(by Ged Summer)[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he more sensitive you become to your body the more you start to hear its needs. Then you naturally want to feed it healthy food and offer it intelligent exercise, not abuse it or exhaust it. You start to move into a harmonious relationship with your body and everything about you will change. Being in harmony with your body is the start of being in harmony with yourself and who you are and how you want to lead your life.[span3][margin_5t]As your body awareness increases through the exercises, you will notice physical changes occurring: your body will, literally, re-posture itself, there will be reorganization of structures around each other, a re-alignment that brings about a new physiology; all of which will often be followed by mental or emotional shifts.[/span3]
This book is an attempt to make the body, your body, more accessible. There are millions of facts about the body from modern medical science that aren’t necessary to know, you don’t need them to grasp the basics of how your body works. Instead, certain facts are presented here that highlight key qualities and functions of the body, derived from a mixture of western medical science, eastern concepts of health and medicine and alternative body therapy approaches. Most of the medical ‘lingo’ has been purposefully expelled, to make it more reader friendly, keeping only the more commonly used terms that may be useful to know, and this in itself, might help to break down the negative reactions towards medical terminology.
As well as learning about the mechanics of your body you will be guided through some practical exercises. As you move through the exercises, you may notice that it’s a struggle to feel certain body structures or functions whilst others you can relate to easily. This you will be encouraged to pay particular attention to, as it will indicate where you orientate to most in your body. You might not be as connected to certain tissues or parts of your body as others and this is quite a common experience. In this way you can start to construct a ‘body map’ that will show your body awareness in detail. From this, new gateways of awareness will open as you start to recognise all of your body and listen to the detail of what’s going on. Much of this will be wonderful, but some of it might bring up difficult feelings as you start to make connections with your body memory: the body is a memory bank of all your experiences. Our bodies hold the landscape of the many events in our lives; some of the landscape will no doubt have turbulent weather, which may contain difficult feelings that are unresolved. Remember, the emphasis of
the exercises is to open up to an underlying order that will bring about integration of body physiology with your thoughts and feelings.
When identifying the state of your body something wonderful happens, an automatic process of change begins. Just becoming aware of something brings about change, in order to better accommodate ‘something new’. That ‘new something’ could be as simple as a new state of being and it can lead to a whole lot more. As your body awareness increases through the exercises, you will notice physical changes occurring: your body will, literally, re-posture itself, there will be reorganization of structures around each other, a re-alignment that brings about a new physiology; all of which will often be followed by mental or emotional shifts. You therefore, begin to feel different, move differently and think differently. This process will affect all parts of your body, but by using the exercises for the particular areas of the body that you have difficulty relating to, you will bring about deep change to your whole body. This will happen over time with repetition of the exercises. All of which leads to a rare and precious state: ‘Integrated Body Awareness’ – a state of relating to the whole of your body in the present. This in itself, naturally, creates greater vitality and clarity of mind. Here’s an example of a body awareness exercise:
Finding your spine 1
Imagine your attention/awareness is like fluid. Let it flow down from your head, along the length of your spine, right into the bottom of the spine in the pelvis. Sensations of your spine will come to you. Take your time with doing this. Let the feel of the spine emerge at its own pace. Try to feel the nobbly bits, the curves, bones, and the spine as a unit. That’s really the important thing, bringing your awareness to the whole spine. It’s composed of many separate parts, but the super-nature of it, is that it’s one unit of function. We can forget this and get lost in the bits and pieces of it. Find your whole spine again and you will find your relationship to the whole of you. This is the way to ‘holistic relationship’. A whole relationship with yourself, people, nature, and the universe at large. How important is this? Spend some time making this relationship with your spine and observe what happens in your life. Finding your spine is transformative.
Meet the Author: Ged Sumner is a practicing Craniosacral Therapist, Craniosacral Therapy trainer and Chi Kung teacher. He has also studied shiatsu, healing and attachment based psychoanalytical psychotherapy. He is the director of Body Intelligence Training which offers Biodynamic Craniosacral Theraphy practicioner courses in North America and Australasia (www. bodyintelligence.com). Ged is also the author of You Are How You Move: Experiential Chi Kung.