Body movement as therapy

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By Liz Campbell

Our bodies don’t lie. We can invent stories, assert beliefs and construct mental ideologies, but our bodies faithfully reflect our inner state as they are impeccably designed to do.

After all our motion essentially reflects our e-motions and everything else inside – how we move mirrors how we are. We are sluggish and limp when tired. We bounce when excited. Our wonderful bodies are unable to feign a mask for any length of time.

We’ve all experienced the overwhelming urge to move, to get up and stretch a leg or more, usually during some arduous repetitive task. We instinctively and tenderly massage our sore spots. The reason our bodies impel us to do this is because our largest organ, that extraordinary web called connective tissue, thrives on touch, and also loves to stretch, contract, twist, turn, bend, shake, spiral and pull in every direction. Think of it as a stocking, holding all our bits together, permeating all organs and tissues – that’s more or less connective tissue.

Connective tissue has been likened to our ‘other brain’. This is why we talk about the ‘body’s wisdom’, or refer to our ‘gut feeling’ or ‘stomach in a knot.’ This perceptive sensory organ is simple and accessible to read, but unfortunately much of everyday life promotes disconnection with this finely-tuned process, disregarding the body’s voice for any number of reasons.

Connect classes are available in Grahamstown and attract those who love to dance because it makes us feel alive. This type of dance offers a space to connect through mindful movement to music with one’s own body, learning to notice it and listen to it. Classes are facilitated using niadance techniques and their comprehensive vocabulary of movement, engaging the body from toes to tips, inspired by the music. The moves are an eclectic mix of martial arts, healing arts and dance arts.

The best suggestion for this type of therapy at home is to put on your favourite music, kick off your shoes, and dance like no one’s watching you. Do what feels best, your body’s way!

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