The Inner World of the Bodymind

Today we explore so-called automatic functioning, or the inner world of the human machine or bodymind. The internal language of the bodymind is much the same as our external communication in that it consists of vibration and movements. However, the smaller inner world is more subtle than the gross movements that our sense organs ordinarily receive. By quieting external noises we can begin to appreciate the sensate experience that is continuous inside. Direct your attention inward and you will realize the observations offered in this article.

In Thomas Hanna’s book, Somatics, the concept of red light/green light is discussed in relation to posture and gross physical movement or mobility. This idea can be taken into the inner world. The range of motion internally, called motility, consists of rotations or oscillations. The green light reaction can be described as sympathetic and the red light as parasympathetic, in terms of nervous system function. Certainly the inner worldÕs communication includes much more than the nervous system, but this simple description will be useful as we follow the trail of sensate experience. Instinctively we are set up to move toward balance, or homeostasis, by engaging these opposites as a default when we lean in one direction too long. For instance, overwork (green light) creates illness and mandates rest (red light). Unfortunately this instinct, which in its natural state operates efficiently, is tampered with due to the many conflicting messages and abnormal stresses of modern life.

Just as rigid postural patterns limit our mobility, rigid or jerky internal communication limits motility . Constant jumping from red light to green light or even attempts to do both at once, like a business lunch, break down this balancing system of communication. Take a slow deep breath and notice the motion within your abdomen. Undoubtedly some areas or organs will be sensitive enough for you experience movement, while other places will be blank or blind spots. These blind spots represent segments that are out of the communications loop, and therefore vulnerable to dysfunction or disease without the support of the instinctive and organic homeostasis of the inner world. Take a breath again, this time pressing lightly with your fingers on your blind spot. As your fingers sense the movement, this information is transmitted to the blind spot and it begins to sense also. The better "understanding" the hand has, the more communication is established.

While the idea of motility has been used by somatic practitioners for quite some time, perhaps since the beginning of time, emphasis upon the communicative aspects of motility and its relationship to the bodymind, i.e. spirit, emotion, thought and physical form, is lacking in modern paradigms. That fascial adhesions could cause emotional or mental problems or vice versa is an undiscussed possibility in modern medicine; you might even call it a blind spot. This denial of responsibility is passed on to us, as patients and clients, and we are hypnotized, believing that our disease indicates some outside thing has invaded us, that we are helpless.

We can, as you have just experienced, awaken to this inner world and, if patient, we can learn the language. By exploring this world we will find our lost parts, wandering blindly, and welcome them home. Help from one who knows will guide you until the time when you awaken to the sensation of motility of each of your organs, including the brain, your joints, and even your bones as they rock back and forth like a boat at dock. Learning from these sensate experiences, we become able to rest fully (red light) and work efficiently (green light) and to allow space for transition and balance.