In a previous posting, I described a tracking scale to use to monitor progress as you work on healing stuck energy in the unconscious mind. That process, known as a SUDS scale, (Subjective Unit of Distress Scale) involves paying attention to what emotions are up, where they’re located in your body, and the degree of intensity that you’re aware of when thinking of a particular issue. Depending on the topic being worked on, all of those factors may be accessible to a client. However, if the issue is a really big one, the person may not be able to give voice to what’s up for him as the feelings are too scary to allow them to come up. In that situation, a body inventory may be what’s needed to help the person work through a stressful situation.
When you can’t express what’s up for you, then check in with your body and see what body sensations are up for you. Is it a headache, pain between the shoulder blades, or a knotted gut? If there’s an obvious place in your body that is screaming for attention, then go there first. Remember that in triune brain theory, the reptilian brain or body consciousness expresses itself through body sensations. For instance, pain in between the shoulder blades and upper shoulders might mean that a client is carrying the “weight of the world” on his shoulders, but won’t admit it because then he might have to distance himself from the people or situations that are causing the stress. The conflict between
“Do I stay or go?” can cause tremendous pain. A gut knotted up might be due to the person’s inability to receive love, so that even digesting food and getting nurture from it is not something the client is willing to do because they don’t feel deserving of love. The English language is full of phrases such as somebody is a “pain in the neck”, or some situation is a “back breaker” that really speak to what the body is trying to express, given that its language is that of body sensations.
Sometimes, however, the body sensations are much more subtle. This more quiet body speak could be due to the fact that the client has so squelched the sensations, that little is coming into the person’s awareness. Another possibility is that there’s just not much left of an issue, but the person hasn’t gotten to all zeros on the SUDS scale. In that situation, I would ask the person to then either start at the head or feet, and move along, recounting what is in the person’e awareness. So, say if someone starts at his head, and then starts recounting a list of body sensations that could look like “tightness in my scalp”, “weight on my forehead, “pressure in my sinuses”, etc. Then the person stops at one place that he feels is important, or I might say, “OK, stop there” when a particular body sensation is mentioned. Then, the person would just allow his attention to focus in on the awareness that is there in that part of his body.
With practice, a person can become so aware of these subtle perceptions, that he can “put his awareness” into that part of his body and ask what it’s trying to tell him. My suggestion is to go with whatever comes up first,a dn not try to analyze the answer that comes up. Possible answers might be “I’m angry”, ” I don’t feel loved”. or “You never listen to me”. Explanations might arise in the person’s consciousness, but I advise against “analysis paralysis” trying to figure out the why of the message. If you’re meant to know the why, it will become so apparent to you that you will know the explanation beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Listening to your body’s communications with you is not a skill that we’re usually taught in Western society. However, with practice, and feedback from a coach or mentor, you can easily move into a place where you speak body language as well as your verbal one. As a result, you will have a lot less stress in your life, as you won’t be battling yourself.
Have you ever had a chronic body complaint that you were able to interpret as being trying to send you a message? Did you get the message or did you just know that your body was trying to tell you something?
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