December 6, 2011

Why we need to have conversations with our bodies.

Fiona writes: (From my book A Year of Questions) Once a month I see an aromatherapist who sorts out the knots in my shoulders. She always starts our sessions by letting me know how stressed I’ve been since we last met – she’s always right.

Then she stirs together a delicious smelling concoction of oils, pushes her finger tips and palms into my flesh, and the tension-knots sigh, let go of themselves and melt away.

This week we had a conversation about the links between bodies and emotions from our different perspectives. Her clients often report feeling emotional for a day or so after they see her, after deep-down tension is ‘brought out’ and ‘released’ into the body.

This can be explained rationally by the way the body holds on to tension – we’ve all had a stress headache or felt physically tired after an emotionally difficult day. Bigger events also leave a mark on our bodies, but sometimes the marks live deeper down or are locked away.

I was telling my aromatherapist about how my therapy clients often report changes in their bodies after ‘letting go of’ or ‘getting in touch with’ bundles of emotion – they feel physically ‘lighter’, or ‘more grounded’.

I had a conversation with my body this week. I’m not exactly sure what it’s telling me yet but I feel a bit more in touch with myself, a bit less ‘spacey’. I’m going to carry on listening and hopefully things will become clearer. At least we’re talking!

Things you might be curious about
What does your body ‘do’ when you feel stressed/angry/sad? How ‘in touch’ with your body are you? Is it trying to tell you something?

Suggestions for this week
Twice a day, tune in to your body and notice how it feels. Where does it feel tense? Relaxed? What is your posture like? Are there any nagging aches? Does it feel tired, sad, worried? If your aches could speak, what would they say? Give your body whatever it needs – a stretch, a straighter back, a hug.

The body says what words cannot.
~Martha Graham

It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now… with its aches and it pleasures… is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.
~Pema Chodron


This is an example ‘musing’ from my book A Year of Questions. To join a group of people working through this book during 2012 (with extras) find out more here. You can sign up for one month at a time ($10/£6) or the whole year.

Photo by Nick J Webb, used with Creative Commons permission, with thanks.

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