Stressed? Have A Talk With Your Body!
Ilana Rubenfeld Ph.D knows first hand what having a conversation
with your body means. A gifted violinist at the Julliard School
of Music, Rubenfeld was well on her way to become the first
woman conductor in the music scene when a debilitating back
spasm cut short her music career. It was at that point that
Rubenfeld turned to the resources of her body and transformed
trauma into triumph by embarking on a personal mission to
look for answers in the body's wisdom. The result is "The
Listening Hand: The Rubenfeld Synergy Method of Talk and Touch"
which made her a world-recognized pioneer in integrating psychotherapy,
body work and intuition. "You can learn to develop 'listening
hands' in order to 'hear' changes in the body, she says. Talking
with your body is the first step towards healing and integration.
Why? Emotions reside and are held inside the body. Any change
or event produces a ripple effect throughout the entire physical,
emotional, mental and spiritual system of a person. This ripple
effect changes one's equilibrium which means that a traumatic
event has the power to "freeze" a person physically in the
form of chronic neck, back or joint pain and emotionally in
the form of depression, despair and anger. Unfreezing or thawing
the body at emotional and physical levels means retrieving
the memories that have been locked in the cells and re-integrating
them through touch and talk with new and present perspectives.
In this way, we access the dynamics of healing. What these
dynamics mean is that all positions are malleable, provided
we allow for their transformation. Talking to your body can
literally dissolve painful memories that have been locked
in different parts of our bodies. It is always in the present
that these changes take place because all "unfinished emotional
business is integrated with "new insights into the present.
How do you talk with your body? Rubenfeld discusses several
ways that we can use to open and maintain a steady dialogue
with our body. The first way is touch. "Touch," says Rubenfeld,
"is a viable, accurate system of communication." Think of
the sense of security and warmth an infant feels when he is
cuddled by his mother. Returning to touch is returning to
our primal language.
Another form of body talk is good-humored, not sarcastic,
laughter. Laughing dissolves fear and creates new neural pathways
in our brain. Laughter dissolves patterns (which are usually
petrified in the flesh) and allows us to think outside the
box. And laughter, says Rubenfeld, "is all-pervasive in Rubenfeld
Synergy." Humor allows us to plumb the depths of our body
and psyche so we can retrieve the gold that has been buried
at the end of the tunnel. "It provides ways to express unacceptable
feelings by allowing you to talk about dark emotions, fears
and shame in trusting, safe, non-threatening ways."
So does tuning into our emotional energy fields. Being aware
of your own aura and how it interacts with another person's
aura is essential to understanding where you stand. We are
all interconnected with one another, which means that if you
ignore your partner's energy field, your chances of having
a meaningful relationship with that person becomes slim. Talking
with your body enhances the conversations you have with your
partner and friends.
A more involved form of body talk is the trance state. A trance
state is a "direct dialogue with the unconscious mind ," says
Rubenfeld. During a trance the rate of brain waves decreases
which allows us to feel relaxed and focused at the same time.
It is in this relaxed focused state that the mind is most
open to suggestions. A trance state is a great opportunity
to "rescript an event that was stressful, painful and uncomfortable
." In other words, a trance state allows you to rewrite your
Consistent caring for your being is a form of body conversation.
A continuous dialogue with the self is necessary when you
make the effort to balance work and personal life, self and
others, the heart and the head. On-going self care requires
vigilance, the ability to listen to the body and take time
out to address the issues your body is telling you.
Next time you feel unhinged because you have an unfinished
project that is due the next day and you just learned that
your son has been suspended from school, relax. Have a talk
with your body; surrender yourself to humor, take an hour
off for massage or bodywork, then go back to these issues.
They will look a whole lot more manageable.
Copyright © 2006 Mary Desaulniers
Mary Desaulniers Ph.D is interviewing Ilana Rubenfeld
Ph.D on Internet Radio show "Reclaiming The Body's Wisdom"
October 5/06 till January 4/07. Get details at www.GreatBodyat50.com