Body-mind therapy (also known as somatic therapy) combines the strengths of talk therapy with the effectiveness of body-centered awareness. Talk therapy engages only the mind, which is valuable for accessing thoughts and beliefs. Body-mind therapy is a therapeutic process that involves the whole being, including thoughts, feelings, body sensations, memories, and breathwork. The advantages of working with the body in the counseling process are vast.
From a body-centered perspective, when people are faced with emotionally uncomfortable situations, they have a tendency to contract their body, constrict their breath, and cut off from their experience in an attempt to deaden the pain. While this provides some temporary relief, it tends to lock unresolved trauma, uncomfortable feelings, and painful memories in the body.
Including the body in the healing process allows for the release of emotional pain and facilitates greater freedom from the old patterns and blockages that have held you back from living more fully. Your mind can selectively filter out what it wants to avoid, even if what is avoided creates problems for you. Conversely, the body reflects things just as they are. The body functions as an invaluable instrument in the counseling process, allowing you to access a deep sense of inner knowing that is unavailable to the mind.
The body houses the chakra system, which consists of seven major energy centers that run vertically from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Chakras two, three, four, and five are particularly sensitive to emotional issues. Unprocessed emotions typically leave an imprint on the chakra that resonates with that particular issue, creating ongoing challenges in that area of your life. For example:
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