Your Mind & Body ConnectionHeidi Hadley
In this week’s blog we are going to explore the close connection between your mind and body and why you should consider them both when you want to address your health issues and goals.
The Close Connection
Your mind and body are very closely connected, the one heavily influences the other. Consider for a moment, when you have suffered with emotional or mental struggles and felt completely overwhelmed and low, did you notice how it impacted on your body? Maybe it affected your digestive system? Maybe it affected your hormones and created irregular periods or impotence? Did you notice if your muscles felt tighter? Maybe it created tension headaches? The list could go on!
Likewise, when you have had physical health issues such as bursitis, herniated disc, inflammatory bowel issues, hormonal imbalances, poor sleep patterns, a diagnosis or prognosis of a health related issue, it will often affect your emotional and mental health. Your mind and body are so intricately connected.
Within the field of Somatic Movement and education, we (educators) refer to your mind and body collectively as the Soma. Your soma is a sensory organism which has been moulded by your beliefs, cultures, habits, movements, thoughts, intentions, lifestyle and so on. How you are today is as a result of what you have encounter over the decades. Consider for the moment how everything you take in around you is via sensory awareness, from smells, to taste, emotional situations, what you listen to, beautiful landscapes to high pressured situations. You absorb all these sensations and then your central nervous system adapts and shapes your perception of the world around you, making what you see and believe as ‘correct!’ However somebody else next to you can have the same beliefs is some areas of their life as you, however from life experiences and other encounters, their perception and how they respond or react can be very different and yet they think they are ‘correct!’
Today’s blog is to encourage you to let go of trying to be ‘correct’ and control all aspects of your life. Instead, look at how you can release long held tension, emotions and tightness within your soma which can be a result of emotional or stress related events over the years.
Mindset and Muscles
Over the years I have met clients who have wanted solutions and answers to their aches and pains. Firstly I think it is brilliant when people want to improve themselves by finding ways to reduce pain, improve posture, increase mobility and return to a good quality of life. However there is more to Somatics than knowing movement. As I always teach to my clients in person and within my online program at www.TotalSomatics.com, unless you address your mindset, Somatics is purely a mechanical exercise. Speaking bluntly, you could teach a monkey somatic movements however that’s not what it’s about.
Earlier I mentioned that you are a Soma, which encompasses your physical, emotional and mental health. Somatics is about sensing and feeling from within, having an awareness of how your central nervous system is faring and its influence on your entire being. Is it relax? Is it hypervigilant? Are you operating on nervous energy? Are you pushing thoughts and emotions down, hoping not to think about them? Eventually they will surface in another way, either as a digestive, hormonal, inflammatory or muscular problem, just to name a few.
To read more about Repressed Emotions, CLICK HERE.
Get to Know Yourself
This may sound like a very odd statement, “get to know yourself,” however due to many stresses, trials and traumas which impact people over the years, many individuals will live ‘in their heads.’ They are able to reason and debate very articulately. It is a way for your amazing soma to deal with trauma, which is to live in your head, in this way you can stay hyper alert to ‘danger’ and be ready for action. However over the years these past traumas have a control over your nervous system and continue to operate subconsciously whilst you go about your daily activities. A pattern of behaviour occurs. For instant when a person has fear which could be tied up with past events, it will surface in other areas such as having to control every aspect of their life or others. It maybe feeling guilty to just stop and enjoy the moment. It may be that it is ‘self indulgent’ to take a day to fully relax, recuperate and rest. All these mindset patterns are limiting beliefs and impact greatly on your recovery to truly feel comfortable in your own skin. Plus when you live very ‘cerebral,’ you may be unable to sense and feel areas below your head due to living in the fight or flight (survival) stress response.
People may comment that during a soma or body scan, they are unable to feel anything. As I mentioned in my previous blog CLICK HERE to read, the scan is equally as important as the somatic movements because it allows your sensory cortex to sense and feel these areas again. When you have had stress, anxiety or trauma, recently, in the past or ongoing, your nervous system switches into the fight or flight stress response. This means that in survival situations you are very focused on how to escape or fight the situation, so all feelings, sensations and internal awareness subside as the person is focused fully on how to survive the situation. As a result digestive and reproductive organs reduce in activity to allow for greater focus to the heart, lungs, arms and legs to tighten and contract, being prepared for the stressful situation.
However, your central nervous system should be able to regulate back to “homeostasis” or a state of balance once the stressful event has passed. However, this often doesn’t happen in severe stress related situations. As a result, techniques are required to change how the central nervous system is talking to the muscles and the rest of your body. This is where Somatic movement and Somatic Education within my Online Program (www.TotalSomatics.com) helps to cover all bases. When you truly understand why something is behaving the way it is, why you have recurring issues and how to remedy the situations, you get that “ah ha” moment! Putting skills and knowledge in place with an increased awareness of yourself allows you to feel educated and empowered in the area of your own health and wellbeing.
That is why within my online program, daily social media posts and weekly blogs, I provide LOTS of material to support you. Within my podcast series found within the online program, I discuss with Dr Sarah Wilson how our mindset has huge implications to certain health conditions. Together we discuss how we can create a lifestyle to reduce living in a cycle of fear, anxiety, having to control everything and actually enjoy living in the moment, allowing yourself to feel relaxed and at peace from within.
I would love to help you with reducing pain, improving posture, increasing mobility and teaching you how to develop mindfulness. Check out my Online Program at www.TotalSomatics.com which continues to be a popular choice for people all around the world.
I look forward to teaching you skills and knowledge so you can reduce pain, improve posture, increase mobility and DEVELOP MINDFULNESS.
For more details about my online program, go to www.TotalSomatics.com
Heidi Hadley xx