Ep #08 The Science Behind Cross Mapping: From Pain To Possibility

by | Dec 21, 2023 | Coaching, Cross Mapping, SCA Podcast

SCAP | Cross Mapping

Hello there! I’m Brian Trzaskos, and today I want to share with you something profoundly transformative – cross-mapping. Imagine living with a condition that limits your life in significant ways, like chronic pain or debilitating anxiety. For many, this isn’t just imagination but reality. My journey into the world of cross-mapping began with my own struggle with bilateral shoulder separations, a painful condition that left me unable to lift my arms above 90 degrees. The frustration and despair were palpable, but it led me to discover and develop cross-mapping, a technique that not only transformed my life but has since helped countless others.

Understanding Cross-Mapping

What is Cross-Mapping?

At its core, cross-mapping is a proprietary somatic coaching tool developed by Ani and me. It’s a method that enables individuals to rewire their nervous system, leading to profound changes in how they experience physical and emotional distress. Through cross-mapping, we’ve seen chronic pain dissolve, anxiety fade away, and lives transformed.

The Origin Story of Cross-Mapping

My discovery of cross-mapping was born out of necessity. After my accident, traditional therapies offered little relief, and I was left searching for answers. It was through my practice of Qigong, a form of gentle movement and meditation, that I stumbled upon the foundation of what would become cross-mapping. I noticed that by focusing on the movement and activation of muscles on my “good” side, I could stimulate similar activation and healing on my injured side. This observation, combined with a deep dive into the science of mirror therapy and cross-education, laid the groundwork for cross-mapping.

The Science Behind Cross-Mapping

Rewiring the Nervous System

Cross-mapping leverages the brain’s neuroplasticity, its ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. By engaging both sides of the body and mind in a specific, conscious manner, cross-mapping encourages the brain to rewire itself, thereby altering the individual’s physical and emotional experience.

The Role of Somatic Practices in Enhancing Cross-Mapping

Somatic practices, such as Core Centering, play a crucial role in the effectiveness of cross-mapping. These practices increase body awareness and vitality, serving as a fertile ground for cross-mapping to take effect. By integrating somatic practices with cross-mapping, we’re not just treating symptoms but facilitating a holistic transformation that encompasses mind, body, and spirit.

The Five-Step Process of Cross-Mapping

Cross-mapping is more than just a technique; it’s a journey through awareness, understanding, change, and ultimately, transformation. Here’s a breakdown of the five-step process we’ve developed:

  1. Awareness: The first step involves becoming acutely aware of your body’s sensations, beyond the immediate pain or distress. It’s about tuning into the entirety of your body’s narrative, not just the loudest parts.
  2. Decoding: Next, we delve into understanding the root causes of the distress. It’s a process of uncovering the underlying issues, not just addressing the symptoms.
  3. Conscious Activation: This step is about consciously activating and engaging the parts of the body and mind that are functioning well, using them as a bridge to aid in the healing of distressed areas.
  4. Integration: Here, we begin to integrate the activated areas with the rest of the body, encouraging a harmonious function that supports overall well-being.
  5. Transformation: The final step is the transformation – a stage where the individual experiences a profound shift in their physical and emotional state, leading to lasting change.
SCAP | Cross Mapping

Awareness and Decoding

  • Becoming aware of sensory experiences: Just as I had to tune into the sensations in my “good” arm to aid my injured one, this step involves a deep dive into the body’s sensations, identifying areas of both distress and wellness.
  • Decoding the causation behind physical or emotional distress: This involves a careful examination of the distress’s root causes, moving beyond surface-level symptoms to understand the deeper issues at play.

Modification and Reframing

  • How to consciously change interoceptive experiences: By consciously focusing on and activating the body’s well-functioning parts, we can initiate change in our interoceptive experiences, leading to relief from distress.
  • Reframing life experiences from the inside out: The ultimate goal of cross-mapping is not just to alleviate physical or emotional pain but to enable individuals to reframe their entire life experience, fostering a sense of empowerment and freedom from within.

Through cross-mapping, we’re not just changing bodies; we’re changing lives. It’s a method that empowers individuals to take control of their well-being, transforming pain and limitation into possibility and freedom.

Cross-Mapping in Action: Case Studies

When we talk about cross-mapping, it’s a practical tool that has transformed lives. My journey into this began with a personal challenge — my bilateral shoulder separations. This injury, which severely limited my mobility and brought me considerable pain, became the catalyst for developing cross-mapping. By focusing on the movements and sensations of my “good side,” I was able to initiate healing in my injured side, an experience that not only alleviated my physical distress but also opened my eyes to the potential of cross-mapping in physical rehabilitation.

The application of cross-mapping isn’t limited to in-person sessions. One remarkable aspect of this method is its adaptability to virtual environments. Through guided online sessions, individuals can experience significant improvements in their conditions. This adaptability was exemplified in a case where I guided a client through cross-mapping exercises via email, leading to remarkable improvements in his arm’s range of motion and reducing numbness significantly. This virtual application underscores the versatility and accessibility of cross-mapping, making it a powerful tool for healing, regardless of distance.

Transforming Emotional Distress

Cross-mapping’s utility extends beyond physical rehabilitation into the realm of emotional well-being. Adapting this method for emotional health has opened new avenues for individuals grappling with conditions like anxiety. A poignant example of this was when Ani applied the principles to help someone combat severe anxiety. By focusing on areas of the body that felt at peace, rather than zones of distress, the individual experienced a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms. This case illustrates the method’s capacity to rewire the nervous system, shifting the focus from distress to a state of calm and well-being.

The Broader Implications of Cross-Mapping

The implications of cross-mapping extend far beyond individual cases of physical pain or emotional distress. This method touches on the fundamental ways in which we interact with our bodies and minds, suggesting a deeper connection between our sensory experiences and our overall health. The integration of natural laws into the cross-mapping process — such as the Law of Polarity and the Law of Relativity — highlights this method’s alignment with universal principles, further underscoring its transformative potential.

SCAP | Cross Mapping

How to Experience Cross-Mapping Yourself

For those intrigued by the potential of cross-mapping, the Somatic Coaching Academy offers a gateway to explore this method further. We encourage individuals to delve into the resources available through our academy, including one-on-one sessions that offer a direct experience of cross-mapping. Whether you’re facing physical discomfort, emotional distress, or simply seeking a deeper connection with your body and mind, cross-mapping offers a path to transformation.


Cross-mapping represents a significant leap forward in our understanding of healing and personal growth. Its foundation in both science and intuitive practice makes it a uniquely effective tool for transformation. As we’ve seen through various case studies and personal experiences, the potential of cross-mapping to change lives is immense. The journey from pain to possibility begins with a single step, and cross-mapping may just be the key to unlocking a new chapter in your life.

The above blog was based on the Somatic Coaching Academy podcast

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