Difficult experiences that haven’t been processed properly or emotions that are suppressed are stored in the body, and can have a profound effect on our (mental) health and nervous system.
Research shows that the only way we can change the way we feel is by becoming aware of our inner experience and learning how to befriend it. In fact, having a ‘Felt sense’ of the problem area is one of the best predictors for a successful session. In order to overcome emotional difficulties, we need to experience them in our bodies whilst feeling safe and contained. In other words, to meet with a human presence that which has always been kept hidden, suppressed or pushed away. This way the emotions can be processed and released. The practitioner is there to create a safe space and co-regulate the nervous system of the client which allows us to safely touch our inner world without becoming overwhelmed. Through practice, we can learn how to do this ourselves and are able to conduct our own inner alchemy; transmuting difficulties into wisdom and resilience.
The body, not the mind, holds the solution
The part of the brain which holds our ‘working memory’ and plans for action has no direct connection with our emotional brain, where the imprint of difficult memories reside. This means that understanding why we experience certain blockages doesn’t change how we function (even though it can help us not to surrender to intense reactions). A lot of people know and understand where their difficulties come from, but experience them just the same. The part of the brain which is responsible for self-awareness, inward focus and interoception however has a connection to the emotional brain, and can therefore be used to regulate and reshape our inner experience. Through mindful movement and moment-to-moment awareness of what is unfolding in our inner experience, we can process difficult memories and blockages and return to feeling safe and calm.