It is known that the body stores emotions and that physical symptoms can be a manifestation of emotional distress. Having butterflies in your stomach perfectly describes anxiety projected into your gut.
The word emotion literally translates as energy in motion, thus when we experience strong overwhelming reactions such as anger or fear, all negative energies redirect their flow into specific body parts and organs where they can cause an increased heart rate, muscle tension, or digestive problems. If left untreated, these symptoms can become chronic.
There is also evidence that trauma can have long-term effects on the body as it disrupts the natural healing processes.
Today we can confidently say that the mind and body are interconnected. An anxious mind can influence the body through the nervous system, hormones, and other chemical messengers.
Our body is constantly sending us signals in the form of sensations. All we need to do is to listen to it carefully and master our innate wisdom with the help of Bodywork which is a powerful tool to improve the function of the body and general well-being.
What is Bodywork?
Bodywork is a term that encompasses a variety of therapeutic techniques that involve touch, sound, breathwork and movement to help people let go of stored negative energies and achieve physical and emotional healing. You might think it is another short-lived trend but in fact, the history of bodywork is tied to the development of massage.
The use of physical touch to express love, provide comfort and relieve pain has been used in one form or another throughout centuries. “Rubbing” as it was called, was mentioned in medical texts from ancient China as far back as 5,000 years ago.
In Bodywork, you are encouraged to pay attention to various physical sensations and the ways in which they hold tension in the body, as well as explore the emotions that may be triggered. Through a process of self-inquiry and self-regulation, you can learn to release suppressed feelings and improve your mood and overall health.
Harnessing the Power of Touch: A 15-Minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation Practice
One of the key components of bodywork is touch, which serves as our connection to the outer world. The palm of your hand and fingertips are sensitive receptors that receive information and bring awareness.
To give you a better understanding of how we can harness this power, let’s do a short and simple practice of “Progressive muscle relaxation” (15 min) to tune into your body:
Sit down, close your eyes and let your body go loose. You can play soothing background music.
Step 1: Tension
First, focus on the target muscle group, for example, your left hand. Take a slow, deep breath and squeeze the muscles as hard as you can for 5 seconds.
It is important to really feel the tension in the muscles, which may even cause a bit of discomfort or shaking. In this instance, you would be making a tight fist with your left hand.
Try to only tense the muscles you are targeting. You should never feel pain while completing this exercise.
Step 2: Relaxing the tense muscles
After about 5 seconds, let all the tightness flow out of the tensed muscles. Exhale as you do this step. You should feel the muscles become loose and limp, as the tension flows out.
It is important to very deliberately focus on and notice the difference between tension and relaxation. This is the most important part of the exercise.
It can take time to learn to relax the body and notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Remain in this relaxed state for about 15 seconds, then move on to the next muscle group.
We recommend you to start with your feet and systematically move up. For example:
Foot (curl your toes downward)
Lower leg and foot (tighten your calf muscle by pulling toes towards you) Entire leg (squeeze thigh muscles while doing above)
(Repeat on the other side of the body)
Hand (clench your fist)
Entire right arm (tighten your biceps by drawing your forearm up towards your shoulder and “make a muscle”, while clenching your fist)
(Repeat on the other side of the body)
Buttocks (tighten by pulling your buttocks together)
Stomach (suck your stomach in)
Chest (tighten by taking a deep breath)
Neck and shoulders (raise your shoulders up to touch your ears)
Mouth (open your mouth wide enough to stretch the hinges of your jaw)
Eyes (clench your eyelids tightly shut)
Forehead (raise your eyebrows as far as you can)
Repeat the tension-relaxation steps.
After completing all of the muscle groups, take some time to enjoy a deep state of relaxation.
The practice of bodywork can be beneficial for a wide range of situations. It can also help lower stress and improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation. Massage-based techniques can help reduce chronic pain and boost blood circulation.
While it is not a substitute for traditional medicine, Bodywork can be a valuable addition to your daily routine to calibrate your mood and ease physical discomfort.
However, if you dive deeper into work with trauma, we highly recommend finding a qualified facilitator who is trained in the coping techniques for PTSD.
The InnerCamp is a global community that provides expert-led solutions to cultivate consciousness, heal traumas, release anger, and rewire your brain. Our intention is to help you rediscover your inner force and stand strong in your foundation on both personal and professional levels.