I know its a been a while since my last post about opening our conscious bodies. In fact, after writing part one, I had to sit with all the questions I posed and feel how my body wanted to proceed. One of the biggest question posed was Are you willing to open yourself up to listening more closely when your body speaks to you? If you are, then how do you do that? In this part of the series I want to speak to exactly that; how do we listen?
Our body speaks in subtle ways and because of this, the first thing we must do is quiet our mind and external stimulation. It can be as simple as just sitting or lying in a quiet room to remove external stimulation. Quieting the mind can be a little more challenging and may take practice. One of the easiest ways I have found to do this is through the breath.
When I first started my career, I worked in an injury rehabilitation setting. It was an amazing experience and I was able to grow my knowledge of the body and how it works. I was very successful in treating all sorts of injuries from auto accidents, to work accidents, and even post operation recovery. However, I found that no matter what techniques I was using or what other therapies they were receiving, the clients would not fully heal. Their pain would become manageable, life would almost resume to normal for them, but there were remnants of the injury that would not heal. For several years, I thought that this was just how things worked. What if I was wrong about that-what if it is possibly to have complete recovery from anything? What if the body is more capable of healing than we ever thought possible? How can we get out of the way so our body can show us what is possible for it?
The first step in this process is opening a line of communication. Your body does communicate with your mind and being. At first, it is in subtle whispers. In our loud world of “bigger, better, faster,” it is easy for those whispers to be drowned out by impatience and the idea that what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger.
Would you be willing to open yourself up to listening more closely when your body does speak to you? What if in doing this, you can be free of limited choices that you think your body is causing? And, what if this leads to a better communication between you and your body, eventually eliminating the need to cause pain altogether?
The second part of this is to trust your body. When we fall prey to injury or disease, it is very easy to stop trusting our body and to try to keep it from being harmed again. Unfortunately, this judgment that our body needs our “help” is what keeps these patterns in place. Have you ever tried to prevent re-injury by “protecting” a movement and ended up hurting yourself anyway? What if your chronic disease is showing you something you still need to look at? If you are willing to see a different perspective for your body, information will start to come from it.
I know this poses many more questions than it answers, which is why I created this blog series. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I dive deeper into these topics!
I have the pleasure of working on many different types of individuals from professional athletes with specific alignment and recovery needs to those who need stress relief from work/home life, and many in between. One thing they all have in common is that they have an idea of what they are wanting from their session, and it is always different. I would like to open a conversation about how the bodywork that I, and many others perform, can be much more than "just another massage." This is where some basic energetic/consciousness principles come into play.
Any experience we have is what we make of it and perfect for the moment we are in. We will never endure more than we can handle and the gifts we receive from even the worst of experiences are what make us the beautiful individuals that we are. It is when we allow these experiences to define us that lock us into different holding patterns that start to affect our lives in negative ways. Stress and injury can have a serious impact on how we make even the simplest of choices and live out our daily lives. What if it was possible to start shedding those definitions? What changes could we start to see? Sometimes being in wonder of a situation or outcome instead of defining it as part of you can be the exact catalyst needed for it to move on and stop the cycle you are in.
Do we really know what is possible for healing to take place in the body and mind? I personally do not think we do. There are many generalizations out there for how long certain injuries take to heal, as well as, a laundry list of ailments there is nothing we can do about. What I do know is that if you make it true for yourself, then it is. What if the next time you received bodywork, you opened up to the possibility that maybe everything you have been told about your ailment isn't true for you? If you are open to receiving more than thought possible, could you allow yourself to have it? I have seen miraculous things occur for clients who have been willing to experience a new possibility for their body and life by getting out of their definitions and judgements of themselves.
For me, as a therapist, I am constantly asking questions while performing my work. Sometimes they are out loud, looking for an answer and a way in. Sometimes they are to myself to get out of my own head. I am just as guilty of defining what I see as everyone else. One thing that sets me apart is that I am willing to see other possibilities as they show up and change my course if needed. If I get stuck in a diagnosis of one of my clients, it does not allow me to be open to seeing other things that could be what is actually going on with them. Many times simple coaching on how to let go can be the difference between a basic feel good session and a life changing experience.
So what does this mean for you and bodywork? The simple answer is, be sure to let your therapist know of what you are wanting out of your session and be open to whatever else may come of it. Also, be willing to know that your body is far more capable of healing than we ever thought possible and your bodywork experience could be far more profound.