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Tomorrow Talks | Healing Insights: The Diaphragm as the Organ Of Repression

Tuesday, Dec 5, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Tom Tom Foundation, 100 W. South St.

This workshop is presented with Common Grounds Healing Arts, our partners in the Conscious City program that explores the tools that empower individual and community healing.

If you’ve been raised in a culture that relies primarily on Western medicine and the accompanying materialistic worldview, you’re probably accustomed to thinking of your organs as having purely physical functions. But in Chinese medicine, we do not view body, mind, and spirit as separable. Every physical manifestation is a metaphor for something deeper and every organ has gross, subtle, and very subtle (spirit) functions.

In that light, we can speak of the diaphragm as the organ of repression. You may be familiar with it as that flat sheet of muscle under your lungs that helps you breathe. But metaphorically it’s also the barrier between what shines in the daylight of the heart and mind and what is kept in the darkness of the gut.

In this workshop, we’ll explore what it means to use the diaphragm to repress, what the consequences of that repression are, and how we can move towards releasing it in order to have a richer, more integrated life experience. This workshop will open with a short, unseeded meditation, followed by a formal presentation, and an exercise exploring diaphragm opening within ourselves.


Gryphon Corpus is a Five Element acupuncturist practicing here in Charlottesville with her husband, Ki Ennes. Gryphon also works with Common Ground Healing Arts, where she sees patients for whom acupuncture in a private clinic isn’t financially accessible. This can be anyone in the community, with issues ranging from tennis elbow to addiction and deep trauma and mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, or schizophrenia.

Paul Beyer is the founder of the Tom Tom Foundation and Tom Tom Festival, and in his role as executive director, is responsible for its strategic vision and community partnerships. Beyond Tom Tom, Paul works on a variety of gatherings and events ranging from festivals, dance parties, dinner series, meditations, men's groups, conferences, seminars, and concerts.


Common Ground Healing Arts is dedicated to improving wellness in the Charlottesville

community by offering complementary health practices, including acupuncture, massage,

yoga, and post-partum doula services. Since 2010, Common Ground has expanded opportunities for accessible complementary health care. A portion of every dollar generated from paid programming -- yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage -- supports our extensive outreach services in the community.


This year-long series picks up critical themes from our April Festival and continues the conversations to create an impact in Charlottesville. Each Tomorrow Talk session is facilitated with an emphasis on participation, connection, and new collaborations.

Tomorrow Talks begin with a connection exercise or meditation and proceed into a presentation and breakout activities. They aim to impart knowledge that is practical and relevant to people's lived experience; combining academic or theoretical insights, alongside pragmatic tools, and experiential and somatic learnings.


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