How bodywork teaches you to listen to your body

Bodywork is a form of alternative therapy or coaching through the body, with many different types of techniques or approaches available for those curious to explore their state of being through body wisdom and touch. Your body stores your past experiences, your traumas, and old stories that you tell yourself, and keep reinforcing. But your body is also where hope resides. Connecting to the body connects us to all of it, all of who we are, all of what we carry – the entirety of our soma and our life experience. With a professional bodyworker or somatic practitioner you can find a new way of listening to your body. 

Bodywork touches emotions

Our body is the vessel to our emotions and our lived experiences, which explains why only talking about our challenges does not complete the entire process of consoling or dissolving our issues, fears, or grief. By including our body in the process we find new solutions and can feel new emotions that cannot be processed if we only look for solutions in the thinking mind. Bodywork presents new resources within you that can be sensed and embodied. Through touch and bodywork we can receive support during periods of stress and anxiety, or loss and disconnect. When we listen to our body we learn more about ourselves and our life experiences, which resources us.

Bodywork includes the body

Your body is the medium to turn to when the analytical mind fails to support you with solutions or emotional support. When the analytical mind leaves you hopeless, empathic bodywork offers you the opportunity to dive into a new perspective, to open your eyes, to feel held, literally supported. Your body is the key to your healing and empowerment. Together with a bodyworker or somatic coach that matches your needs you can find so much that wants to be processed as soon as your body feels safe and supported. Topics and blockages you might not be able to name will rise up to the surface to be looked at and worked on in their own time.

Touch finds our heart

Through somatic bodywork and touch we find our heart, intuition, power, sovereignty and hope for the future and the direction we are going in. Touch adds lightness to your healing process, and is also able to locate heavy emotions in the body. Somatic work includes all of you in your healing process, and improves your capability to live a more fulfilling life, while understanding your bodymind and the wisdom within; while feeling connected to your body and sensations. 

Bodywork to support chronic conditions

Bodywork teaches you to listen to your body rather than your racing mind, and more importantly, to trust your body’s communication more than that of your panicked thoughts. For many people, turning to somatic coaching or bodywork is only an option after they have exhausted their resources on other approaches, or tried quick-fixes. Perhaps most people turn to an embodied approach only after being in pain for a very long time, and experiencing chronic conditions, disease or emotional dis-ease until it becomes unbearable for them? Bodywork is still not as widely normalized as is talk therapy and medication. Although talk therapy and medication also serves its purpose, working through the body offers a more holistic approach than if it is left out of the healing process altogether.

Your body knows what it needs

Your mind can try to rationalize and analyze, to make up stories or to control the storyline of who you are and what you need, but your body knows what it needs. Your body knows, and it wants to be heard, seen, moved and touched. Body-oriented coaching includes the body in what the mind tried to think its way through. Listen to your body and let it guide you on the path that you need to take to get to where you need to go, to transform your stories and beliefs and perspectives, so that you can move forward. Ask yourself: What did your body try to tell you today? 

Connect to your energy and movement

Bodywork teaches you to listen to your body, because a bodyworker connects you to the movement that is in the body, the energy, the power, the experiences, the knowledge, the wishes and desires. The energy, or information, in our body is only able to move freely without blockages when we put the body into movement. If there is no movement your life energy stagnates and this causes blockages within you. Bodywork helps you when you want to release conscious and subconscious blockages in your system; physical, emotional, and energetic blockages that hold you back and make you feel unresourced or exhausted. 

Somatic sense of safety

Bodywork teaches you to listen to your embodiment, your movement, but can also be about coming into stillness, and feeling calm and safe in stillness. To be in stillness with touch can be easier for a busy mind, than to be in stillness on your own; to be in stillness with another person holding space for you, and literally holding you. It is a human need to be heard, seen and felt. It is a human need to be touched. When these needs are met we start to feel safe – a somatic sense of safety. For your process, please make sure that you feel you can trust your practitioner, in order for your body to feel safe and supported, otherwise your body will close itself off.

Checklist worth remembering:

  • When your body becomes loud do you listen to it, or do you ignore it? 
  • Maybe you even complain about it instead of giving it the attention it asks for?
  • When you listen to how you actually are, you develop a better understanding of how you are living your life and what changes you need to make. 
  • Listen to your body during major life decisions, and let it guide you; let it move you forward in the right direction on your life path. 

Bodywork teaches you to listen to your body, to your intuition, to your dreams and needs, and also to what is harming you, what changes you need to implement in your life, what boundaries feel good to set… Your body knows, and when you sense into your body, you will know too. 

Bodywork teaches you to listen to your body by including it in the healing process.
Bodywork teaches you to listen to your body by including it in the healing process. Image by Unsplash.

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