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In 2011, with the help of Meg McCready I wrote an article about the body/ mind connection using the thyme of an elephant an how it remembers everything.
How to keep your elephant happy
You know the old phrase “an elephant never forgets”? Well, our bodies are like elephants. They remember everything! You may not remember all that’s happened to you during your life, but you can be sure your body does.
Three major types of experiences get stored. The first is physical experiences that threaten your sense of survival; the second is emotional experiences that threaten your sense of safety and the third is traumatic experiences that threaten your sense of self.
Here’s an example of the body’s memory on the physical level. When I was 10, I fell six feet from a slide. My body recorded the impact of the fall most clearly in the body parts (right hip and shoulder) where I hit the ground. As an adult, these areas were weak and painful until I “undid” the old memories through intensive bodywork.
On the emotional level, the body stores particular worries and concerns in particular locations. You may have heard someone say, “I just can’t stomach this.” As the stomach is the seat of emotion, such a person is likely experiencing overload or overwhelm. If this continues, he or she could be a candidate for constipation, acid reflux or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Or you may know people who have constant and significant financial concerns. Chances are their low back will likely be extremely ridged, exceptionally weak or chronically painful. The low back carries the load of survival issues.
Lastly, the body records trauma. If a shock or trauma is strong enough, such as witnessing a murder or being sexually abused by a family member, it can threaten a person’s sense of self and self worth. The result can show up in the posturing of the person’s whole body. He or she might become physically rigid and experience things such as hyper tension or fibromyalgia. Or, at the other extreme, may show signs of whole body collapse, resulting in things such as depression or chronic fatigue.
Experiences stored in the body from the past can cause real problems in the present and in the future. But there are a number of ways you can release them. A combination of modalities usually works best. For instance, you could take up meditation and yoga, you could receive bodywork or massage or chiropractic from someone who works with the body mind, or you could receive body-centered psychotherapy.
Although your body never forgets, you can reconfigure some of its memories. The result will be a happier, healthier little elephant.
Some of the modalities mentioned above:
Shambhala - www.edmonton.shambhala.org
Body centered Therapy
Somatic Experienceing - www.traumahealing.com
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy - http://sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org
Trauma Energetics - www.traumaenergetics.com
Reference Point Therapy - www.referencepointtherapy.com
Constellation - www.ConstellationCurrents.ca
Yoga Nidra - www.irest.us
Standard - www.chiropracticcanada.ca/en-us/home.aspx
Network Chiropractic - www.associationfornetworkcare.com
NUCCA - Upper Cervicle Chiropractic - www.nucca.org