Have an Alexander Technique lesson, work on your somatic memories
Do a little test:
Stand in front of a mirror and breathe deeply. If your shoulders rise up, your body is in a fight or flight state caused by exhaustion or unresolved, chronic emotional conflicts or states of fear.
The fact that your body may be in a fight or flight state is not something you initially can control with the conscious mind.
Eventually you can train yourself to pass from one state to the other but originally it is a physiological response designed by evolution to defend us from danger and there is little control unless we develop connexions between the limbic system of our brain and the pre-frontal lobe, between the emotional part of the brain that reacts with fear in the face of uncertainty and the more evolved cortical parts of the brain that are responsible for more deliberate behavior.
The Neocortex can control with practice the very primitive responses of the limbic or emotional brain.
Consciously we know we shouldn’t be afraid or anxious because it doesn’t help, however, we don’t know how to avoid or prevent feeling as we do. We can have hopeful, positive conscious thoughts but it’s the unconscious that drives the physiology.
The body is the unconscious or the unconscious is in the body, however you want to look at it.
Your emotional brain controls your body in ways that you don’t even realise, let alone are able to control.
Those emotional states somatized in the body have become so habituated that the brain accepts them as its normal functioning and doesn’t warn us against it. It has become part of its programing, and we become trapped there, we cannot get out because we don’t even know we are trapped and the instruments of warning are deteriorated and cannot perceive what is wrong because it has been there for so long that it has been labeled as right.
The imbalance has been re-labeled as balance, and now the healing mechanisms that sustain homeostasis cannot do anything about it because they don’t even perceive the imbalance given that has become the normal state for a long time already.
What can we do when the instrument to perceive what is right is wrong?
Not only the brain cannot detect that something is wrong in the body and its functioning (you cannot change what you don’t experience), on the contrary, when we try to change it, change produces an unfamiliar sensation,and the brain either sends a warning signal as pain or discomfort or some kind of alarm that something has changed for the wrong, or simply orders the organism back to homeostasis without our conscious participation.
Remember, any situation established in the body for a long time is integrated in the brain as normal, becomes the default state, and as the function of the brain is maintain normalcy in all the body mechanisms both neurological, biochemical, etc., what is called homeostasis, any change is going to feel bad in the beginning.
Also is going to produce some disconfort ans is going to go agains our most basic biochemical and neurological identity.
No change, no putting things back in order can occur if the brain cannot detect the disorder.
Also the way back to homeostasis is so long and complex, after so many compensations and detours, that it is highly unlikely that it can happen by itself.
We have to retrain the brain.
We all have experiences of that, we have been progressively breathing less and less in a way that is not alarming for the brain, until we just get enough oxygen to get by, and the brain is not protesting, it has been deteriorating so slowly that the body adapts to it but with the consequent loss of health and vitality and then we have to work on breathing back to full capacity very laboriously, or we started to limp ever so slowly that now the brain cannot recover the right neuromuscular information to establish a correct gait after an injury, or our back once buoyant and erect, now is collapsing, smashing all internal organs, but we cannot recover the vertical without effort and pain because the brain doesn’t remember the efficient effortless neuromuscular organization we used to enjoy as children, that is part of our human birth rights.
Most of the tension that distorts our body is emotional, it is continuously been exerted and the body is just the recipient of it, and us with it.
Usually the body screams when something is wrong, it tells us: hey you ! this makes me angry or upset, or afraid or anxious.
Funny, huh? normally we know what we feel , by what the body tells us. We are the body. I know I am angry because I make a fist, or I cringe the yaw, or I know I am sad because I slump and have no energy, I know I am happy because i feel light and vibrant, I know I am nervous when I am jumpy and tense etc.
Now our tension has become the normal, It has become so habitual, we don’t even remember any other way,we think this is the way the body is and of course, we cannot change something we don’t notice.
The body is locked in those states that signal back to the brain the fact that there is danger and we are trapped in the fear response, in the stress response, in the anxiety, the worry.
We built a wall, closed the door and now we are trapped and we have lost the key, or the way back to a healthy repertoire of responses, we cannot generate something different, we are locked in a neuromuscular programming that emprisons us.
Unfortunately we are blind to it, is like a fish in water, doesn’t know is in water, it has become our standard and we cannot recognize it, even when we think we are relaxed, we are not, but we cannot detect the tension and we cannot release it.
When we take our first Alexander lesson it blows our mind the fact that we had been living with that for years, but once it is pointed out by an Alexander technique teacher we can see it and we can do something about it, and we start the process of shedding layers and layers of tension accumulated throughout years of unconscious emotional tension and we can access to a vitality and a degree of functioning we haven’t experienced since childhood.
Make sure you get a certified Alexander technique teacher, because it is a highly sophisticated discipline that requires three or four years of training depending on schools. Google for teachers in your area and try on until you feel comfortable and happy with one..