We are, unfortunately, the result of a historical separation of body and mind. The latter being the control tower of our lives. We often forget that the body has an organic wisdom that feels sensations and emotions before the mind labels them. Body holds implicit memory and is practically the only tool we have to address pre-verbal issues. Body is the container that holds the human experience. The larger the container, the more we encounter the world with capacity to hold difficult issues. If the container is small, we can’t face the stresses of life and we dissociate. When we dissociate, we miss half of the good stuff in life.
Being in body brings us in the here and the now. Sometimes the mind can fools us, but the body never lies. Embracing the body also means getting out of our heads, leaving the stories that we play over and over behind us, and stopping the anxiety provoking material from recycling our own traumas. Sometimes, our heads are the only safe place to be: because the body was hurt, because it feels too much pain, because it is not safe. And that’s ok until we slowly and gently get re-acquainted with our bodies, our guides. Then we have found our allies.
Working with body awareness gives us a huge tool in session. It adds another dimension by including the felt sense (the language of sensations like tingling, sharp, dull, smooth or numbing) to the words we speak. It is like having a session in 3D.
Integral Somatic Psychotherapy (ISP) is an exquisite tool to get re-acquainted with the body’s sensations as we process deep emotions.