Our body is our home, our vessel. It’s where we live 24/7. That’s way more time than at the place that we usually call home. One would think that this close proximity and our dependence on our body’s health to live a full life would lead us to pay close attention to our body’s messages. But we all know it’s not that simple.
There is more wisdom in your body
than in your deepest philosophy.
Many factors insidiously encourage us to pay less attention to our true body’s sensations. Our culture is rather dismissive of the body. The fast pace of the city leads us to be sleep deprived. Pain can be draining and we often don’t take the time to heal fully before resuming our activities. In many instances, ignoring or blocking our bodily sensations appears to be the easiest solution. Accomplished athletes, on the other hand, become masters at reading the signs to push the body’s limits with mind and will power. Whatever end of the spectrum we fall, maintaining a healthy communication and dialog with our body is important in the quest to live a full and healthy life. The good news is that there is still time to explore and reinvent ourself!
Our body is our interface with the world. It mediates our perceptions of the environment. This body mediated awareness determines heart and breathing rate, digestion, storing or releasing of energy and the many details to produce the right behavior. An increasing amount of literature has documented the recent scientific understanding of this “body intelligence” not being confined to the brain. Biology has demonstrated that brain-like cells are present in many parts of the body. Through an incredibly complex biological process, the roughly 70 trillion cells that compose our flesh, bones and organs perceive, communicate and interpret information. These processes are orchestrated by the non-conscious which handles up to 40 millions bits of data per second against only 40 for the conscious mind. You read that correctly, the body processes one million times more information per second than the conscious part of the brain!
This body awareness is not only confined to internal biology and space-movement interaction. According to our perceptions and our sensitivity to them, our body language evolves and determines how we present ourself to the world and how others perceive and respond to us. Our perception –way more than true rational analysis- decides if somebody or something is being hostile or genuinely friendly to us. All our thoughts, actions, and emotions, are mediated by the perceptions of our body and its ability to process these perceptions accurately.
The body never lies.
Most often we don’t experience an emotion but a physical sensation: a feeling. We all have experienced a “gut feeling”. When we choose to sincerely listen to it, it informs us about everything and anything instinctively, way before our “head” has figured out the situation.
The question is: does it make sense to avoid being aware of our body’s sensations and messages? The non-conscious is so powerful, if we are not connected with our body it runs the show. Take hunger, for example. If we are in tune with our body we might think: When did I eat last? Am I really hungry or do I have a craving because something is upsetting me? And then we take the time to identify what we truly feel. Disconnected from our body we may end up thinking: I am hungry and last time I went out with my friends I had a burger and an ice cream and I felt really good! I want to feel good, so I will have an ice cream.
The non-conscious is an extremely powerful system of command, but is very limited as it operates by instinct or past repetitions. It’s not truly creative. It indefinitely repeats patterns, making the present more of the past and the future more of the same all over again.
The part can never be well unless the whole is well.
If we don’t consciously listen to our body and take the necessary restorative steps, it might miss or misinterpret information. Our immune system might fail to recognize a pathogen. Or if the stress level is constantly high, the immune system might identify the pathogen but be so depleted it can’t fight it. In either case, we get sick.
To keep the body in good health is a duty…
otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
As long as we are not committed to being fully present to our body, with both its splendor and its little miseries, we remain a shadow of ourself. Our non-conscious runs our life, with the best intention but also against our best interests at the time.
Whatever your choice will be for this season — the great outdoors, the beach, catching up at the office or getting on a bodywork table, it’s important to remember that being fully embodied is not something that only happened once and for all at birth. It’s an essential part of being alive, a constant path of rediscovering your body and listening to it. The reward is to be truly yourself with your full awareness and creativity, able to grab all opportunities offered by life in the moment and play them in the way that deeply serves you.
CranioSacral therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Visceral Manipulation are ways to consciously come back to the messages of your body and who you are wholly. There is no need to push, force and correct. Just to listen with care, trust and support the body’s natural process. Manual therapies bring you back to the wondrous experience of full body presence and wishes you: “Welcome home.”
CranioSacral Therapy, Somato Emotional Release and Visceral Manipulation in New York.