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Knowing Thyself: Do we listen to our body, our mind or our heart?

This century has embraced the mind-body connection which in turn have shown the enormous benefits of somatic type therapies. The latter is around impacting ones moods through tuning into our physical sensations; and in turn by tuning into our bodily experiences we can also alter our emotions. Although I myself use a range of talk type therapies, I have found that some individuals resonate initially through their body, not always through their heart or their mind. For example feelings may be shut-down as a form of self preservation following trauma; or cognitions may be disordered or "stuck" also as a natural ability to cope from past traumas.

In these cases it can be phenomenally useful to start through the body as the front-door, and proceed with caution to the back doors associated thoughts and emotional realms. For example I would ask my clients who are struggling to make cognitive sense out of their realities, to rather use their bodily sensations as yardsticks of measurement for environmental or potential mood triggers; such as asking them to gradually become more aware that while being involved in certain exchanges they may "randomly" start feeling light headed, sweaty palms or tight chested, amongst other sensations. These physical sensations can be replayed in therapy and the person can learn to "stay" with these unsettling sensations long enough to further gauge what are their accompanying cognitions and moods. In essence we are multifaceted beings with many moving pieces that are all inter-related, and finding the unique initial entry point into wellness is an essential first step in opening up the whole.

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