If your struggling with BodyMind Articles issues, please take our survey to see the severity
Bodywork and Touch
Self-regulation and introspection induced by bodywork can be a very effective way of reaching one’s inner self. The body is our school, our lesson, our shadow, the deep friend of the soul. Our bodies become the springboard into the higher realms and may accompany us in some higher forms into other worlds.
Bodywork is not for everyone and care must be exercised in considering such an approach if sexual abuse or trauma dynamics exist in a client history. However our bodies are central to our physical, emotional and mental health, and additionally are a key boundary we possess as humans which me must learn to respect and honour.
Bodywork can be light touch or it can be quite vigorous, depending on the intention of considering touch, and the level of body resistance, with specific intention of opening up muscular blocks particularly around the chakra centres. It is only used where it specifically relates to some psychological issue which has embodied characteristics needing an intervention that activates awareness or healing.
When including the body in psychotherapy we need to learn how to approach it and ‘speak’ with it. This conversation does not use words, instead it uses proximity, presence, intention, mirroring, attunement, touching, moving and sensory perception.
Wilhelm Reich’s theory was that the body will correct itself. Verbal questioning and clear intention setting and permission seeking precedes body work. The therapist then approaches the held defence or the resistance with whichever somatic gesture or touch is required.
The word diagnosis comes directly from the Greeks and means “a crisis of God”. It specifically meant a “discrimination, a distinguishing, or a discerning between two possibilities”. Today the meaning has been changed. It relates more to the observation of a client which leads to an understanding of his core issue and choice of appropriate healing techniques.
For the therapist, the purpose of diagnosis is to find where to start the intervention. The diagnosis involves clear identification of aspects of character structure and ego strength, using subjective impression.
Both the presenting image and the client’s history are considered. While in the presence of the client, the therapist needs to stay in touch with his feelings and create a ‘holding’ safe environment. The therapist is there, hearing, seeing, reflecting and receiving the client.
The therapist may be intentionally vague, so the client can frame the complete picture by filling in with their own words or creating experiments with statements, ideas, beliefs or observations. The more advanced therapist quickly identifies the issues by recognising symptoms and behaviours.
The diagnosis also depends on the interview style: Structured interview vs. Unstructured Interview / Open-ended interview. The therapist can work on many levels while in the diagnostic phase:
- Physical Characteristics
- Personality Characteristics
- Psychological impact
- Physical Armouring (character defences)
- Energy Distribution
- Psychoanalytical approach which uses cognition and emotion
The diagnosis works on many dimensions: body, energy, psychology, relationships, and soul, where the soul is central to the other four. The body comprises muscular armouring (includes muscle tone, symmetry), shape (includes leaks), texture, colour, warmth, hair, posture, expression, voice, breath, movement, blocks.
Defences are generally seen as resistance to life energy flow. Working with a client then moves forward from a diagnosis to a therapy plan which works to agreed issues and priorities that the client and therapist have discussed.
The client learns about the storyboard of their life written into their body and how releasing certain defences and adaptations at the somatic level can trigger held emotions and usher in completion and healing of past traumas and woundings.