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February 3

Listen to Your Body - its your best friend

I describe your body as your Barometer – it is a measure of your mental well-being. When you are in a good place mentally and emotionally you feel light, and balanced and in good health. If you are in a negative place feeling, down, depressed, anxious, stressed then you will have all number of aches and pains, you will over/under eat, you will feel lethargic, heavy and generally unwell.

The Emotion comes first then acts out on the body. Those of you, especially if you have a chronic condition, may say that it is the pain that causes you to feel negative, that is the next layer. The emotional pain comes first, creates physical pain and then you have negative emotions about the pain.

Often at my yoga classes students will ask me for postures to help them with their physical pain, I ask them when the physical problem started and then I ask what was going wrong in their life at that time, and that’s when I see the realization dawn. Sometimes the symptoms appear after the crisis has passed because the body knows it has to keep going and then after the crisis it can let go ie. Collapse which is how PTSD works.

If you ignore the negative emotion, then the physical pain will get worse until you listen to your body as its screaming “Houston we have a Problem”. Many people feel it is a much easier to discuss physical pain than emotional pain, to say “ I am hurting inside”. There is still prejudice against mental health problems, being seen as weak and lacking as a person. However to admit to emotional problems takes great strength and is to be admired.

When I run my ToolBox for Managing Anxiety Course one of the first steps on the road to recovery is when people realize they are not alone, so many people think that it is only them that feels like this and to discover that in fact they are a member of a huge group gives them hope. To feel emotions is to be human, whether they be positive or negative emotions.

You may find your physical problem only happens in certain situations, sometimes it can help you to get out of situations you want to avoid, or give you the attention you need. So another question I ask my clients is “What does this pain do for you?” And generally they know the answer.

So make friends with your body, thank it for its warning system and pay attention to what it is trying to tell you. It is quite logical – If you have a pain in the neck – who is the pain in the neck – as one insightful client said “I am the pain in the neck”! Or are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? As a general rule joint problems are about a reluctance to move forward. I hope this brief insight into Somatic Theory has been helpful

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