Psychotherapy is about changing the brain for the better so we can make more of our lives. However, in my experince, our culture often forgets that the brain is totally enmeshed with the body. Our mind is more than our thoughts. I think and feel and sense and do and move and relate with awareness, therefore I am.
'The mind is an embodied
and relational process
that regulates the flow
of energy and information.'
Knowing that we’re embodied minds gives us more therapeutic options. For example, replacing judgemental thoughts with kinder ones usually leads to more pleasant feelings and body sensations. As relaxing the body also relaxes the brain, body-based soothing activities can also support the process of working with thoughts, feelings and everything else.
There are many body-honouring traditions such as Body Psychotherapy, EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Yoga. I was involved in Touch for Health before training to be a counsellor and have found great value in simple yet profound acupressure, EFT and breath and movement practices which I offer as optional support within therapy.
Touch and breathe
This video by Michael Gach shows how to combine slow, deep breathing with gently holding a sequence of three relaxing acupressure points. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or fed up, holding each point for one or two minutes may help balance and soothe your embodied mind.
If you enjoy using acupressure, you may find this and other body-honouring practices could support you both during counselling and as an enriching form of self-help. Do you want to learn a complete body-based, self-help system that, with practice, can promote balance and peace of mind? If so, you may wish to consider a seven week Autogenic Therapy course.