Our bodies tell our autobiography without words. They reflect a person's current state and previous life history. Our memories, our experiencec are recorded in the body at a cellular level. In health mind and body function in a relatively integrated manner. When this is happening breathing, movement, mood, speech and sense of wellness are harmonious. More often full health is not evident. We tend to hang on to our histories and create patterns that form and shape our bodies. Then we repeat those patterns in relationship with significant others.
Outwardly there can be success - perhaps there is a secure, well paid job, a family and a pleasant home, but the individual has persistent headaches, or feels constantly tired in the absence of illness, is bored, or feels like they're rarely able to feel comfortable in themselves.
Most of us barely know what it could feel like to be really well and certainly have little idea of how to go about feeling more alive.
Good resolutions and will power have only minimal impact on the body.
In body psychotherapy the psychotherapist works with the client to discover the meaning of unskilful patterns of behaviour, how it is that relationships are maintained, which are not satisfying and the meaning of the messages that the body is communicating. Gradually a story unfolds about what makes for greater or lesser well being. Perhaps protective ways of being developed for survival in past circumstances are no longer necessary and are self defeating. We have the opportunity to shift those old stories, to let go of what no longer serves us, and to live from a place of choice.
As awareness of oneself develops, it becomes possible to be more in touch with what is healthy in terms of behaviour and lifestyle. And so as the individual is more in tune with him or herself, there is more connection with the wider world.
Image by Antti Pietikäinen