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Tag: embodiment

Starting From Resource

Somatic work is intentionally slow and gentle. The nervous system does not respond well to overwhelm. In the words of some of my wonderful teachers from The Focalizing Institute, ‘The slow way is the fast way’. Practically speaking this means that when working with the nervous system and in turning towards difficult emotions and experiences, it is important to identify and sink into your resources first. Resource is support. It can be identifying what feels good, even when experiencing pain or turbulent emotions. If good is a bit of a stretch, it is finding things that feel ok. Resources can…

Awareness & Embodiment Practices for Nervous System Regulation

This post is based upon  a talk I delivered to Stockport ME Group on Friday 11th June 2021. Nervous system (NS) dysregulation is a key component of pain and fatigue conditions. In this session I talked about how awareness and body-based practices can help improve the function of our nervous system. We can think of the nervous system as having 3 ‘branches’: 1) Parasympathetic/ventral vagal/social engagement/‘rest and digest’ mode 2) Sympathetic/‘fight or flight’ 3) Dorsal vagal – sometimes referred to as ‘collapse or shutdown’ Our nervous system (NS) acts as a protective mechanism which alerts us to ‘threats’ or ‘stressors’, so that we can take action. At a physiological level, our stress response is designed to be activated in short, sharp bursts e.g. we…

‘Over-doing’

I often refer to myself as a ‘recovering over-doer’.   Through contemplative practice, I realise that tendencies towards excess doing and thinking have been a long held pattern.  Looking back to childhood, I remember gleefully dancing at a family member’s wedding, not stopping until I reached the point of physical sickness and exhaustion. I almost passed out in the toilets after grading for my karate brown belt with two injured knees. Over the past weekend, I laughed with self deprecation as my Mum recounted the time I insisted on taking (and passing) a clarinet exam whilst in a neck brace (and a lot of…