Can you give up conscious control of your body, if it means healing an illness, injury or disease?
As discussed in last week’s article, unconscious unwinding is a very effective and necessary way for the body to repair itself while we sleep. It is also very effective to unwind while we are awake, or conscious. The key is to be able to give up conscious control of your body, which can be a challenge for many people.
An easy way to start consciously unwinding is to put yourself into a stretch position and just let it continue without thinking about what parts of your body need to be stretched. Your body already knows, so it will keep moving into various positions to release whatever tension has been held in your tissue. Think of how a cat or dog stretches – the whole body involved and moving in ways that feel good, without forcing anything.
I find it easier to unwind lying down but it can be done seated or standing. Make sure you have a safe, comfortable space in which to unwind. You don’t want to come into contact with any hard objects during this process. And note that if you start unwinding while seated or standing, you could end up lying on the floor at some point.
Your bed is the best place to use but the floor is good too. Putting down a couple of yoga mats or a soft blanket can help make the floor more comfortable if it’s not carpeted. If you have carpet, you also need to consider the possibility of carpet burn on any exposed skin. I remember wondering why a therapist I had seen had chosen shag carpet for his treatment rooms. It definitely did not feel good on my face during a session where I ended up on the floor!
Disconnecting your conscious, thinking brain from the unwinding process is also very important. You will still be aware of what is happening but the trick is to allow whatever needs to happen without analyzing it during the unwinding process (or even afterwards, really). Analysis during unwinding will keep you from reaching a deeper healing. Your subconscious needs to guide this process and you need to learn how to let it.
Trusting your body’s innate ability to heal itself does not come easily for many people but it can be relearned. We are all born with this knowledge but are taught to defer to analytical methods (tests, xrays, MRIs, etc.) when determining what is “wrong” with our bodies or minds. If we allowed ourselves to unwind more often, we would experience a lot fewer health problems, if any.
Building that trust in yourself can take some practice. If you find yourself struggling to trust, it can help to have a trained therapist assist you in an unwinding process. Keep in mind, the therapist cannot make you unwind but they can create a safer space for you to trust yourself in this process and allow it to happen. It’s even more fun to have a few therapists assist. It’s amazing what your body will do when it has the support of several people while it’s unwinding!
If you decide to give conscious unwinding a try, I’d love to hear your experiences. Leave any comments or questions below the post and I’ll respond as best I can. Enjoy the unwinding process!