Archive for the ‘Neural Signals’ Category

Ever Noticed How Much We Don’t Notice?

05/03/2010

Have you ever noticed how much we don’t notice? We don’t notice when we hoist a shoulder to an earlobe when reaching for an object. We don’t notice when we clamp our arms to our sides when we walk, or that we lead with our heads (maybe the mind can’t wait for the rest of the body to get to its destination.) How can we care about, let alone change, something we don’t notice?

We move on automatic pilot, relying on unconscious habit patterns that are programmed and maintained through neural signals. To make a difference in these unconscious patterns of movement, or lack of movement, we go back to our first three steps described in earlier blogs. We make a conscious decision to do so (Step 1) and then set an intention (Step 2). To change these patterns we need to begin to discern how we move or where we don’t move. To create such awareness (Step 3) we use movement.

Step 4:  Movement

Movement – subtle, mindful and rhythmical – can begin to ‘speak’ to, or access, the central nervous system, a non-intellectual part of the brain that affects neural signals – like those that help keep self-limiting patterns in place. We want to create new neural signals that support our intention to, say, loosen tight muscles and ease joint mobility.

We perform mindful (you could say meditative) movements, in a particular manner, on one side of the body. We notice how that side feels in contrast to how the other side feels. This allows the non-intellectual brain to begin to notice the difference between the two sides. The effect is similar to inputting data into a computer. Once the data ‘registers’, it becomes the basis for the brain, nervous system etc. to begin to help us create new neural signals that help reprogram old patterns.

Simultaneously, we kinesthetically begin to feel how we actually (vs what we assumed) use our bodies and the effect of that usage. That kinesthetic awareness informs subsequent movement, which increases awareness, which guides further movement, which expands awareness . . . a spiral of symbiotic relationships emerge, working from within and without.

The nature of the movement is important, but not conveniently described here. Among the essential tools are attitudes of healing as well as visualization, breathing, self-massage and a lot of repetition. In my opinion and experience these mindbody methods, combined with Intention, Awareness, Movement (I AM) create a powerful process that supports transformation of self-limiting patterns, whether physical, emotional or behavioral.

The resources are inside us. We just need a road map to find and use what we already have; once we do, it’s ours for life. For we boomers, it makes for graceful aging with ease. This doesn’t mean we won’t ever need to seek help from other professionals. I receive therapeutic massage and chiropractic in addition to my personal movement practice.

Share your comments; they are appreciated. This is a huge topic and I am only glancing the surface. To learn more about the fascinating internal communication network click on Articles (on the right). I also recommend the book Molecules of Emotion by the brilliant researcher Candace Pert, PhD.  See you next week.

Question for You:  How do you address unwanted patterns?