Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Let me body about that"

Acupuncture is based on the premise of getting out of one's head and into one's body - to hear, see, touch, smell and feel what it is that's coursing through our veins right now at this very moment.

(Remember Billy Ocean? "Get outta my dreams, and into my car...get outta my mind, and into my life...")

It's conducive in society today to treat our bodies like they're second priority behind our brains. How we physically feel is not often convenient, so we've learned to suppress it. We have things to do and mouths to feed. We're working more and sleeping less. There's no off switch to our brains. We have a 24/7 news cycle. The number of hours spent in front of screens are on the rise. Getting coffee is our national pastime. Headache medicine is a staple in our purses and our offices.

As you're reading this, what does your body look like? Are your shoulders rounded? Is there any hidden tension in your hands and wrists? How does your back feel?

Pause: take a full inhale, followed by a full exhale.

What if our bodies had more of a say? What would life look like if we paid more attention to our bodily reactions and gut feelings? What if, instead of saying "let me think about that", we said "let me body about that"?

I've been experimenting with this. If I get invited to an event, I notice how my body responds to the idea of it. Sometimes my stomach will knot up, and sometimes my heart starts pounding. If I feel hungry, I take a minute to see what on the menu makes my mouth water (lately it's broccoli, contrary to my usual plan to order french fries).

Becoming aware of my body has shown me that my symptoms don't just appear out of nowhere. Tension doesn't come out of thin air. Pain and illness, like traffic jams, are the result of series of many mini back-ups. For example, my headaches come after I've been running on low sleep and barely any water. When I pay attention to first feeling tired and/or dehydrated, I know what's coming next -unless I self-correct.

No two bodies "think" exactly alike either. What's you're body telling you when your heart pounds or your breathing gets shallow or your stomach tightens?

No comments:

Post a Comment