Emotional and Physical Pain Activate Similar Brain Regions

In order to get over grief, resolve anger, and even embrace happiness, we have to really feel those things in the body. We are quick to access the body locations of pleasurable feelings (food, drink, sex, warmth, touch) so why not also let ourselves go to the places of emotional pain?

Psychotherapy, Medication, or Body Sense for Mental Health?

Exercise, meditation, massage, eating well, being in nature, doing service activities and religion/spirituality—called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLCs)—can improve mental health, alone or in conjunction with psychotherapy and medication.

Strength Training Using Motor Imagery

Paying attention to your body while working out can increase cardiovascular fitness, strength and agility, and fat metabolism. A study published in August 2011 in the journal Frontiers in Movement Science and Sports Psychology adds another way in which body sense can enhance your workout: by imagining muscle contraction in place of actually doing some of the reps.

New research shows that sedentary work contributes to weight gain

As an increasing amount of time at work and school is sedentary, you can use your body sense to alleviate the resulting risks to your health and weight.

The body has a mind of its own

As odd as it may sound, being aware of our own discomfort -- including that sickening feeling of breath holding -- is actually a good thing.

The limits of mindfulness

Meditation is a wonderful way to enhance body sense. For some meditators, however, body sense can become “too much.” They feel overwhelmed with their own personal suffering, with physical and emotional pain. They are lost and not able to find guidance within their own meditation community.

Can your child get too much exercise?

A problem arises when adults push children into competitive sports where winning matters more than what may be good for the child's body, mind, and health.

When bad is good

Why does just a little bit of getting knocked around by life help us grow stronger and more resilient? If we are sleepwalking through our lives, taking things for granted and not really paying attention to our own body function, sensations, and emotions, the sudden loss of easy freedoms can bring us back to our body sense.

From darkness to light

I've always thought it odd that in the late Fall -- when my body just wants to withdraw into cozy, warm rest in response to the longer nights and cooler temperatures - urban culture becomes more active, more complex, and more demanding. Perhaps it is not our dark moods that are problematic so much as our sense of their cultural unacceptability? 

If you are happier after sex, it’s not just because it feels good

According to research recently published in the journal Science, sex does not have to be good or pleasurable in order to make us feel happy. Happiness is higher in any activity when people are focused on their embodied experience without being interrupted by distracting thoughts.  

Are all cries good for you?

A "good" cry is connected to deeply felt sensations of warm tears, a sense of vulnerability, and relief, resonating in sound and feeling within the body sense of the crier and the listener. False forms of crying actually suppress body sense awareness states, as if these cries are used to cover up feeling or redirect them elsewhere. 

Waiting to Exhale

Chronic breath holding and effortful breathing are not healthy because the muscular effort, coupled with the effects of stress on the nervous, hormonal, and immune systems, can impair both physical and psychological function. How can you help yourself overcome breath holding habits?  

Green Exercise

Outdoor exercise confers special benefits compared to exercising in synthetic environments; benefits primarily related to psychological state. Outdoor exercise makes people happier, less fatigued and angry, more tranquil and relaxed, and bestows a more lasting energy boost compared to indoor exercise.  

You were anesthetized during surgery: Does that mean you forgot everything that happened?

In my book on body sense, I wrote about a middle-aged client I called Rebecca who, during a Rosen Method Bodywork session, "remembered" something that happened to her during an abdominal surgery under general anesthesia, a surgery that occurred a dozen years earlier. She remembered the body sense of having some kind of wedge put into her to hold her open during the procedure. She had no conscious memory of anything that occurred during the surgery to remove nonmalignant uterine fibroids. Since the surgery, for the entire 12-years period, she had continued to experience abdominal pain that should have, but did not, disappear in the months following the surgery. 

You think you are happy (or tired, or angry): Are you sure?

Tom thinks he's a bit off and he thinks he's tired. The problem is that he's thinking about how he feels. He is thinking about how he feels because that's how Tom, in his busy and demanding life, goes about solving most of his problems: he thinks about them. What does Tom really feel? Not only doesn't Tom know what he feels, he also doesn't know that he doesn't know what he feels. People who get lost in judgment and expectation can get worn out with the task of trying to figure out how to behave, how to please, how to be better. 

Slow Movement with Awareness: Better than Exercise?

Cardiovascular exercise is now known to be essential for health and well-being. If exercise is your only form of movement, however, it is not a very balanced diet. There is mounting evidence that slow movement, with body sense awareness, has astounding health benefits by itself and in combination with regular exercise routines. 

PTSD is a chronic impairment of the body sense: Why we need embodied approaches to treat trauma

A trauma from outside the body creates a reaction in the body (behaviors like fight, flight or freeze, alterations in gut function, cortisol and other hormones that alter metabolism, immune system response, etc.). Because of this, some trauma survivors may not respond to traditional psychotherapy. They may need a more body-centered approach to treatment.

Your child may have difficulty running, jumping, catching and throwing (and why you should be concerned)

We've operated for centuries under the assumption that the body's "lower" needs and urges must be suppressed in order to develop our "higher" human faculties of thought, moral behavior, and spiritual attainment. It is time to wash our collective hands of this cruel dichotomy that has left the poor self-regulators and those with disabilities prey to feelings of shame and worthlessness, not to mention lost opportunities to achieve their fullest potential.  

Ole Time Religion: Why your Spirit needs your Body (and vice-versa)

One could say that practicing body sense awareness on a regular basis is a spiritual quest, or practicing body sense awareness leads to greater awareness of things deemed spiritual: feelings of connection, compassion, love and gratitude, forgiveness, surrender, and acceptance.

Male and Female Orgasm: Not So Different?

Men and women have different approaches and responses to love and sex. Here's what you may not know: The actual orgasm, for both men and women, is very similar. This is the case both for the timing and duration of pelvic muscle contractions during orgasm as well as the body sense - the felt experience - of orgasm.

Powerful Words, Words that Move Us

Song, poetry, theater, oratory, film, literature, and storytelling have all used words for the purpose of communicating the full range of human emotions, for getting us in touch with our body sense.

Embodied Exercise, Part II

Some are claiming that recent findings on improved endurance using short periods of intense activity followed by short periods of rest over the workout period, rather than continuous exercise during workouts, could lead to a major shift in how people go about recreational exercise and endurance training. Body sense awareness plays a significant role in recommendations about exercise regimens.

It’s late. Do you know where your body is?

Premature ejaculation in males and orgasmic dysfunction in females is related to restricted expression of emotion and reduced body sense awareness. Is the language of the sexual encounter "Let's do it," or "Let's be together?"

Improve educational outcomes with Body Sense: ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Regular 5-minute breaks for walking around the classroom, stretching, jumping, wiggling, and other "warm-up" activities can do wonders for healthy body and mind functioning.

Is your child stressed out? Why you may not know.

The most troubling results of the recent APA Stress in America surveys are that parents do not seem to be aware of the impact of stress on their children.  

Have another cookie: An 8 step body sense program to control binge eating during the holidays

As we approach the end of year holidays, I am reminded how easy it is to forget to notice our bodies and what we eat, to slip into a kind of festive numbness.

Can't Control Your Eating?

Embodied Eating, Part 2: Why women are especially vulnerable to a loss of body sense around food.

Embodied Eating, Part 1

Eating healthy is not only about what we eat. Using our body sense in healthy ways to see, feel, smell, taste, prepare and enjoy food contributes to psychophysiological health and well-being.

Embodied Education

Children need to move their bodies in order to learn.

Making Friends with Pain

Pain and Body Sense

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