Our bodies are ALWAYS talking to us. They offer invaluable signs to let us know when to slow down and take stock because imbalance in body and mind is present. Our bodies also provide us with the means to rectify that imbalance and to manage our stress and well being.
The BodyTalk system of healing focuses on the consciousness that the various parts of the body represent. The consciousness is very closely linked to the physiological role of the part. For instance, the liver is responsible for processing and synthesizing nutrients from food in our intestines and this correlates with our ability to process life and take wisdom from life experiences (or store negative experiences which ultimately form body armour to ‘protect’ us). The liver also holds the consciousness of anger which serves to protect us and alert us to an invasion of boundaries. Thus, when we are grappling with issues around processing information and experiences, organising and planning, protection and anger it is very likely the liver will be out of balance or at the very least be a focus during balancing. We deduce what is out of balance through muscle testing and neuromuscular feedback.
I have had many experiences where the physical symptoms clients presented with were very clear indicators of the psychological difficulties they were battling with. Often they used body language to describe their symptoms!
- I have had a client who told me his ‘blood boiled’ whenever he was angry but he never expressed this anger and instead internalized it. He had been struggling with high blood pressure for a long time.
- A client who had lost her husband had a ‘broken heart’ and I noticed whenever we did hypnosis she lay on her back with her hands crossed over her heart. She told me that she has been sleeping like that since his death (protecting her heart)
- I saw a client who had experienced a trauma in a certain place and when she visited that place again as an adult she twisted and injured her knee very badly. It was only later that the trauma became conscious and we worked in BodyTalk with the kidney meridian. This meridian runs through the kidneys and the knees, and the kidneys hold the consciousness of fear, survival and willpower (including powerlessness). Her body was desperately wanting her to get away from that place and to use her willpower to survive when she had previously been powerless and had feared for her survival. Consequently, her knee had become vulnerable to injury.
- I have had so many clients with lower back pain when experiencing fear due to perceived lack of security. The pelvis and lower back, as well as the associated base chakra, are all related to survival, security and fear. The kidneys are of course also closely involved in the lower back pain.
- A client who had a very difficult relationship with a parent but was unable to express this anger to her parent due to the circumstances she was in. The anger was very related to the responsibility she, as as a child, had to take on. Consequently, she harboured this anger for many years and suffered unexplained shoulder pain throughout. She tried various therapies but it was only when she experienced BodyTalk that we worked with releasing the responsibility and anger she had been shouldering and the fact she had experienced her parent as a ‘pain in the neck’. The pain disappeared after the first session!
- I have seen many clients presenting with thyroid and throat issues, all of whom had difficulty expressing their opinions and anger;
- There have been clients presenting with asthma due to fear (when we breath in this is about accepting life force and all that life offers us, thus when afraid by life one may breathe very shallowly. In addition, the deeper we breathe the more we get in touch with our deeper emotions and many people choose to avoid connecting with these emotions.
- Finally allergies are often caused by the body misperceiving harmless substances as a threat. This is often related to fear-consciousness and thus the manifestation of allergies in response to a ‘dangerous’ environment.
However, you do not need to be able to use muscle testing to determine what is out of balance. if you are conscious of your body and aware of something being out of balance, it is a clear sign that there is imbalance in your body and mind, or what we call the bodymind complex in the BodyTalk profession.
I KNOW all of this yet I did not listen to the more subtle signs of dizziness, fatigue, agitation and increased anxiety and my body thus literally forced me to stop. At the beginning of March I had an adrenal crash (due to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome) and could barely get out of bed. In my previous life (the life before I was more conscious of my body and my experiences) I would have continued to push myself and try to ignore the signs. I may have gone to a doctor to ask for a quick fix which might have helped for a short amount of time but I would have crashed again, and again and again until I figured it out. I know this because that is essentially what happened. I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue in 2013 and for the first time made sense of what had been happening all those years before.
Besides my own experience I have been seeing an increasing number of clients who come to me with adrenal burnout after not having listened to their bodies for years. In a time of ever-growing demands and a fast pace of life the adrenals are the part of the body that are most likely to be affected. The adrenals are small endocrine (hormone-releasing) glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Considering the consciousness of kidneys (willpower, fear and survival), it should be no surprise that the adrenals are closely related to these aspects. The consciousness of adrenals includes sexuality, drive, motivation, willpower, strength, coping, overwhelm, fear, paranoia and obsession. The adrenals release various hormones that help us with survival, including reproductive hormones and those that enable the fight or flight reponse when a threat is perceived. When feeling particularly driven and overwhelmed or fearful your adrenals are going to be working very hard.
Unfortunately, general everyday stress can be perceived as a very real threat. The brain cannot tell the difference between figurative and literal and so the body responds as it would when chased by a wild animal even if we are only dealing with another night of broken sleep or daily cumulative demands. In my case, as with others who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue, the adrenals eventually become too depleted if constantly responding to ‘threats’ due to the ever-present consciousness of things like fear and overwhelm (caused for me by five years of child-related sleep deprivation and their very normal but exhausting demands).
So, yes, one would think that I would have slowed down immediately upon experiencing the adrenal symptoms and I did, but not enough, and happened to have a huge client load so did not want to let people down (still working on this issue in my life!) However, I soon realised and accepted I had to just STOP and listen and so I did and used my body as my route back to health. I took the necessary supplements, ate the right foods, began more mindfulness practices and rested, rested, rested. I am still continuing to do these things even though I have now started to work again but I check in over many moments of the day with my body to see where I am at and what I can manage. I literally listen to see if I can go to the shop to pick up some food or should rather just lie down for a while. It’s frustrating, yes, but I have also learned to honour the experiences I have and the feedback my body gives me as a gift to be used with patience and wisdom. Furthermore, because of my body saying ENOUGH I have once again looked at how I can put more boundaries up and make further life style changes to nurture me. (Some of those I put in place in 2013 have slipped a little!)
I could go on for ages about the various ways our emotional state and consciousness manifests physically through the body but what I really want to point out is how useful this can be. When one is experiencing chronic pain or discomfort your body is trying to tell you something needs to be resolved and released. It’s no use getting treatment that simply alleviates the symptoms as the cause still remains and the symptoms will manifest in some other way. While our bodies give us the signal that something is wrong it is often through the body that these things can then be treated and this can even be as simple as therapeutic massage, eating a healthy diet that nurtures the body, or just tuning in with your awareness to ‘listen’ to the symptoms – as you feel it and allow the discomfort, pain etc you may often find it is released. Psychotherapy can also help physical symptoms to be resolved – as the emotional state is altered the body no longer has to hold the tension and energy.
Instead of seeing physical discomfort, illness and other symptoms as a weakness or a frustration rather see these things as very useful feedback. The body gives this feedback and offers the means to correct imbalance throughout the body and mind. Maybe it is time to tune in a little more?!!