We are our body and we can enhance it. We can optimize our vitality by eating, thinking and moving in ways that orchestrate the intricate chains of biological processes that continuously organise and replace the matter we are made of. The side menu shows some ways to do that.

use it or lose it
Muscles and ligaments lose strength and flexibility if they are not used. After a while, habits of limited movement become set in body and brain and constrict lifestyle and appearance.

When we turn off parts of our brain or body that cause us discomfort by not using them or by reducing their blood supply then they begin to feel unreal or unconnected to us. If they shut down long enough to atrophy they become the focus of illness.

Closing down feelings and parts of the body is the opposite of awareness.

useless activity
Over-activation can be damaging too. If muscles stay tense in guarding reactions after stress or trauma, they begin to permanently change the body. They can change face and posture. They can deform bone and contribute to problems like fibromyalgia and arthritis long after the threat that triggered tension disappears.

It's hard to perfect a skill if parts of the body are struggling with a parent or past traumas. Success depends on ending useless activity and freeing the whole body to participate. That means letting go of unnecessary habitual muscle tensions and activities that get in the way.

Tensions arises from the mind not muscles so exercise or massage that fights against tense muscles may be ineffective and even damaging.

Just becoming aware of sensations in the body may be all that is needed to release these tensions. The awareness therapy links on the home page side menu show ways to expose underlying causes and the stress pages suggest ways to relax.

body awareness
The mind keeps a record of events and relationships in words and other images but there is also a feeling record in the body with further insights to draw on.

Becoming aware of sensations in the body gives a voice to parts that are shut down or distressed. Once the body gets this feedback it can reactivate suppressed parts and reorganise itself. Unnecessary tensions can be discarded and posture realigned. Forgotten movements can be regained. Many people are astonished when they discover that they are not just their ideas but also their body.

Ideas and emotions trigger reactions in the body including disease and healing. A cure may lie in either mind, body or emotion. Each is a manifestation of the same processes that create us and keep us together.

Life experiences imprint our history and personality into the body – into face, posture, gait and voice and show who we are.

Traumatic experiences are restricting. We can free up our body with exercises like those on the side-menu. As our body is liberated, our mind follows.

Yoga, Tai Chi, posture, bodywork, massage and Feldenkrais movements center around the spine and breathing. They give the body a chance to experience new postures and movements and learn how it feels to be released from habitual tensions. These new, more comfortable, efficient and safer ways of moving continue into everyday life.

Movement brings us to our senses in the real world and the present moment where we can re-orientate and then integrate our inner with our outer experiences. Then we can live in both body and mind - not just one of them.

body intelligence
In a busy industrial society there is little chance to experience the knowledge and deliberations of our body. Writing and speech are so pervasive that we usually think in words rather than sensations and feelings.

There are examples of ways to reclaim the body and tap into its intelligence on the side menu.