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Emotions and Bodywork

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Bodywork and Emotions


You'll no doubt have noticed that Bodywork and Breathwork, by increasing chi, or energy, also seems to bring up, or shake up, our feelings. Feelings seem more powerful, more edgy.

This is so because of the balancing of the energy that takes place in Bodywork. As the muscles relax, and as the energy begins to flow, past hurts and traumas start to release.

It is not unusual, for example, that working on the upper chest release points will unearth painful memories of "broken heart" experiences, and you'll feel like sobbing. As this energy moves and the area begins to clear, you may feel joyful, loving feelings. As we are dealing with Yin and Yang, both feelings exist simultaneously in this area of the body.

Now, because in the West we are used to living in our heads, and passing judgments on everything, (right/wrong, good/bad are most common), we have also likely segregated our emotions into two camps. Grief and pain and anger are likely on the "bad" list, and we therefore want them to be over, or to not exist at all. Love and joy and happiness and passion are usually on the "good" list, and we want them all the time.

pleasurepainting, 2009, Wayne C. Allen

Think of a coin. In a three dimensional world, there can be no such thing as a one-sided coin. If happiness is on one side of a coin, sadness must be on the other side. To have one, you have to have the other. To experience one, you have to be willing to express and experience the other.

So, the first step in this process is going into your head and giving yourself permission to simply feel your feelings. Then, as a feeling arises, it is important to acknowledge it, name it, and express it. So, when you feel sad, say to your partner, "I'm feeling sad right now." If the feeling "feels" like it wants you to cry, then allow yourself to cry.

If you find yourself escaping to your head in order to ignore or judge the feeling, instead return gently to the feeling.

In Bodywork, often the painful feelings emerge first. As they are expressed, they are replaced or joined by pleasurable feelings.

Again, notice the feeling. You may feel like moving parts of your body, or you may feel the chi flowing, and your body might shake. Just fall into the waves of the chi, fall into the feeling. If you find yourself hopping into your head and saying to yourself, "I can't go there," just have another breath and follow the energy. Your body, as the chi increases, will allow the building up of more and more chi, and the energy may build to the point of release. This can be a very powerful, stimulating, even emotional and sensual experience. Simply allow the process to unfold.

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