what is bodyfulness

Bodyfulness goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness — the same concepts of slowing down, learning to listen inward, and bringing soft focus on the present moment all apply when integrating these two powerful practices. Mindfulness strengthens your aptitude for awareness and paying attention to your body’s cues and clues is a practice in itself! With regular bodyfulness practice, we can rewire our minds to more readily notice the physical experience and sensations of our bodies and respond to our physical needs, moment by moment. 

Bodyfulness inspires us to reclaim a body-centred contemplative life and challenges us to harness
our potential to effect social and personal transformation in our bodies now.

 

Body-based Psychotherapy and therapeutic touch can be an accessible and profound way in which to engage in your life experience through the lens of your body, rather than just talking-based options, and helps you to develop mindful attunement of body sensations, which has been coined as "bodyfulness".


This body attention includes the perception of self in time and space, and exploration of your unspoken needs, and allows for the gentle experience of noticing and feeling emotions, grief, and the discharge of the accumulation of energy in the nervous system. Assisting the body in releasing engrained patterns of stress, tension and even trauma. 

How?
Our bodies send out signals and sensations that inform us, like when we’re happy or sad, excited, or scared, pushing the limit or embracing resilience, or sustaining us in relationships. However, without tuning in to our bodies, we often miss the implicit messages until it becomes too intense to ignore.

 

We go up, or down like a seesaw, and often struggle to regulate our energy consistently. For example, you are experiencing frequent headaches — rather than taking this as a direction from your body and taking extra care, we often reach for quick relief of medication or even more caffeine or just push through and hope it will pass.

Your headache, however, could be your body’s way of telling you that your overburdened system needs a rest, or that an old life belief is running the program, or it's a cue that it’s time to take a screen break or a reminder that your body needs hydration and fuel. Conceivably, it's also a reminder that your default strategy for survival is at its peak [again]. 

 

What's wrong with that, you ask, it's just how I cope. 

Coping strategies are wonderful, intelligent, and sophisticated ways to protect us and to embrace all the challenges of life, problem is... they often don't allow room for insight, creativity, rest, satisfaction, and nourishment, and this is where we can experience distraction, distress, loss of connection and self-awareness, and chronic physical conditions. 

Pause for just a moment and think about how you experience stress.

Many of us can easily identify how our brains think about stress at the moment (tense, overwhelmed,
racing thoughts, disoriented, bored), but are you able to take note of how your body feels during stress? 

 

Some ways the body might signal during peak stress: 

  • Clenching your teeth or tightening your jaw

  • Racing heart or butterflies in your stomach

  • Tightness or heaviness in the chest

  • Fidgeting with your hands, biting nails, or bouncing your legs

  • Changes in breath patterns, such as more rapid breathing and/or holding your breath

  • Pounding, pulsing, or tension in your head, neck, or temples

  • Changes in your voice — shorter, terser, or sometimes louder 

  • A general bracing throughout the body, like we’re preparing to leap into action without doing so

  • Numbing behaviours such as eating to numb feelings,

  • Escaping through entertainment and social media

  • Over-functioning, perfectionistic, critical, and hyper-pragmatic

  • Negative worldview and chronic dissatisfaction
     

For many of us, we often don't even notice the shifts in our bodies when we experience burdens or overwhelm, we know we are tired or not feeling our best, yet we don't actually stop or change. We are just so used to pushing through and getting things done that we make a decision to bear the costs in our bodies. Yet, the language of our body can be a valuable indicator that it’s time to take a break, take a deep breath, recalibrate or choose a new direction. When we attune to our bodies, we can respond and take small steps to reroute ourselves before stress pushes us to the point of exhaustion, reactivity, burnout and potentially disease. 

 

So how do we learn to listen to our bodies more, and steer meaningful care for ourselves?
Learning to obtain more present-moment experience and awareness of our physical sensations and felt sense through practices that promote “bodyfulness.” Bodyfulness goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness — and maintains the same concepts of slowing down, learning to listen inward, and bringing soft focus on the present all to apply when integrating these two powerful practices.

 

Mindfulness strengthens your aptitude for awareness and paying attention to your body’s cues and clues and is a practice in itself! With regular bodyfulness practice, we can rewire our brains to notice the physical experience and sensations of our bodies more readily and respond to our individual needs, moment by moment.

 

What does this bring? It brings choice [and ease in our body!].

The choice to beware of how we habitually hold ourselves and in turn respond to life. Recognising how we often roadblock our own path to self-care, learning to identify our needs and attune to others' needs in life-giving relationships. It also cultivates an embodied source of ease and compassion towards all parts of ourselves, and that's what I believe is the glue of wellness. 

 

Natalie utilises hands-on somatic techniques and mindful awareness to guide you into your bodyfulness, and she calls this Restorative Touch. It's bodywork! More than just a massage, it includes sensitive awareness, directs self-inquiry, and allows for the safe release of held emotion if needed. 

Restorative Touch is suitable for those desiring:
Greater Self-awareness,

An intentional opportunity to relax and experience deep rest,

Remedy Depressed or Anxious states,

particularly for those who are experiencing Grief and Loss.

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What are the contraindications for Bodywork?
 

Contraindications, or reasons to not receive bodywork, can be of three types:

General: No Bodywork should be performed at all.

Local: Bodywork avoids specific areas of the body.

Medical: Requires written permission from a Licensed Physician

It is very important to be aware of and respect contraindications for Bodywork in order to protect your health and well-being.

General Contraindications: When you exhibit any of these conditions, please do not seek Bodywork:

Any infectious condition (including common cold and fever)

Severe physical distress

Under the influence of alcohol or drugs - Painkillers, Muscle Relaxants and Blood Thinners may contraindicate Bodywork

Local Contraindications: Bodywork may be performed provided that the local area of contraindication is avoided.

Acute or chronic inflammation (including Edema)

Recent surgery or physical injury

Skin conditions

Varicose Veins

Bruising

Medical Contraindications: If you exhibit any of these conditions please obtain written permission from your physician before seeking Bodywork.

Cancer

Cardiovascular disease

Diabetes

Epilepsy

High blood pressure