BODYWORK THERAPY

The following excerpt is from the personal growth
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.

There are many bodywork therapies available to help heal and free the body. I personally have tried a few of these methods. Based upon my experiences I don't have a specific type to recommend, but instead some general comments. Most bodywork therapies attempt gently or more forcefully (ask any potential practitioners whether their methods are gentle or more forceful) to change your body by physical manipulation in the direction of enhanced well-being and wholeness. This manipulation is an attempt to eliminate physical and/or psychological problems that manifest in the body as stiffness, dullness, coolness, misalignment, lifelessness or muscle knots. They are usually successful in the short run. The result often feels great!

Unfortunately, such changes often do not last because the bodywork only loosened the associated trauma knots. To untie these knots sufficiently it has been my experience that bodywork therapies also often need to incorporate words and emotions in addition to bodily manipulation.* My opinion is that one needs to deliberately seek after and elicit words and emotions for such bodywork therapies to be lastingly effective.

Success Tip: You will be more likely to succeed if you give yourself concrete praise every time you perform a behavior you are trying to acquire.

There are some bodywork practitioners who would say that such short term bodily changes showed the need for more body therapy so that your body would "learn" over time the right way to be. My experience suggests that this learning sometimes happens and sometimes does not. When it doesn't, the consumer spends extra money without satisfactory results. This is a trap for some bodywork therapists and clients: they need to keep returning for more bodywork. Otherwise, the evidence of their trauma knots (i.e., muscle knots, stiffness, pain, etc.) returns. Just because I have pointed out a possible trap for some practitioners does not mean that most are so ensnared. There are many available bodyworkers who regularly and routinely elicit the words and emotions that will help to permanently loosen trauma knots. If you are considering a particular bodyworker, I suggest that you ask about this issue.

If the idea of bodywork appeals to you, I do recommend it. Compared with conventional talk therapy, bodywork is often less expensive, since most bodywork therapies last a few weeks instead of many months. For someone who is uncomfortable about being touched, the experience of just one session will often have lasting value. For someone whose trauma shows up as many physical symptoms, such work can be particularly valuable. Many can benefit immensely just by becoming more aware of their bodies.

Finally, while erotic massage might not be considered "professional" bodywork, such an experience can have permanent lasting value for those who have tended to deny or reject aspects of their sexuality. If nothing else, erotic massage can feel wonderful, whether or not it is done by a significant other.

Next Excerpt  

Ignore your body; then enjoy all the wonders of modern medicine such as cancer operations and heart bypasses.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   IGNORE YOUR BODY, SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES
   BODYWORK THERAPY
   BE YOUR OWN BODYWORKER
   TOUCHING AND BEING TOUCHED
   AVOIDING TOXINS
   COUCH POTATO BENEFITS
   PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONS WHY WE DON'T EXERCISE
   FITNESS IN 30 MINUTES A WEEK?
   AN EXERCISE PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO HATE TO EXERCISE
   AWAKENING AND REVITALIZING THE BODILY SENSES

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