No matter how much we deny, redefine or push away from our past negative experiences, the body does not forget.
Sensorium Therapy (Mind-Body Therapy) involves discovering how to listen to and connect with the sensations and experiences that are stored within your body so that you can re-connect with the “whole truth” of who you are and what you value. It meets you “where you are” and tunes not only into your mind and thinking, but also to your feelings and your intuition. In short, all of who you have been and all of who you are.Body-Mind Therapy, a Short History
Wilhelm Reich, one of the most influential pioneers of body work therapy, believed that people develop “muscular armoring” during childhood in order to avoid painful emotions or experiences. While this armour is useful early on, its persistence in the body results in severely blocking our body’s natural flow of energy which in turn limits our capacity for pleasure and deep understanding of our actions and behaviours. Convinced that talk therapy alone was insufficient to release this emotional armoring, Reich discovered that by working with the tissue, structure and muscles of the whole body, emotions contained within them could be released and restored to their natural positive state.
Mind-Body therapy is an approach which attempts to meet each person as a whole being. In simple terms a Mind-Body therapist will attend not only to your mind and your thinking, but also to your body, your feelings and your intuition. In short, all of who you have been and all of who you can become.
From the moment we are born we learn how to “stuff down” or “hide” our real feelings. We are told not to cry so we use our breath to hold back our tears, we are told not be angry so we hold it in our muscles, we are told not to be sad so we laugh when we need to cry. Basically every emotion we have ever needed to express in order to release the trauma surrounding the events we have encountered have in some way been repressed or transformed into something else. So, is it any wonder that most of us need some kind of therapeutic help in order for us to decipher what truly are “our real emotions” and what are our “learned and conditioned responses”.
How does sensorium therapy deal with unresolved pain?
There are two levels of pain: new pain that you create now, and old pain from your past that still lives on in your mind and body.
Sensorium therapy recognises that we all carry some level of pain and painful stored emotions in our bodies. By connecting with this pain through the touch of a skilled therapists hands and presence, this pain can be released and explored so that it no longer resides in your body as an unresolved issue of anxiety, fear or depression.
During the treatment many people say that they feel connected with the inner voice of their body, which is a voice that is not necessarily heard in your ear or in mind, but more a “feeling” or a sensation within your body. This felt experience or the “conversation from within” comes into form either during the treatment or the days following your treatment and can be viewed as the inner wisdom of your true self.
Body-Mind Therapy rather than replacing traditional "talk therapy" actually enriches the talk therapy approach as it provides a deeper and more meaningful solution to addressing our emotions and feelings.
It feels different from other therapies because it works with your sensations and feelings rather than with your cognitive mind. the unique memories and sensations that are stored within your body so that you can bring them to the surface and connect with your personal and internal sensations, sensations that can not be touched by talk therapy alone because they have become locked or frozen in our bodies either from childhood experiences or because we were not in a place where we were ready to accept or deal with them.
Every experience we encounter generates a sensation in your body that becomes part of a fundamental language for expressing who you think you are.Our bodies tell stories. Our muscles hold memories. Sensorium therapy allows us to listen to and transform these stories by working with your breath, your tissues, muscles and emotions in a safe and loving way so you can gently learn how to soften and open your body and in turn your mind to new ways of experiencing your past, present and future. That’s where the work of sensorium therapy goes beyond other therapies external awareness of the body, e.g., ‘Is my muscle tight?’ to the internal or somatic experience of the body, ‘What is the inner experience associated with my muscle tension?’”
In many ways you can imagine it as a Western version of acupressure, where you put certain pressure points on the body. The practitioner brings their focused attention there, and the client does the same. It’s a way of softening, opening the body, not pulling it apart, but much more like asking to bring some life back into this part of the body and shift the tissue some.
When the ‘truth’ of our personal experiences are acknowledged, released and experienced via our body we gain access to new ways of being, thinking and behaving.
To feel on the inside how we are feeling, to take oneself seriously, and trust and respect how one feels on the inside.
While a massage therapist can temporarily relax a muscle or release some of the pain in your body and a talking therapist can help you see why that pain arose in the first place. It is only with the skill of an experienced mind-body therapist that the "shaping" or "armoring" in your muscles will not fully shift until the emotional issue that has caused the is taking care of (safety, love, protection, shame) is worked through. From a neuroscience perspective the body is the easiest doorway into working with those reactions, emotions and memories that are primarily run by the reptilian brain, and the limbic and stress centers in the brain.
This way of being is the way to our truth. By denying that you were unloved as a child, you spare yourself some pain, but you are not with your own truth. And throughout your whole life you’ll try to earn love. In therapy, avoiding pain causes blockage. Yet nobody can confront being neglected or hated without feeling guilty. “It is my fault that my mother is cruel,” he thinks. “I made my mother furious; what can I do to make her loving?” So he will continue trying to make her love him. The guilt is really protection against the terrible realization that you are fated to have a mother who cannot love. This is much more painful than to think, “Oh, she is a good mother, it’s only me who’s bad.” Because then you can try to do something to get love. But it’s not true; you cannot earn love. And feeling guilty for what has been done to you only supports your blindness and your neurosis.
Neuroscience has been able to prove that certain kinds of movements, such as slow rhythmic movement, can not only clear limiting neurological patterns, but can create new ones at a faster rate than simple mental exercises, and most importantly create stronger, integrated, holistic mind/body circuits that allow for faster learning greater overall functioning of the whole person.