The name “Capacitar” means to awaken, to encourage, to bring each other to life.

Capacitar consists of a series of body-based practices that empower people to use their inner wisdom to heal and transform themselves and build peace in their families and communities.

Capacitar practices (i.e., Acupressure, Tai Chi, Pal Dan Gum, Fingerholds, etc.) come from many ancient cultures and have been well researched for their benefit to body, mind and spirit.

Current medical research also shows the positive health benefits of many of these ancient practices, such as Meditation, Breathwork, and Tai Chi.

Some newer modalities (Emotional Freedom Tapping, Thought Field Therapy and Polarity) have also been included in Capacitar programs because of their effectiveness in supporting mental health.

The History of Capacitar

Capacitar began in 1988 during the war in Nicaragua when founder Pat Cane was invited to work on an art festival.

To survive the stress of her work, Pat practiced Tai Chi and acupressure for self-care. Nicaraguan colleagues commented: “Your art is great but teach us what you do to care for yourself.”

The people recognized the value of ancient wellness practices to deal with the violence and trauma of their lives. With this insight Capacitar was born. 

From Nicaraguans came the word “capacitar”—a Spanish verb meaning to empower, to encourage, to bring to life—that became the name of the organization and the spirit of a movement.

And from a grassroots centre came the inspiration for the method of popular education.

Pat Cane

Patricia Cane, Ph.D. is the founder and director of Capacitar and has run training in it for 31 yearss in over 40 countries.

She has developed programs for grassroots groups and professionals in areas affected by trauma, violence, war and disasters, in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Pat is author of Trauma Healing and Transformation, Refugee Accompaniment, as well as other Capacitar manuals in different languages for schools, caregivers, persons with HIV and cancer, and trauma counselors.

Her current focus of outreach is with healing gender violence and in offering trauma healing trainings for persons accompanying refugees and immigrants in the US and in Europe.

Our Experience

Sunderland Recovery College received training, support and guidance from St Anthony's Priory Durham. Participants who have taken Capacitar workshops or trainings are encouraged to informally share Capacitar practices acting as multipliers with their families, friends and communities in the spirit of popular education.

Sunderland Recovery College offer workshops for students to come together and practice Capacitar in a safe and relaxed environment. But we are also including some information below so that you can begin to practice on your own.

Learning to Practice

We can split Capacitar into seven sections for convenicence. Below we outline the different sections and provide links to the exercises for you to visit.

Tai Chi

Tai chi, also called tai chi chuan, combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. Originally developed as a martial art in 13th-century China, tai chi is now practised around the world as a health-promoting exercise.

Pal Dan Gum

Pal Dan Gum is a set of eight qigong exercises known and used in China and Korea for thousands of years to promote radiant health for people of all ages and abilities. These exercises are often referred to as the 'eight silken movements’and have historically beenused for healthful longevity and as an aid to spiritual development.

Finger Hold Practice

The fingerhold practice is a simple technique that combines breathing and holding each finger. Practicing fingerholds can help to manage emotions and stress. It is a useful practice for both adults and children, and you can use the technique for yourself and/or with another person.

Emotional freedom Technique

Emotional freedom technique (EFT) is an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It's also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain.

Salute to the Sun

Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation, is a practice in yoga as exercise incorporating a sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence originated in the Hatha Yoga tradition on 9th century in India.

Chakra Tai Chi

Chakra Tai Chi is a self-care practice that allows you to experience the energy of your own chakras through movement. It is a wonderful tool for balancing the chakras, releasing energetic blockages, centering or grounding yourself, and empowering your own personal growth or healing process.

Leadership Dance

Leadership Dance involves a series of five movements to music while chanting phrases; and is a very powerful way to end a workshop by inspiring participants, celebrating their learning and strengthening their commitment for leading change.

What to do next

If you like what you see on this page, why not come along and practice with others at the Sunderland Recovery College.

Please check out our Courses and see if the next course is at a time when you can make it.

Then all you need to do is come to the next Enrolement Day and book on the course.