BODY WORK MODALITIES
All forms of body work treat the body-mind-and spirit along with the energy field that lies within the body and surrounds it. There are many Western styles of Body Work along with many ancient and contemporary Eastern styles. All have borrowed from each other and utilize different protocols. In the end, the desired outcome is the healing and restoration of the whole person.
One way to think about Body Work is that it originated from the philosophy that our body contains and expresses our emotional and physical memory. Our body includes our cells, our energy source Qi, our skeletal system, our organs, our myofascial system which is our soft tissue, and our meridian system. It is said that the psyche (unconscious, subconscious) is stored in the body.
Candace Pert in her groundbreaking book "Molecules Of Emotion" describes her discovery of neuropeptides and their connection to our emotional history. She states that neuropeptides, which make up the molecules of all cells in our body are made from our emotional experience. This is one of the first Western scientific studies to confirm what Eastern Medicine has always taught: that our entire bodily system is the container for all of who we are and who we were.
Therefore, all past traumas, wounds, and sorrows are held in our body. It is where the unconscious and subconscious is housed. All of this creates structure and function that is generated by our genetic endowment and molded by our personal emotional and physical history. This physical-emotional functioning expresses who we are automatically in all of our strengths and limitations; thoughts and feelings. As this is automatic and unconsciousness it continues to express our limitations and struggles in the world. In order to create change in this aspect of experience the body work utilizes touch and movement... to bring the body to a more functional and healthy state of expression and function. In this process old trauma is accessed and released. This is often the limitation of talk therapy alone. Although many positive changes occur, much of the cellular based, unconscious trauma leading to automatic behavior still exist.
In this history, a unique personal structure is created; with its own twist and turns, aches and pains, physiologic and emotional disturbances. This structure or container is therefore determined by our historical and current emotional state. What this means is that our physical being, the way we are held together, the way we walk, sit, stand etc., is caused by our history. At the same time, our structure can affect our emotional state and thereby, affect our future well being.
Therefore, utilizing various forms of touch, stretching, acupressure, acupuncture, lymph drainage, myofascial release, etc. is a way to bring the body back to its original healthy state. Based on the above information, releasing the body of history can potentially free up any old wounds. Some popular forms of body work that has developed in the west include Rolfing, Cranial Sacral Release, Myofascial Release, A variety of Somatic Release techniques etc. Eastern forms of body work include, Yoga, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Abhyanga, Tai Chi, and more.