Our body determines what we need and where we go, what is good for us and how we feel - whether we are full of life and joy - or not. Our body is the “vessel” which contains our ‘self’, our personality.
Some of our problems are caused by the fact that we have lost contact with our bodies. We have accustomed to constricted breathing patterns and tensions (the hardening of muscles) and this confines us to a certain way of being in the world. We may even try to control our body, to ignore it or to use it like a machine.
Body work affects the biological basis of a physical or mental problem, that is to say on the breathing and on the feeling pattern.
• feel well and at home (again) in your physical self
• get a clear perception of your strengths and your limitations
• deal with stress and increasingly regain your inner equilibrium
• dissolve chronic tension and psychosomatic symptoms
• restore your natural and healthy breathing pattern
• get access to your second brain, your “gut-brain“, to work up suppressed feelings and to „digest“ them
• reactivate and improve your body’s innate ability of self-regulation
• to deal with your feelings adequately by using the vehicle of breath, muscle tonus and posture.
To my mind body work should be an integral part of each kind of therapy. As your mind dwells in your body – we are unable to view or to treat one without the other. It is our body where many formative experiences are stored and we do not find access to them by a sheer linguistic approach. The integration of both methods as I offer it, is usually called body therapy or body centered psychotherapy. For further information also see Approach.
The idea to include the body in therapeutic work may stimulate all kinds of fear, since it is likely to be associated with medical treatment or being 'ill'. It may seem strange and scary because it is unusual to intentionally involve the body at a stage where you already touch on delicate subjects anyway. You may also hold the view that the mind can or should be able to steer it all. Such a belief is usually averse to the potential and momentum of the body.
In practicing body therapy first of all I make sure whether you are ready for it and I greatly respect your possibilities as well as your limits. Body work is one possibility of many, it is an encouragement to expand your range of choices. Nothing will happen without your consent, and you are free to resort to the 'safe' linguistic level any time.
Body therapy can be aligned to your needs in order to guarantee the best possible support. This concerns the setting as well as the bodily intervention itself.
To begin with, the body is included in the therapeutic dialogue, while the client sits in his chair. When you are ready other settings are thinkable, we may work while you either stand on your feet, move around or lie on a mattress.
The basic step of any physical intervention is to concentrate on the perception of your body, to allow and support yourself to feel every part of your body, as it appears to you at the moment and to realize how every image in your mind is related to a physical sensation.
Further on we may take into account body language and body expression, by which we gather additional information on your inner way of experiencing. It may be helpful at times to deliberately implement your body language to express formative old experience to the end that it loses its restrictive power over you.
When you lie down on a mattress we may strengthen the perception of your body by touching, by choosing different positions and by working on those areas where tension has consolidated. By theses physical interventions we help to adjust your breathing pattern and thus improve your ability to relax and to cope with stress. If it is indicated to dissolve and to work up deep emotional tension there is a whole range of possibilities to deal with that including therapeutic touch and deep breathing.
Within the safe setting of an individual therapy we work with different elements of body-therapeutic interventions as described in the previous paragraph. The choice of interventions depends on your request, your degree of tension and your breathing pattern. Nonetheless language remains to be an important medium of communication and reflection.
On the basis of my longstanding experience I offer sessions of one hour, in which we (I and you) elaborate a basic diagnosis of your physical condition and of your developmental potential from the body therapeutic point of view. The purpose of this kind of body diagnosis is to get an idea of possible causes of your psycho-physical condition, of your existential orientation and your symptoms. This also gives a hint at methods of resolution and constitutes a basis of decision making for further therapeutic steps.
For answers concerning body therapy please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org