The Whole Brain and Body being Integrated is Necessary
Recent advanced research on the brain and the immune system has provided scientific evidence for the mind-body connection, meaning what happens in the brain impacts the entire body. Humans are hard-wired to respond physically to the things that affect us emotionally. Often times external factors such as stress, pain or anxiety will cause our brain to go out of balance.
Once clients experience this work they are gifted with the added gifts of increased body awareness, a stronger connection to self, a shift in deep-seated patterns, a more regulated nervous system, and a sense of mastery.
In this field of work, we focus on resolving and creating strategies for coping with nervous system dysregulation. This dysregulation can occur as the result of trauma or stress, but may occur even in the absence of specific traumatic events. What is primary to this work is to restore the nervous system to a natural state of regulation. The therapies that I use draw upon and are integrated with many other modalities of therapy. Thereby, adding richness and depth to conventional therapy methods that have a more primary/singular focus on just the emotional or cognitive aspects of experience. What is most important about the this way of working with a client is my focus on the physiological, the brain, emotions and the body.
What this Means for Learning
Brain Research shows that different brain functions reside in different parts of the brain. In order to read, a person must use the left side of the brain to sound out words and analyze thoughts. Then he must use the right side of the brain to remember sight words and visualize what the author is describing. When both sides work separately on the content, reading becomes a struggle rather than an automatic activity. Physical activity helps the two sides of the brain to work together simultaneously.
What this Means for Emotional Healing
Bodily movements can influence the rate at which autobiographical memories are recalled as well as the emotional content of the memories. What we do with our bodies can affect how we think.
Dr. Bruce Perry, a specialist in treating trauma in children, has discovered that repetitive movement, usually involving calming music, can lull the part of the brain responsible for our fight, flight or freeze reactions to threat, called the limbic brain, into a sense of peace and safety, allowing the higher functions of the frontal lobes to process the therapeutic issues at hand more consciously. This happens in the adult brain too! Since emotional experiences are stored in the nervous system, they can be released by alternately activating the opposite sides of the brain. This works because it stimulates the neurophysiologic system—or the mind-body connection.
Creating new neural pathways in the brain allows us to break out of old stuck patterns of thinking, doing, and relating.