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Contrary to popular wisdom, memories are not just a function of  'mind'. We have found that  memory lodges as well in the fibers and tissues of the body. Thoughts and emotions are associated with physical experiences which can tense our muscles, turn flexible tissue into gristle, restrict oxygen supply and blood circulation, and generally behave like knots, which block the flow of energy.  Responding to the events of life, we often constrict our muscles in fear or under pressure, control our breathing, and tighten against pain, thereby reinforcing and intensifying original blocks

HOW CAN THE BODY DIRECT?  We have the capacity to undo the knots and traumas held in our body by allowing movements which generate spontaneously, and which are related to each person's unique history. The process of movement directed by the body is one of unwinding and structural unfolding. Once we realize how we control our bodies, we can begin to let go, and see what we do when we do not exercise control. Movements and postures tend to repeat themselves.  During these repetitions, old injuries and pains tend to surface. At this point we have a choice. We may re-suppress the feelings, or allow them to become stimuli to healing. If we choose to experience them, and pay attention to their connections, we often find that they tend to peak, accompanied by a crescendo of feelings when a pattern is completed. Such completion can yield increased restoration and flexibility, and awareness.

RELATIONSHIPS AND INNER-DIRECTED MOVEMENT.  Most memories involve other people. Unfolding, therefore, usually implies relationships. In the traditional therapist-patient relationship, it is assumed that one person knows, and the other doesn't; that one heals, and the other is healed. In body-directed movement, however, we assume that everyone can know, and that unfolding is often mutual. It frequently happens that a person, moving through an unfolding experience, will interact with another, and they will stimulate feelings and memories for each other. For this reason, we do not isolate individuals, but create an environment in which people can interact.

Written in 1983 by Jean LeVaux

Participants: Anya Olson, David Pap, Alan Fincke, Barry Hughes,   Charles Letovsky, Marjorie Holt, Terry Towle

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