by BetsyAnn Baron
Being Bodyful is my approach to posture. A play on the words “being mindful”, Being Bodyful is built around Postural Somatic Awareness (PSA) and exploration.
Why am I so passionate about the postural exploration of Being Bodyful? It has been my experience as a bodyworker for over 30 years and teacher for more than 15, that this approach is underused. Clients who have “seen everyone” tell me that nobody has ever asked the simple questions that are part of my approach.
Listening and Awareness
The body has its stories to tell. Awareness exploration is a major component in helping clients divulge their stories. Postural Somatic Awareness is a key element that helps with their story telling. It is integrated within my treatments and my continuing education curriculum. It is the way I open and close every treatment and often in the middle too. As a teacher, it is part of my curriculum and bookends each new technique, demonstration and practice.
Engaging in simple postural exploration encourages clients to disclose more than just the reason for their appointment. It allows us to become ‘duo-detectives’, developing and deepening the exploratory process together. We ask a question, listen to the answer, gently ask another, listen again, wonder out loud, and listen more. Remaining within our scope of practice, we peel through multiple layers in our search for information. It’s all there – in the client’s body. But many don’t realize this.
The main questions I use are about weight bearing, breath, pelvic tilt or tuck and the person’s action of “standing up straight”. There are more questions and nuances, but for the purposes of this article, these are the important ones with which to begin.
One of the best parts during this type of Q & A is that there are no wrong answers because clients are describing how they feel.
Discoveries made during each intake offer us, as duo-detectives, information to help structure the session. This awareness work continues throughout the treatment. Fascinating “A-ha” moments occur after the client is off the table and standing, ready to experience their changed sensations. Then the practitioner asks: “What are your first impressions?” The answer provides an exquisite moment in the postural process. It’s the Bodyful goldmine into awareness.
Applying Awareness and Listening
Barefoot, the client stands in their familiar posture. Ask where they feel the weight in their legs. Do they feel balanced? Then, guide their awareness into the soles of their feet, one foot at a time. What if they feel more weight in the front of one foot and in the heel of the other? They may be coming for treatment for a low back issue and not be aware of the imbalance further “afoot”! Ask them to adjust their stance to a more centered weight bearing. Where in their body are they feeling the shift? Recognizing this new found awareness can be a challenge for the client, but offers vital information in the duo-detective process. They can tap into this new skill as homework between treatments as well. The practice of awareness is crucial when trying to make postural and pattern changes.
The next client session offers support.
Experiment by putting a few of the above questions in this article to your clients. You may discover shifts in treatment insights. My hope is that you will celebrate the support you offer in being a duo-detective with your client.
Please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or questions about the method and nuances offered by Being Bodyful.
www.baronbodyworks.ca for more information about my continuing education curriculum Structural Myofascial Therapy®
Facebook and Instagram: BetsyAnn Baron
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