Bodywork and Energy Work
You may be wondering what is bodywork–or energy work? And what is it going to do for you that just plain ordinary psychotherapy can’t do? That’s a great question!
Consider Stress and Anxiety
If you’re under a lot of stress, feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you may have noticed it takes a toll on your body as well as your mind and emotions. This can show up as digestive and eliminative difficulties, aches and pains, heart palpitations, breathing problems… The list is endless.
Literally every organ in your body is connected to the brain through the autonomic nervous system as well as other pathways. Western medicine is only beginning to wake up to the enormous toll our stressful lives are having on our health.
The longer stress goes on, the more impact it has. So besides just the immediate emotional pain and discomfort of being anxious, there are longer term effects to consider as well.
Bodywork Can Help Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
Bodywork and energy work can address stress directly at the level of the autonomic nervous system. It can help regulate your nervous system and bring it back into balance. It does this by accessing your body’s own innate healing capacity. It even helps reverse the physical problems stress has caused.
Studies have shown that touch causes the release of oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “the love hormone,” which also counteracts the stress hormone, cortisol. Thus, bodywork and energy work which use touch can be effective in countering depression as well as anxiety.
And if that wasn’t enough, it can do a lot more than that, too!
There’s a whole field now called body or somatic psychotherapy that recognizes the need to include the body in the healing of the psyche. It addresses the intimate and intricate relationship between your mind and your body.
Consider the fact that your basic psychological and emotional patterns got set in the first few years of your life before you had words. This is when you were most impressionable.
Whatever blocks you are experiencing now had their origins back then in the way you were touched and handled; how safe you felt expressing feelings, emotions, and needs. These imprints live in your body and in the deep structures of your brain connected with the body. Just talking usually won’t change them. Bodywork can.
How I Help
Using my training in Rosen Method Bodywork, I am sensitive to where the tension in your body constricts your breath and how you’ve had to contract muscles to manage anxiety, feelings and emotions. Together, we bring your attention to that tension.
We can do this simply by sitting face-to-face, using awareness – and it can be effective.
But when we work on the table and I use my hands to meet that tension, it’s much more effective. It helps you relax, let go, breathe more deeply, and experience what it is like not to have to hold yourself together.
You learn to receive support and nurturance at a deeper level and allow feelings and emotions to flow through you with more ease. Marion Rosen, the founder, used to say, “This work is about transformation from the person you think you are to the person you really are.” It helps you access your own inner wisdom and voice.
Another level of healing happens when you drop down into a more relaxed, meditative state. Using the light touch of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, I hold your head or make contact with your spine, sacrum and/or feet, and facilitate a shift to a deeper level of consciousness where your inner healer can be accessed.
This is a form of energy work that goes to the cellular and fluid level of your body, including your brain and nervous system, and helps your whole system unwind and reorganize. It can tap into your original embryonic blueprint and bring you more in alignment with your essence.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering…the only clothes you’ll be asked to remove is your shoes!
Call now to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation: 505-577-4607
Harvard Health Publications, Anxiety and Physical Illness, Harvard Medical School, on-line.
Ditzen, B. et al. (2009). Intranasal Oxytocin Increases Positive Communication and Reduces Cortisol Levels During Couple Conﬂict. Biological Psychiatry, 65, 728-73.
Moberg, Kerstin Uvnas, The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the hormone of calm, love, and healing, De Cappo Press, 2003.
Bar-Levav, Reuven, “A Rationale for Physical Touching in Psychotherapy,” in Touch in Psychotherapy,” eds. Smith, E.W.L., Clance, P.R., Imes, S.; The Guilford Press, 1998.
Siegel, Daniels J., The Developing Mind, The Guilford Press, 1999.