Brain Body Connection

Did you know that your mental well-being/stress levels can have a physical effect on your body?

We all have a physical-mental connection even if we don’t know it or recognise it.

The physiological responses to stress (“fight and flight”) can include:

  • Your muscles tense up ready for action
  • Your breathing and heart rate quicken to pump blood and oxygen around your body quicker
  • Your digestive system will slow down; digestion isn’t a top priority for your body if you need to run away from danger
  • Your pupils dilate
  • Sweat glands activate
  • Blood is redirected away from your skin so you may look pale
  • You may get a dry mouth – again digestion isn’t a priority when you are stressed
  • Your immune system is supressed

Massage can have a de-stressing effect and reverse these actions. It can offer relief to people who are in physical pain or who have emotional stress and tension in their lives and bodies.

Advertisements

Embodiment

”Being present in your body, just as it is, right here, right now”

I know embodiment can have a lot of different meanings in a lot of different contexts, but to me, right now, this is what it stands for.

We bring our minds to what is happening right now at this moment, things that we can feel physically, we can feel our feet on the earth, our bums being supported by the chair we are sat in, we can feel the sunshine on our skin, the warmth of a hot bath sinking into us, the softness of a comfy bed or the hands of our massage therapist giving a quality touch to our hard working, deserving, bodies.

It means we are not thinking about the past or the future, we are experiencing the here and now.

This can be a great way to reduce anxiety or stress, even if it is just for a few brief moments. Bringing our attention to the here and now, where everything is fine, everything is good, means that our attention isn’t focused on something that has happened in the past, or something that may or may not happen in the future. It gives a moment of peace.

Massage can be a great way to bring yourself into your body. If you concentrate on the therapist’s touch, feel their hands sinking into your muscles, tensions releasing, muscles relaxing, tissues unwinding, feeling your body being supported by the massage table, feeling your head being supported by the face cradle, feeling the softness of the sheets, the warmth of the therapist’s hands or the warmth in the room.

Concentrating on what you can physically feel with your body right now clears your minds of any little worries that have been niggling away, it gives you some time, some space, some clarity.

People can spend a lot of time in their heads, worrying about job responsibilities, bills, thinking about what to have for tea, trying to remember times or dates, what to wear, what people think of them, things in the future, things from the past, over thinking, over complicating, worrying.

If you find yourself feeling worried, stressed, anxious, even a little depressed, about anything at all, then concentrating on the here and now can bring peace. And an easy way to do this is to take a moment to bring your attention to the physical things you can feel right now, feel your body, bring yourself into your body, embodiment, take a deep breath, smile.