“There is one thing that, when cultivated and regularly practiced, leads to deep spiritual intention, to peace, to mindfulness and clear comprehension, to vision and knowledge, to a happy life here and now, and to the culmination of wisdom and awakening. And what is that one thing? It is mindfulness centered on the body.”
NeuroImaginal® Embodiment invites more focus on a body-based approach as primary. The foundation of NeuroImaginal® Practice, which has a body component, is the building ground we start from. Dr. Shannon Simonelli has a long-standing and strong relationship with embodiment practices and embodied awareness as a central component to how she works with clients, group process, professional training and program development. The NeuroImaginal® Embodiment focus is a further development of her work. Movement, somatic and embodied awareness, dance, embodied psychological exploration and discovery are used in NeuroImaginal® Embodiment for a number of benefits and to work synergistically with imagery and the rich foundation of NeuroImaginal® Practice for change and transformation.
The primary body based focus of this work assists participants to begin to directly experience their emotional life and spiritual connection with embodied awareness. They begin to learn that their body is giving them information worth paying attention to, that somatic cues can be emotionally based and Soul centered. Participants practice listening to and understanding their own embodied awareness and discover their bodies can offer them cues or warning signs to “pay attention!”. This work adds to participants insight base and invites the beginnings of mastery related to the body as an alley and resource for greater interpersonal, spiritual, and professional connection.
NeuroImaginal® Embodiment invites the ‘aha!’ moments that bypass the conscious mind. Patterns of being become clear and possibilities for different action are revealed. Participants experience deeper compassion and understanding of self and others through movement, imagery work, experiments and group process as well as begin to feel what it is like to be in their body with empowerment. Participants discover greater somatic, psychological and emotional resource; invite greater awareness in the body and open range of motion in the body. These body-based increases translate to increased awareness, range of motion and perceived options in daily life.
Research shows that when we intentionally move the body in new and different ways the brain begins to perceive greater possibility (Casasanto, D.2012). We know that novelty and exercise impacts neural plasticity through generating more brain cells in the hippocampus (Reynolds, G. 2012). Increases in dopamine to feel happy, accessing GABA states to feel calm and connecting with the parasympathetic nervous system for healing and greater access to creative mind are all activated with conscious movement and dance. Therapeutic m usic is used intentionally in some NeuroImaginal® Embodiment work to support the clinical and instructional objective we are working with. Appropriate music is a potent supporter of accessing heart-based coherence and impacting heart rate variability (McCraty, R., et al 1996), music helps to organize internal rhythms and outer engagement. Music assists in holding space for various feeling states and assists in invoking those feeling states through association and vibrational resonance.
NeuroImaginal® Embodiment is a powerful alley in reconnecting with core values, addressing stress and burnout, finding self-care and self-soothing, and inviting greater intrapersonal and interpersonal connection, joy and happiness. It can be used to enrich treatment of: trauma, addiction recovery, co-dependance, mood disorders, ADHD, Aspergers, burn out, stress and to reconnect with meaning and purpose.
Casasanto, D. (2012) Different Bodies, Different Minds: The Body Specificity of Language and Thought. Association of Psychological Science. Retrieved from http://www.casasanto.com/papers/Casasanto_CurrentDirections.pdf
McCraty, R., Atkinson, M., Rein G., Watkins, A. (1996). Music enhances the effect of positive emotional states on salivary IgA. Stress Medicine, Vol. 12: 167-175.
Reynolds, G (4.18, 2012). How Exercise Benefits the Brain. NYTimes.com Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/how-exercise-benefits-the-brain/