Topic: Subtle EnergyHappy St. Patrick’s Day!
Almost 20 years ago when Oprah was having all kinds of “New Age” people on her show, there was something in the air that reached me. Maybe she put it there, I don’t know. She is a very powerful person.
I was an avid reader and book purchaser and soon my shelves were full of weighty tomes on metaphysics, the collective unconscious, transpersonal psychology, meditation, myths and archetypes, mindfulness, chakras, auras, rebirthing, developing psychic abilities – I think you get the idea. I also became curious about energy and its manipulation for healing. I am talking about “subtle energy”; it is called by different names in different traditions but in the western world it is probably most commonly known as chi, qi, ki, and prana. So when a new spirituality center opened up in my city I went to the open house to learn about Reiki, a hands-on healing method that was developed in Japan and had been in use since the early twentieth century. I had an open mind, but no knowledge of subtle energy or how to manipulate it, or what impact this could have on the body. I walked in late, as usual; so I seated myself as inconspicuously as possible in the back of the room.
The registered nurse who delivered the presentation asked for a volunteer from the audience so she could demonstrate this hands-on approach to healing via the body’s energy field. I was tempted to raise my hand but didn’t; an older man, probably in his late eighties, walked to the front of the room.
About 30 seconds after the presenter/practitioner placed her hands lightly on the man’s shoulders, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Gradually it seemed that all of the neurons in my body began to fire, but not in an extreme way; it felt like a pleasant mini-surge of endorphins and dopamine. Then, a peacefulness came over me like a tingly, gentle mist descending. I wasn’t even being touched by the presenter but it sure felt like she had done something to me. And it felt really good.
There are many forms of energy healing: Reiki, Healing Touch, and Pranic Healing, to name just a few. BodyTalk, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), acupuncture, and acupressure are all forms of energy manipulation. Subtle energy can also be balanced through breathing practices, such as Pranayama.
Have you employed any touch-based energy therapies – either through a practitioner, or by your own hand – to access the subtle messages your body sends? Have you tried a breathing practice like Pranayama, or perhaps something less formal or of your own design? How has your awareness of your body changed or increased by using these methods?
How has your body responded to the energy healing modalities listed above? Do you have experience with any others – what was that like? How does your body let you know that it has accepted the changes in its energy field? What does it feel like when your body’s energy field changes, or is healed?
#subtleenergy #subtleenergies #reiki #healingtouch #pranichealing #pranayama #emotionalfreedomtechnique #eft #bodytalk #acupuncture #acupressure #touchbasedtherapy #breathingpractice #energybalancing
We are making a pretty big fuss here about the body’s ability to talk to us. This is the Body Listening Project, after all. But in my experience there is a definite mind-body thing going on. I can tell when my physical energy is on the rise: suddenly, I notice that my house is not as clean as I previously thought. When my energy is up I become happier, and spontaneously I begin cleaning and organizing. Actually it is the other way around – I start cleaning, and then I notice that I have a greater sense of well-being, and that’s when I realize that my energy is up – and these things happen almost simultaneously. Unbeknownst to me, there is a dialogue going on inside, something like this:
Mind: The bathroom faucet has toothpaste spots on it.
Body: (Thinking) What spots? I don’t see any spots. I am so spent that I am not even going to dignify that with a response. Mind, schmind…
(Scene: A couple of days later, during which I have removed myself from all obligations and taken a chunk of quiet time with no physical or mental exertion.)
Body: (Cleaning furiously) This bathroom faucet has toothpaste spots all over it! How could I not see this? There must be a week’s worth of spots on here!
Mind: I have been telling you that for days…
Body: It’s so beautiful when it’s clean and sparkly. Why didn’t you let me know? OMG! I feel so much better now!
Mind: Yep, me too. Let’s go out and celebrate with a green smoothie from that new vegan place!
Body: I’m up for it!
I don’t mean to make a mockery of the very real mind-body connection, but I wanted to illustrate that our bodies do not operate in a vacuum. Of course there is the brain-body connection that probably everyone knows about, but our bodies also respond to the way we think, feel, and act whether those thoughts, feelings, or actions are positive or negative.
What is your body’s “gas gauge” – how does it let you know whether you have enough energy to accomplish something? How does it tell you when your energy is on the wane, or depleted? How does your body inform you about changes in your psychic energy? Do you have a way to give your body more energy? Does your method of generating energy work every time you do it?
#energy #spent #mindbody #mindbodyconnection #senseofwellbeing #psychicenergy
Topic: Other Forms of Movement
There are many somatic education and gentle movement methods designed to teach us to become aware of, and tune into, our inner body sensations and to bring our bodies back into alignment: Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Ortho-Bionomy, Relaxercise – just to name a few. Have you experienced increased body awareness as a result of learning to use this type of modality?
What about mindful forms of movement – e.g., yoga, tai chi, etc.? Do these forms help you to get in touch with your body’s messages any more than traditional forms of exercise? How has this type of movement helped you to understand your body better?
I am going to go out on a limb here and include biofeedback under this topic – either via machine, or from tuning into one’s “interoceptive awareness” – because it is a way to train oneself to monitor certain physical sensations or movements within the body, and adjust them via a constant feedback loop. Have you witnessed your body’s ability to “fix itself” through biofeedback? Is a machine any more or less valuable or valid as a body listening tool?
Let’s not forget the kinds of body movement or manipulation that we pay other people to inflict upon us – here I am talking about methods of Structural Integration like Rolfing and Hellerwork; but also traditional forms of massage, and even the Carey Stretch (personally, my body told me it loves this one). What is your experience with getting feedback from your body during or after it has been manipulated by another person? Is it easier to listen when someone else is working on you?
We move in our sleep, too. There’s a multi-million (or maybe even multi-billion!) dollar industry aimed at selling us implements to correct our sleep posture to eliminate pain and help induce a sense of well-being. Do movement and exercise help or hinder your sleep? Do your sleep habits impact your movement or exercise regimen? Do you use any special implements to correct your body alignment or eliminate pain during sleep? You can attach an image of the item to your reply.
#interoception #bodyawareness #somaticeducation #careystretch #structuralintegration #rolfing #hellerwork #feldenkrais #alexandertechnique #ortho-bionomy #relaxercise #biofeedback #bodyalignment #painduringsleep #yoga #taichi #hurtssogood
I am struggling with this so much at this time that just typing the word “exhaustion” and its definition takes my energy level down a few more notches. I feel like I am becoming even more exhausted just thinking about writing about it. I’m sure it’s a mind-body thing but I don’t want to dwell on it. I know you will understand…so I will let you take it from here. Tell me:
Does your body distinguish between fatigue and exhaustion? Have you ever been so exhausted that you have asked your body “Are you dying?” How have you worked with your body’s messages to bring yourself back into “the land of the living”? What feedback has your body given you during exhaustion that has helped you ultimately to heal?
#exhaustion #amidying #exhaustionislikedepressionofthebody
We always hear that exercise is good for us, and that even when we are experiencing chronic pain we should still do it because ultimately we will feel better. I have not always found that to be the case. There was the time when I did a 30-minute workout with weights at the gym – at a relatively low level of intensity for me – and ended up in bed for a few days afterwards. That’s when my body screamed to me: “Don’t. Lift. Weights. When. I. Am. Hurting. So. Much. …and don’t listen to those so-called experts!” So I did some extra soothing and self-care. It’s okay, body, it’s okay. I hear you. I won’t do that to you again. Just enjoy soaking in this nice bath I’ve made for you with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil.
When I was feeling better I resumed the same workout schedule and everything was fine for a while; then on a random day – and seemingly apropos of nothing – Boom! I got sidelined again. And I listened to my body. The result? I don’t go to the gym anymore; I developed a gentle routine that I do at home. I use very light weights and work all of my muscle groups, but not to failure or exhaustion. My body is much happier now, and I don’t have to pay for a gym membership. It’s a win-win for the two of us.
How about you? Does exercise always make you feel better? Is exercise ever NOT good for you? How does your body let you know? Can you hear your body better during or after exercise? Have you used the signals you’ve received from your body to adjust your exercise regimen? How do you make that feedback loop work?
#bodymovement #exerciseisgoodforyou #post-exertionalmalaise #gentleworkout
Topic: Introduction to Week 1
This is in response to Gypsy Rose’s post asking for an introduction to Week 1. Thanks for the request, and I hope this helps!
If you are just starting out, please feel free to explore the topics and join in on any/all topics.
Our first week is moderated by Mary Grace, and it is about body rhythms. This is the schedule:
Signs and signals
Categories of rhythms
Seasonal body rhythms
Combinations of factors that affect our rhythms
How our bodies let us know we’ve hit our limit
Why should we care about body rhythms?
Though each of us may have different reasons for the health issues that we experience, there may be factors that persist through all of this, that connect multiple systems and influence the way our symptoms change over time.
Understanding our body rhythms can help us proactively to manage our health.
This is your chance to reflect on your body rhythms.
For example, knowing when you might be tired throughout the day can help you do things to avoid the bouts of tiredness, or help you to plan your day around it.
If you recognize your body’s signs, they may serve as a warning sign that you are entering a danger zone, or tell you something else useful about how you are feeling.
You might have a sense of “categories” of rhythms (like sleep, menstrual cycles, headaches, body temperature), how the body might feel different depending on the season or the locale, and combinations of factors that affect our rhythms.
Lastly, the week’s topics end with a discussion of how we know when we’ve hit our limits.
What types of information sources do you use when you look for information on body listening? Please share them with us. In your replies, please provide: an example source, and the hash tag(s) that you would use to classify it.
Here are some examples:
National Center for Homeopathy website: http://www.homeopathycenter.org/ #consumerhealthwebsite
Rosen Method website: http://rosenmethod.com/
#rosenmethod #website #bodylisteningtechnique
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Viewing 9 results - 31 through 39 (of 39 total)