Self-transformation and bodywork – Part I

Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

Managing emotions - Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi readers! Today we are going to just begin to touch the surface of something that has had a huge influence on my life – bodywork. There are many forms of bodywork, and I will probably include dance as well as massage, energy work, and so on.

You might ask what bodywork has to do with self-transformation? Mind and body are separate, aren’t they? Well, no. We really are one entity. Despite all of the religions that say that the soul lives on beyond our death, right now, while we are living humans, our body, mind, soul and spirit cannot be separated from each other.

Have you ever noticed that you “know” what a person is like before you even speak to them? You pick up clues from their clothing, of course, but, more importantly, you pick up clues from their body posture. You have a sense if they are shy or bold, happy or sad, proud or unsure. In other words, our posture is a reflection of our inner being. And if we change one, the other must also change, or the first one will revert.

Ken Dychtwald talks about this connection between body and thoughts very clearly in Bodymind, a book I first read many years ago and loved so much that I turned right around and read it a second time (which I never do). This book, published in 1977, synthesizes the cutting edge work done by such luminaries as Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkreis, Wilhelm Reich, and others, as well as what yoga traditions have to say. We store emotions in our body. The Chinese connect emotions with particular organs of the body. For example anger is connected to the liver. Candace Pearce talks about this connection from a more concrete scientific point of view in her groundbreaking Molecules of Emotion.

What is important about this is that if you want to change your approach to life, you have to change your body. Conversely, if you change your body your emotions will change. That is one reason why bodywork, meditation, and movement have to be included in a self-improvement and transformation program. if you really look into yoga, behind the flexible bodies and the exercise, it includes meditation, diet, and other aspects which are there to help the entire person. It isn’t just some fad of the late 20th and early 21st century. It has been around for thousands of years because it addresses the whole person, because we are one.

In my search for personal well-being, I have tried many types of bodywork and movement, and in the weeks that follow I will tell you about some of them and more about my personal experiences of having a change in my body go along with, and be totally entwined with, a change in my thinking and my emotions.

How many of you have had the experience of having changes be a total mind-body-spirit experience? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and stories on this.

Switching gears, today is the first ROW80 check-in and the Twitter retro party, which I pretty much missed but am going to join now. For those of you who are interested, I put my check-ins here.

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  1. #1 by KM Huber on April 5, 2012 - 4:57 am

    As you know, Ann, I am exploring the Tao and Oneness, and I can see bodywork as one of the 10,000 things the Tao describes.

    Just yesterday, picked up my copy of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success after many years. I am fascinated by the idea of the soul being who we are always, our body being all we manifest in the physical world, and our mind as the animation, the spirit connecting the two: spirit is the soul being human.

    I do believe the body can and will heal itself, as it is a road I am on at present, changing my diet completely–no sugar, no salt, no flour, no dairy–after years of chronic illness, this change in mind, body, and spirit is really a rebirth for me. I look forward to more of your posts on this subject.


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