are the same in their approach. Holistic Pulsing is primarily an approach to being with clients for relaxing and re-aligning the physical body.  For experienced practitioners, it is a doorway into the subconscious experience of the body-mind and can support exploration of emotions and behaviour patterns. Trauma and physical and emotional release are possible. Holistic Pulsing can also offer clients an experience of their own subtle energy and deep inner or spiritual awareness.

Water gives life and sustains us.

It ripples through our lives.

Holistic Pulsing aligns with the water element within us, offering gentle, soothing rhythmic movement.

Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes, New Zealand.


Video by the New Zealand Holistic Pulsing Guild, Inc. 2016, introducing Pulsing for Babies. We highly recommend you attend some training before trying this at home with your baby - the rhythm and technique appears gentle, but demands knowledge and caution when used for the elderly, people that are unwell or the very young. Ask us via info@www.holisticpulsing.org.nz for more information and to access an accredited practitioner or training near you. facebook.com/pages/New-Zealand-Holistic-Pulsing