Body Mind Healing is hands-on work aimed at ridding both mind and body of the residual psycho-physical effects of a traumatic physical injury or of an experience that was extremely painful, frightening, or sad. Body Mind healing work usually involves dialogue between the therapist and the client.
None of us, of course, go through life without some negative experiences. Some of these “bad times” we “get over” spontaneously but most trauma emotional or physical leaves an imprint around which we adapt to or compensate for.
Most traumatic experiences, both physical and emotional, leave us with lingering effects. In these cases, the trauma continues to negatively affect us, even if we manage to push the memory out of our minds.
At RSM Physical Therapy at Asclepeion Center, we try to take advantage of the close interconnections between the emotional and physical life of the body—in order to encourage emotional healing through body work.
Emotional trauma may be said to be “stored” in the viscera and fascia (connective tissue) in what we call “imprints,” that formed to protect us during the original traumatic event.
These areas of restriction can be thought of as bounded “pockets” of energy patterns in the body—which radiate their negative effects outward from a center-point. Energetic Imprints may cause chronic pain, inhibit a full range of emotional expression, create illogical fears, and reduce physical performance.
During a Body Mind Healing session, the therapist works with the client, in a safe, supportive environment, to identify, re-experience, and then release the memories, thoughts and feelings held within the energetic imprints.
The first step is to discern if an identifiable emotional trauma is stored in the body. Usually a place of tightness or reduction in motility is discovered. With the client’s permission to move forward, he therapist then works to release the trapped energy through gentle manipulations and dialogue.
As this process unfolds a person often re-experiences a traumatic event, acutely feeling the emotions and vividly remembering the circumstances. By contrast some clients move through the process without specific memory of an experience but never the less clearly going through a cathartic process of physical and emotional release.
It is believed that during this release an uncoupling of the previously bound together emotions of the experience from the thoughts about the experience occurs.
Therefore, after the session the person is better able to think about the incident without the former strong emotional response to the memories.
It is also believed that—with the support offered during the session—the client is able to complete an unfinished emotional process that began during the traumatic event. The process, it is believed, was stopped at that time through various coping strategies, because the fear generated by the experience was too much to bear. Therefore throughout the session, the therapist gently encourages clients to bear witness to their past experiences and to hold deep compassion for the younger self who had to withstand this ordeal.
Body Mind Healing may benefit people of all ages, either by itself or in conjunction with other healing modalities. Additional dialog with a therapist may be useful in fully integrating the breakthroughs of Body Mind Healing.
At the Asclepeion Center, we see Body Mind Healing as an important application of the Dynamic Colloid Fluid Model of the body. We use Body Mind Healing to assess and treat bodily tissues that have retained the imprint of trauma or stress—tissues that are literally “holding on to pain producing patterns. The gentle interventions of Body Mind therapy can release this imprint; allow the tissues to regain a more normal state, while simultaneously facilitating an emotional “letting go” of a trauma that may have been stored in an energy cyst for years.