Bodies Are Good ~By Naomi Chuah, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist~
In our clinic, we are in the business of taking care of bodies. We take care of our own bodies, and spend a lot of time thinking about and putting into action supporting other bodies. We help bodies remember their own capacities to heal, move, and work the best they can in their given situation and place in time.
Right now I would like you to stop and take a minute. Turn your attention inside your own body. How does it feel? There are no right or wrong answers. There are though, definitely comfortable and uncomfortable answers.
Bodies are good, plain and simple. We spend our whole life in these fleshy, physical bodies. Bodies that are a biomechanical/psychosocial wonder of motion, emotion, and connection. We are ever breaking down and renewing and evolving. We are ever adapting to our physical/psycho emotional situations that we are in. Our bodies let us know when we are not happy, and they also bring us pleasure and contentment when we are happy, healthy, challenged, supported, and connected.
Not all of us have grown up with this message. For reasons as various as you can think of, many of us have been taught to distrust our body, and/or think of it as “bad” or somehow at fault for our own ills and for the ills of society. Or we may have had painful life experiences leading to physical discomfort and pain, leading us to view our body as something to be mistrusted.
This body is where it all lands. The comfortable, the uncomfortable, and the challenges. No matter if it's physical or psychological (perhaps not separate?), the effects always end up in the body. Feel how your body retracts when frightened, strains forward in interest, gets weighed under an intense work load, and then melts into the embrace of a loved one. Do you feel the shapes and different tensions your body moves into and through?
At the end of the day, I feel for a lot of us, our body is the last frontier of facing our fears. After all the blame, the caring for others, the striving, the serving, the fighting. When we finally stop and quiet our minds: “Am I really ok with myself, how I feel in my own skin?”
Sometimes, I liken this fear to feeling a dragon behind us, always scaring us. We fight it, we avoid it, we try to subdue it. Then maybe we lock it up. That makes us feel a little safer, but still on edge. What if that dragon turns out to be the fear in our own nervous system? What if that dragon is part of me? What if that dragon (your nervous system) was looking out for you this whole time, and desperately trying to protect you? And you learn, that just maybe, you can go into that room slowly, and start to befriend it. Learn to feel. Learn to listen to the queues: when to slow down, listen, or maybe move faster, or get help. And learn to feel the contentment of a relaxed body that knows it is safe and capable. Your body will carry you through so much. And feel not only pain, but joy and pleasure as well.
Photo by: Eduardo Barrios