Your body’s talking: are you listening?! What do you do to relieve persistent physical discomfort or illness? Reach for pain pills? Nutritional supplements? Go to a chiropractor or massage therapist? Do a cleansing detox? Perhaps you meditate, do some yoga or take a walk. Maybe you’ve had to face the difficult choice of whether to undergo surgery or chemotherapy, for yourself or another you love.
All of these kinds of methods may be a valid part of a total healing regimen at some time in a life. Yet if you have the inclination to look within, you may find, deep inside, a Knowingness about the heart of any condition. This core contains the information you need to help you achieve, even become the changes that wellness requires. Tuning in is making the BodyMind connection.
Take Casey, a client of mine who came in for hypnotherapy after trying a number of alternative therapies to relieve chronic low back pain. As he described his problem and answered questions about his lifestyle and current stresses as a salesman, Casey expressed the fear that his back problem would put him “out of commission” at work, and he’d have nothing to “fall back” on. After two hypnotherapy sessions, it was clear that Casey’s real issue was hating his traveling sales job, and facing his fear of change. He was also in need of nurture and was “holding back” emotionally. These metaphors matched his body’s cry for help, spoken in pain – the body’s unique language used when all else fails to get our attention.
As a practicing hypnotherapist and emotional release bodyworker for twenty years, I learned to speak this special language in ameliorating my own discomforts, as well as those of hundreds of clients. I found that giving the “cold shoulder” to an estranged lover could result in an angry flare up of bursitis; that a twisted ankle might speak of a need to be mindful, to “watch your step” as you find a clear direction; that throat cancer could mean a terrible stifled cry for the truth of creative spirit to be heard. On the humorous side –and there are plenty– a client’s chronic problem with gas can prove to be “raising a stink” passive aggressively about a spouse’s cooking!
Entering an altared (heart-centered) state of awareness, a meditative state, with an intention to be well, you can learn to access intuitive and instinctual information levels. We all are created with this sense-ability, the gift of making a body-to-mind connection, using the heart as mediator and interpreter. This system is designed with unfailing integrity, but we don’t’ typically access it. Unfortunately, as we grow up, many factors intercede and interfere with our natural abilities to listen to and play our own body-mind instruments.
Whether your challenge to wellness is a nagging migraine, high blood pressure or chronic indigestion, your body does not exist in a vacuum. There is a correspondence between your physical condition and what’s going on with your mind, your feelings, your energy body and your soul. This correspondence is the essence of what is meant by body-mind. Making the connection conscious is a boon to living well.
While Ken Dytwald coined the term “body-mind”(in the 70s), it is still a very new concept for western medicine traditions. While alternative practitioners acknowledge it, they usually have a bias: a belief that one of the bodies – e.g. mental, emotional or physical — causes the problem you’re facing. Thus some practitioners argue that the thinking mind causes all bodily symptoms and states, while others argue that toxic emotions are the demon, and still others insist that physical body conditions determine your mental and emotional states.
I experience all of our so-called bodies –mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual-creative –as simultaneous, interdependent and equally important to the integrity of the whole that they comprise. They may vary individually in degrees of health or balance, but are equally important to whole person function. However, focusing primarily on one part more than others will seem to make it more important, to make it the cause of the results we see, rather than its true relation to the whole.
My own bias is to experience all health crises as spiritual ones at the core: issues about the nature and meaning of our lives, what directions to take, the valuing or re-evaluating of ourselves and the preciousness of the love we give and receive. I believe that love comes in a million guises, and awaits us at the heart of pain, stress, disease and heartache.
Your body is always talking. And so is your subconscious mind, your emotional body and your heart. Listen well, listen closely. Use all of you as a resource. You are a miracle, and your health conditions are the precursors of more love and wisdom -even grace. Take the chance to Connect.