Body Sense is Medicine

A revival from a 2010 Psychology article by Alan Fogel, Ph. D.,  Pyschology Professor University of Utah has recently recirculated reminding us of the importance of Body Sense.  Dr. Fogel, suggests that although cardiovascular health is important, we also need to honor the power of using our kinesthetic sense as we move and that perhaps this concept is just as important if not more so in many situations.

“Cardiovascular exercise is now known to be essential for health and well-being. If exercise is your only form of movement, however, it is not a very balanced diet. There is mounting evidence that slow movement, with body sense awareness, has astounding health benefits by itself and in combination with regular exercise routines.

According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, there are   … links between parasympathetic and immune systems are amplified and strengthened via neural circuitry that connects peripheral sensors and effectors in the body with brain-based limbic-prefrontal-sensorimotor networks for embodied self-awareness (body sense) and self-regulatory prefrontal areas. Moving slowly and with awareness promotes all of these benefits …  Slow movement is like Slow Food in which all acts related to eating – shopping, preparing, ingesting, and digesting – are done with awareness and presence … Body sense is medicine. It is nature’s perfect blend of psyche and soma in which the practice of attention regulation promoted by slow movement practices combines with the body’s readiness to direct its resources toward healing. It can only do that if we reduce stress, slow down, and pay attention…

Moshe Feldenkrais invented a system of body movement educationthe Feldenkrais method-that reawakens, develops, and organizes capacities for kinesthetic (sensorimotor) learning. Whereas children before the age of three learn movements by relying on their sensorimotor experience, older children and adults in technological cultures often behave according to social expectations, distancing themselves from their bodily feelings. Feldenkrais “Awareness through Movement” classes teach moving with awareness and ease.”  Alan Fogel Ph.D.

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