Nov 14 ’18 Inside News: Empathy for the Parasympathetic & Sympathetic Nervous Systems with Feldenkrais®

In our last newsletter shared how foods could improve our emotional groupings by connecting them to body regions along the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems. This practitioner is going to call that ‘Food Empathy’ due to the amazing emotional shifts food can create!

This newsletter will suggest that movement can also affect these systems giving the reader more choices in increasing their skills to shift or transform uncomfortable behavioral patterns using  Awareness through Movement® Somatic Patterns.

The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) controls homeostasis and the body at rest and is responsible for the body’s “rest and digest” function. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) controls the body’s responses to a perceived threat and is responsible for the “fight or flight” response.

The difference for this Feldenkrais Practitioner has been that Feldenkrais articulates the inner movement through sensing along the nervous system to mobilize other moving parts to increase ease in movement while other styles of movement are stylized exercise patterns.  The most difficult process this practitioner has observed in others in lessons is the difficulty many have in transitioning from needing to know how to do it before trying it to simply experiencing it through patterns.

Below  are some physical examples along the nervous system that compliment the emotional sensing of the Nonviolent Communication 4 part model, Observation, Feelings, Needs & Request as well as subtle energy center foods mentioned in the last newsletter.  This practitioner is suggestion that these movements can increases one’s window of tolerance and ability to cope as she suggest foods could by increasing the gut brain connection.  It is the body’s natural empathy resource.

To read more from this writer on this topic:

Awareness through Movement for Crown & Brow

The Brow Chakra encompasses the pituitary gland, eyes, head, and lower part of the brain and is associated with the center of ones intuition.

All guided Awareness through Movement® Lessons, called ATM’s, would support the 6th & 7th Chakras as the intention of the patterns are designed to focus ones attention to specifically bring a state of experiencing each moment using the movement itself. In meditation one is taken into a practice of following the breath or imagery while Feldenkrais® takes one into the focused experience of their personal action from the inside out.

Try this example experience of 7 steps to get in touch with your somatic awareness capabilities:

Awareness through Movement for the Throat

Located in the throat at the voice box and Adams apple areas, the Throat Chakra governs the voice, endocrine gland, thyroid and communication.

The guided patterns Awareness through Movement® lessons can increase ones ability to sing higher or lower, speak with more groundedness, swallow easier and unblock air passageways going down into the torso.  Mobilizing unused muscles and spinal movements can free up any restrictions limiting information and fluid going upwards into the head and brain also.

In Nonviolent Communication, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg discussed how the base of the throat area is the line that separates reaction with thinking and speaking  from connection to universal values increasing empathy.  His focus of empathy was an action with an intention of the heart (or values).  If one was speaking only from the mind only the result would be disconnection and conflict.

This Feldenkrais Practitioner, who mentors and coaches using Nonviolent Communication,  can see clues in others who appear to living in their heads, so to speak.  It is evident in their facial features, colouring and body posture.  Sharing  lessons in either Awareness through Movement or Awareness through Communication  this Practitioner can see the changing environment in ones colouring, features and postural changes.

Try this example experience of 8 steps to get in touch with your somatic awareness capabilities:

Click the links to read more on the remaining centers:

Two ways you can enjoy the Feldenkrais Method is through group classes or personal integration sessions called:
Function Integration  & Awareness through Movement 


To demonstrate the difference between Feldenkrais and other Movements in this weeks Awareness through Movement Lessons I showed the group a yoga mat and a mat I use in my movement classes.  The differences you can actually see are that the yoga mat is sticky on purpose to support held patterns while the Feldenkrais mat is for mobility for the purpose of having no environmental
restrictions.  In yoga one holds a pose and moves into another contrived pose while in Feldenkrais one has a focus on all the steps of the inside structure on their way towards striking any one posture.  

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