Learning the Body
Updated: Nov 3
There are many messages in our society that dissociate us from our bodies and the messages it sends to us. Some of these include, “no pain no gain” and “beauty must suffer.” We may struggle to have positive body awareness. I am referring to the awareness of our bodies in the service of our mental and physical well being. There are myriad implicit and explicit communications from advertising that says that our bodies, skin, weight, fitness, and even eye color are unacceptable.
This seems to lead to an unfortunate dislike and distance from our bodies. It erodes our self-confidence and makes it hard to learn from the messages our bodies send to us. This communication to the body is vital for our physical safety as well as our emotional well being. Many depressed people I see are not only disconnected from other people but also from themselves. If you feel as though your mind is out of harmony with your body and spirit, there are various ways to re-integrate. Many people find yoga and qigong helpful. In addition, hypnosis can be of assistance. Sometimes people resist yoga, Tai Chi, and qigong because they consider them mystical and they are suspicious of that. The same can be said of hypnosis. Yet this does not need to discourage you from seeking integration in the way that feels right for you!
THE PERILS OF DISCONNECTION
I have seen people injure themselves because they don’t heed the early warning signals of their bodies. Sometimes I have even fallen into that trap myself. When this occurs, it is helpful to assess what led you to distance yourself from your body and its needs. Was it self-conscious about your body? Did you think that pushing yourself was the disciplined choice? Does ignoring your body make you feel virtuous? How has your lack of body awareness sabotaged your success?
I really don’t know what makes us do this. I do know that hypnosis can help us find our ways back to our bodies. Finding the optimal body awareness is an ongoing process, one which requires some self-reflection. This helps us discover what disconnected us in the first place. Then we can learn how to get back to listening to our body’s signals and needs. Dr. Eric Greenleaf talks about how things can be accomplished un-self-consciously, which is a much more efficient and lovelier way to accomplish one's goals.
When we know what makes us sick, tired, or injured we are learning about our bodies. Body awareness comes about by noticing our body’s signals, preferably without judgment. For some, it will be like a foreign language because they’ve spent so much time detached from themselves. Through the focused relaxation and altered state of hypnosis, we can become re-acquainted with our body in a new, innocent way. The Zen concept of Beginner’s Mind can be helpful in adjusting our relationships to our bodies. Without assumptions, pre-existing “knowledge” or opinions, we can see our bodies freshly. This view is unencumbered by all the previous opinions and judgments we’ve placed on ourselves.
HYPNOSIS CAN REVAMP OUR SELF-RELATIONSHIP
I have worked with people who internalized others’ negative opinions about them for years. Traditional therapy did very little to convince them to see their bodies realistically. Yet in the hypnotic state, they were able to drop old, negative beliefs. Instead, they experienced their bodies as useful, strong, and resourceful. It was truly beautiful to see. They were then able to take that new learning forward into their day-to-day existence. It was finally time to leave the old self-hatred behind.
Feeling at home in your own skin allows you to have much more energy, vitality, and information from your body. You also achieve greater peace and self-acceptance of your body. If you would like to learn to love your body through hypnosis, please call 661-233-6771 to set up an appointment.