Updated: Feb 20, 2022
I have tried a lot of different things to heal from wounds both past & present. Body work has been one of the most beneficial in helping me to release things that I didn't even know where there. In this post I will talk about all of the types of body work I have tried & the ones I've found most beneficial for me.
Yoga & Chanting
I put this into play much later in my experience with body work. I was very intentional about the type of yoga I wanted to practice. Since I resisted it so much, I thought my resistance was telling me that I needed to give it a go. I believe that what we resist the most is often a key to open a door to healing. So after searching online in my area I was disappointed at first. Then one day I had a thought to search again, just for good measure. I happened upon a yoga instructor who was willing to work 1 on 1 & not charge an arm & a leg. This has honestly been one of the best practices that I have picked up.
Massage & Cupping
A lot of people enjoy massages. They can be very soothing & help with relaxation & getting out of our heads. I also enjoy massage & have used it to help release tension in the body. I also had cupping done which, due to the tension I was holding in my body was painful. I have not ventured back into the world of cupping although I had 5+ sessions to ensure that I wasn't just being my sensitive self. It ended up not working for me. I do recommend trying it yourself to see if it helps you.
My experience with acupuncture was brief although I will say that the needling helped to relieve some intense anxiety that I had going on during that time. It is for this reason that it made it onto this list of body work practices. It was not a painful experience as I thought it would be but I did bleed in certain spots. I coupled this with massage most of the time & always felt very relaxed & far less anxious afterward.
While I credit massage with first opening my body to be able to start the release of the traumas I had experienced, it is myofascial release that gave me my first very visceral release of stored trauma in my pelvic region. Having survived familial sexual & physical abuse you would think that I would be incredibly adverse to strangers touching me, & I was to a certain degree. I think that I had this idea in my mind of how I SHOULD react to strangers touching me. Once I took the time to research a practitioner, although I would still be very much anxious & activated when I went to appointments, I would trust that I would be ok. My practitioner was trauma informed & helped me to begin releasing a lot of stored trauma & emotions.
Trigger Point Injections
While most people wouldn't necessarily classify this as "body work" I do. The reason for this is because when I would get the injections, I would eventually have an emotional release as the result of those muscles being released. It never fails, I become more clear in my emotions & can process them as they come to consciousness.
This is the practice of floating in a shallow pool of water in pitch black darkness. This was the first time I had ever experienced thing like this. I am afraid of the dark (don't laugh) & being in a pool of water with what I thought were large opening that an anaconda could swim in through & take me out was enough to almost unnerve me completely. It was a very good experience as I was able to release all the tension in my body & even fell asleep in the pool. Thank goodness I didn't wake up thrashing about like the wild horse I can be!
This may sound a little bit weird, but I have an obsession for warm & cuddly things. Hear me out when I talk about how this is body work for me. I have several items of clothing, socks, shirts, & blankets that I use to wrap my body in warmth & comfort. My weighted blanket mimics being hugged by someone & allows me to release the days tension. I have gone through a recent period of separation from others & it has activated a lot of emotions that I have had to navigate, abandonment is the main one. So this has become a practice that serves me in dire times.
One of the best books I have found to help you listen to the messages your body gives is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book is very easy to read & it helps you to understand the messages that all of your aches, pains, & illnesses are telling you. It even gives affirmations to help you change your thought processes that are contributing to them. Check it out, it should be a staple in any healing library.
I hope that you try at least one of these out to see how they work for you. I know that money can be a constraint on people being able to do things like massage & float therapy but even one session can help. Yoga & chanting are free options you can do from the comfort of your home & have amazing benefits for releasing. Start slow & build on your practice.