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Thread: Body therapies

  1. #1
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    Default Body therapies

    OK, at last I got round to doing this....

    A space to talk about healing the body, in whatever way you want....Reich, Gestalt, therapeutic breathing, Alexander Technique, mindfulness/mentalisation, improving proprioception....where is trauma and sadness located, and how do you find it and heal it?

    @DannyL, @Luka...and I forgot I'm not on facebook...

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  3. #3
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    Will do a longer post tomorrow but I've just finished reading Bessel Van De Kolk's book "The Body Knows the Score". He's very good on trauma, though my abiding memory of the book is of the horrendous things that people do to their kids. Truly But it's a great resource and he covers a really wide range of different therapeutic approaches.

    I think the really interesting thing though is when you do this work when you're already (relatively) healthy. I feel like you kinda bootstrap up into another level of functioning. Is that bragging? Perhaps the people who know me IRL will say, we've seen scant evidence for that.

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    Meditation is effective, I just cannot commit to doing it - you'd think finding fifteen minutes to sit down with your eyes closed would be easy. The thing about it is it's actually hard - which in of itself is enlightening. Realising that you're addicted to input, and addicted to thinking. For someone like me, this is important to be reminded of. I was doing it for over 30 days straight at the start of the year but lost the thread somewhere along the line.

    The exercise thing I'm always somehow sceptical about but it definitely works. You feel terrible (in all likelihood) during it but afterwards you feel better all day.

    Food I really need to crack - partly cos I'm overweight and partly cos I'm aware that eating shite all the time just makes you feel worse, especially as you get older.

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    Just to expand a bit on what I wrote above - I'm aware that body therapies seem to be present in the discourse, but people often talk about them as a way of resolving deep trauma - the BvdK book I mentioned is very much about that. I was thinking as I read that, but what about therapy for people who aren't hurting in this way? What might this work do for them? I think it's when you resolved some of your emotional crap but still do the work that things start to get really interesting. As a for instance, I also study Alexander Technique - when I was having weekly Reichian therapy, I went to an AT "lesson" as they are called and a knock on side effect was - in the session - feeling this really deep sense of joy. I was sitting there feeling this unintended, sustained delight virtually oozing out of my pores. I assume the two modalities had cross-fertilised somehow. Weird and wonderful when this kinda thing crops up without pharmaceuticals. It's interesting to experience something like this which it isn't bound up with any content as such as well. No "I feel happy because of..." - it was a feeling that existed prior to conceptualisation.

    I think you are dead right about meditation, Corpsey. 30 days is something to be celebrated surely? I don't have a regular practice at the moment, due to kids though I often do a few minutes of what's called in Alexander Technique "directed thinking" first thing in the morning. Had a row yesterday with my partner about her habit of reading the news on her phone as soon as she wakes up. Why would you want that input first thing upon awakening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    Meditation is effective, I just cannot commit to doing it - you'd think finding fifteen minutes to sit down with your eyes closed would be easy. The thing about it is it's actually hard - which in of itself is enlightening. Realising that you're addicted to input, and addicted to thinking. For someone like me, this is important to be reminded of. I was doing it for over 30 days straight at the start of the year but lost the thread somewhere along the line.

    The exercise thing I'm always somehow sceptical about but it definitely works. You feel terrible (in all likelihood) during it but afterwards you feel better all day.

    Food I really need to crack - partly cos I'm overweight and partly cos I'm aware that eating shite all the time just makes you feel worse, especially as you get older.
    how did you meditate? put a timer on 15 minutes, close your eyes and sit in a position? i want to try it but know nothing about it.

  7. #7
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    Headspace app - very easy to use, first 30 days free.

    With these guided meditations it's important that the guide's voice doesn't annoy you. Headspace guy has a very soothing voice.

    You can do it unguided of course but personally I need someone reminding me to stop thinking about my to do list and get back to the breathing.

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    Danny: the irony of me using headspace of course is it's a phone app. You need a smartphone (I think) to use it. So it's that paradox of being tethered to the very thing that's destroying your concentration span in order to be "mindful".

    I guess in the western world we're all flailing around for things to help us cope with modernity, simultaneously completely unable to renounce the short term satisfactions supplied by it

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    A friend said that the reason we've seen a jump in the popularity of mindfulness etc is precisely because of this - as an antidote to the environment we've created.

    I used Headspace for a little bit and it's good. I originally learnt to mediate by focusing on my breathing though, many years back which I think is a bit harder. It normally takes me about 10m before I settle into the stillness that I want out of the session (obvs I still lose that time after time after time but that's the kinda baseline). Counting one's breath, say 1-7, and repeating also works well. It's interesting to try and take some of the practices into daily life i.e. meditate while trying to look interested when you're in a shit meeting.

    There's a good interview here with Andy Puddicombe, the guy who invented Headspace - was a former Buddhist monk and circus performer! - https://www.russellbrand.com/podcast...dy-puddicombe/

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  11. #10
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    Hangovers were always the thing that prevented continuity of practice for me.

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    Thing about meditation is that while I reckon it does help a lot with my mindstate I can't help but feel that sitting down for 15 minutes a day and concentrating on my breathing isn't actually going to sort out any of my problems.

    Not that I sort out my problems anyway, but do you see what I mean? Rome wasn't built by a Buddhist etc.

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  14. #12
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    Yeah I think there's always that tension - do I change my relationships, the environment I'm in etc. or do I manage (or police/suppress?) my internal reactions? You could map this right out cultures - ideas (probably outdated and maybe a bit racist?) of the "active" West vs. the "passive" East.

    I do think you can do things with a thoughtful, reflective mindful attitude and that does seem to best way to do most things whether it's, I don't know, making plans for climate change activism or eating a packet of crisps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
    A friend said that the reason we've seen a jump in the popularity of mindfulness etc is precisely because of this - as an antidote to the environment we've created.
    [/url]
    Incidentally, this is why you now see adverts for mattresses on the tube.

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    any thoughts on cranial osteopathy? alexander technique?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    any thoughts on cranial osteopathy?
    Cranial worked wonders on a injury of mine that nothing else touched.
    No idea why or how, but it was pretty astonishing.

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