The Bluearth Approach is guided by the knowledge that the body and mind are interlinked along a continuum. Understanding this connection and seeing body-mind as an interdependent whole is critical to appreciating the role movement plays in mental and physical development.
In this blog, we will be exploring the interconnectedness of the body and mind and how we transfer this knowledge into our sessions.
What is the body-mind continuum?
In establishing that the brain and body are not separate, it’s important to debunk certain myths. One such myth is that the brain is the master control mechanism.
Neuro-science has determined that less than 2% of neurological activity occurs in the brain’s synapses, with the rest of the activity taking place throughout the body at the level of the cell membrane–the oldest form of physical intelligence. The cellular membrane is an incredibly complex structure that receives and interprets continuous chemical, electrical and mechanical input and responds instantaneously. This process within the body is a quintessential example of flow, with everything in constant motion and information being exchanged at the cellular level. As Dr. Candace Pert puts it, “the mind exists in every cell of the body”.
Another clue to the inseparable body-mind link is that over 80% of human communication is non-verbal, with the body providing a multitude of physical and sensory signals.
The brain cannot feel. It has no nerve endings of its own and must rely on the body’s sensors to receive information and transport it via the central nervous system. In essence, the brain receives its information second hand. The brain and the multitude of body systems engage through mutual loops or pathways. Descending pathways are anticipatory and ‘feed-forward’ while ascending pathways are informational or ‘feed-back’.
Body functions are modulated by these pathways. Sensation, not thought, is the essential messaging medium for regulating communications within the body. The provision of varied forms of somatic (living body) stimulation to this human internal communication system is vital to ongoing human development and whole person health.
Integrating our knowledge of the body-mind continuum into the Bluearth Approach
The human body is an incredibly complex thinking/feeling organic entity which is genetically engineered for movement. Our sedentary lifestyles and decreasing levels of activity are having a detrimental effect on the functioning of this living process and negatively affecting the body and mind.
The Bluearth Approach explores the physical domain to challenge the body-mind continuum and facilitate the energetic process.
Our activities use stillness, movement, physical interaction, observation and reflection to provide experiential learning opportunities, promote the functioning of the pathways and guide development.
In our work, we seek to raise somatic awareness and consciousness of the changes in our body, to foster self-knowledge and the ability to abide in the present moment. This yields sensitivity to self which, in turn, builds greater responsiveness and empathy to others.
An extension of the body-mind continuum is body-mind awareness.
This includes sensory awareness of the bodily sensations generated by physiological processes, and of the changing tensions and positions caused by movement through space. It also includes cognitive awareness of thoughts, emotions, and the act of perceiving, synonymous with somatic awareness.
You can improve your own body-mind awareness by:
- Exercising regularly
- Scheduling time for yourself
- Unplugging from technology
- Getting plenty of sleep