Sometimes we have fallen out of touch with how we feel and have defaulted to a familiar story of how we have felt at some point along the way. We visit the same stories again and again, and we do things the same ways again and again, and after a while it becomes our adapted way to be and do and feel. This can be a pain pattern that becomes self-perpetuating. We generally feel from a “default setting” even in our brain. We forget to slow down (much less stop) along the way and check in with what’s actually truly happening in the moment, and in our bodies. And so we get stuck in a groove.
The integrative bodywork in my practice often incorporates one or more of the following, depending on client needs:
Resistance & Release
Biodynamic Cranial Approach
Connective Tissue Therapy
Classic Swedish massage
Effective body work starts with awareness. We may start by talking about what’s been going on with our body, in our life. This may sound like what we do for a living, what we do in our leisure time, how much and how we work out or play sports and our pertinent health issues and concerns. Having said all the stories and made mention of our occupations, the work has already begun.
Beneath the surface, we bring our attention to what we are feeling right now - from our skin down to our bones. How is the temperature of the air affecting my skin? Where is my weight in my feet against the ground? Where is my center of gravity pulling me? Is anything hurting or feeling especially good right now? How is my breathing? Am I breathing into my belly, my chest - can I even feel my breath in my body? These are places to begin.
There are countless modalities of body work available, and they all have merit for achieving their respective objectives. Used in concert, multiple modalities can be employed to enhance both awareness and well being, along with addressing specific limitations, conditions or injuries.
I may use one modality to soothe the nervous system of a client and another style of work to encourage awareness in their neuromuscular system so they may awaken or reinforce proprioception. I may use yet another to help them correct muscle imbalance in the body. It is rare that I use only a single modality throughout an entire bodywork session. And throughout any given session, our attention will shift from body to breath, stillness and silence to movement and strength. We will, consciously and unconsciously, be addressing the physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual aspects held in the body.
This integrative approach generally leaves clients with renewed, authentic awareness in their bodies. They often report feeling new sensations and lengthening and lightness in their bodies. They also report being both energized and relaxed. One client texted me to say that she had to adjust her rear view mirror on the way home because she was taller. Some are more aware of their breathing capacity, some their increased range of motion.
We all need assistance from time to time, to help us remember how to move and be with ease and grace. This assistance can come in myriad forms - from time in nature, a good dose of laughter and friendship, some time in or near moving or still water, dramatic theatre, etc.
Is it time for some integrative bodywork to help remember your easeful, graceful way?