Energy follows attention – applied to one-to-one bodywork sessions
Energy follows attention is a universal principle. As with anything, you should try and experiment with it for yourself to see if it works for you and if it feels true to you and brings any valuable benefit.
Energy follows attention is also a fundamental principle that formed the basis of my professional training as a bodyworker. Practicing and learning to focus my attention to areas of my body that felt weak or parts that I wasn’t very aware of in everyday life situations – like my low back or pelvis when I was in a serious discussion – I discovered how self-empowering this practice was and that it led me to a state of feeling whole. I had clarity, I felt awake and energized.
Today, I want to use this universal principle as one way to describe why I think bodywork sessions work and why they are a valuable strategy to regain energy, confidence and to learn to use your own resources in a sustainable and healthy way.
Some ways we get stuck
There are many ways how you can end up feeling stuck. You might lose your focus and feel scattered because your attention is split among too many different tasks or outside demands and influences. You might be in a room with a certain atmosphere that leads you into a reactive state (e.g. to stress or anger) where you get stuck on an emotion. You might feel frustrated, low, overexcited but feel you need to hold back, etc.
Maybe you start noticing your back pain or headache and part of your attention is occupied with dealing with the premonition that you might have it for the rest of the day and how that will affect you.
What happens to your energy when your attention is stuck
What happens once you’ve become stuck in a reactive state, you have ended up in a closed loop that doesn’t allow for a new solution. Your attention is fixed on the problem.
Focusing in the problem is a natural process as the brain is wired to notice problems so you can fix them. The downside of this is that if you don’t know how to move your of stuckness or your reactive state, the problem will get bigger as your attention is wholly focused on the problem. That is if you, at least for the moment, believe this universal principle to be true.
Energy follows attention. If this is true, in a reactive state your energy is invested in looking at the problem. As a result you’re nourishing the problem and not the way out of it.
Redirecting your attention, releases energy for something new to emerge
Having the choice to consciously direct your attention to something else, is in my experience the first step to gaining a wider perception of the situation and possibly also the way out of stuckness.
Energy & attention in the context of a bodywork session
In a one-to-one bodywork sessions, I use verbal guidance and touch to support my client in focusing their attention. This might be on areas of themselves that have not been in their awareness or that have been ignored or on areas that have been overused and as a result are strained or tired. In any case, the goal is to release blocked energy so it is freely available to the person in dealing with the situations in a confident and effective way.
In the bodywork, I’m adding my attention and intention to the situation so it becomes easier for the client to also focus her attention in order to regain or strengthen sensations, flexibility, and connection.
Bodywork elements form a vital part of the kind of one-to-one session and coaching I offer. Sessions also include learning embodied practices, exploring the situation the client wishes to address by inquiring and asking questions. All those elements play with the principle of energy follows attention.
If you have been ignoring a problem for a good while, your attention has been trapped in an avoidance strategy that also doesn’t allow you to move on with all your energy and skills.
Why I find bodywork so helpful is because in addition to the many things I can do by myself (through reflection, conversation, coaching, physical practices, mediation,…) having a second person support me, enables me to go beyond my comfort zone and dare to take a step towards something unfamiliar or unknown.
If you’d like to try what bodywork can do for you, you are welcome to try a session. One Friday a month, I offer one-to-one sessions at a special price for people curious to find new body-based strategies to support them on their way.
The next oppportunity is April 12, 2019.