To reflect on the question of how connective tissue defines the shape of my body and how this knowledge impacts on my movement and how I relate to my anatomy, I took myself down a journey into the “rabbit hole” of my past. I revisited the therapy room of my Postural Integration Therapist (www.posturalintegration.co.za), where I, for two and a half years (2005 to 2007), went into deep process work of changing the shape of my connective tissue, body and my holding patterns. My Therapist commented that I presented a fragmented body; tight-chested, upper body smaller than lower body and my neck and head separate from each other.
During that period , together with Gestaldt Therapy, we worked with my belief patterns and body re-shaping. Four years later the issues I was dealing with at the time have been resolved, and upon seeing me that week, 4 years later, he commented that my core looked much more integrated. I can certainly notice my bra size has changed by a few sizes since then.
So, where did this “rabbit hole” take me in answering my blog question this month? It leads me to a place of knowing I have developed and grown to become my own Therapist and Self-Healer. We mold our bodies into certain positions; over time the connective tissue becomes “set” with less fluidity and flexibility. In my daily life depending on how much outside pressure there is, I can build up tension in my weak spots, which are my neck and shoulders. I can actually sense the tension building up, moment by moment, when I’m on the computer and chasing several deadlines; “just one more e-mail to read and answer, one more project to complete, then I’ll move on….” . It feels like compacting energy like bricks on top of each other. This can happen on a month-end day when I’m finalizing admin for my two businesses. Amongst this, I had a day one week when I had to teach 2 Nia classes. The second class came at the end of one of those month-end days. I knew I had to “take my own class”; I tuned into my realms and came up with my focus and intent for the class: “Self-healing and regeneration of the body, mind, emotions, spirit.” I “took my own class”, and my body went from bunched up shoulders, with balls of tension between the shoulder blades, to a relaxed, tension-free body in 1 hour. My spirit felt energized and I was ready to take on more tasks and deadlines with lightness and humour.
My acute awareness of how my connective tissue feels in my body as muscles tense and become rigid, brings me to shape my movement through pleasure sensations. The opportunity to move in Nia at least 7 times/ week, on a regular basis, constantly shifts any emotional holding in my body. As I practice the 52 moves- and as an example, do the Cross Front, I sense the measurement of The Body’s Way, by aligning my foot, knee and hip, I know I am improving My Body’s Way each time to be more of the ideal. I affect my Posture, Walk, Voice by this consciousness. I shudder to think if I hadn’t developed this ability, what “shape” my body would be in. And this is just a perspective of day-to-day life. I know with my life’s issues that I’ve been born with, I am faced with opportunities to hold awareness space for myself to become more fluid. I love Linda Hartley’s words on page 124, :“when we are in a state of healthy balance, we can respond appropriately to the changing environment, transitioning easily from one quality of “mind” to another. The capacity to be both mindful of the present moment and willing to let go and change in the moment is what allows our energy to flow freely and be continually renewed.”
Reading “ Wisdom of the Body Moving”, confirms what I believe and know: that everything is connected on macro and micro levels and how this is mirrored in my body. All the joints, organs, nerves and tissues of the body are inter-connected by fascia, which is a form of connective tissue. This fascia acts like strings or cables, which can transmit mechanical tension from one part of the body to any other part. The more I learn about how my body works, the more body wisdom I gain, and the more I can live a life of my highest potential. It’s Linda Hartley words on the meaning of Philosophy (philos= “love” and Sophia=”wisdom”) that I come out of the rabbit hole with, “….yet this definition is closer to the work of all those who seek to bring healing to others through wisdom, caring, and skill developed from their own direct experience and learning”.