Psychobiological Pain/Discomfort Exercise

Psychobiology is the study of the interrelationships of biology and psychology in cognitive functioning, including intellectual, memory, and related neurocognitive processes. For example, a person has rounded shoulders to guard their heart or a person has a tucked tailbone to protect their pelvis from past trauma.

While receiving the Rolfing Structural Integration 10-Series, new patterns of movement and posture will emerge in each client. New ways of holding oneself and new ways of moving and being in the world can be challenging for a person to integrate into their daily life. I will show you a psychobiological inquiry of moving between your new pattern and old pattern. We will identify, compare, bridge, and anchor so we can get to know and identify our new pattern of structure and function.

First, we will identify your new pattern. Notice how you feel in the new pattern. Embody it, describe it. In what ways does this new pattern benefit you?

Second, we will identify your old pattern. Shift from your new pattern back into your old pattern. What is the first thing you need to do or think about or lose in order to go back into the old pattern? Describe this old pattern. Exaggerate it.

Next, what is gained by being in your old pattern. Perhaps it produces a sense of safety, of being able to hide oneself from others. Try not to be judgmental about yourself. Recognize that your old pattern is not bad or wrong and that there are times when this old pattern can serve you. Know that it is alright to return here.

Now, what needs to happen in order for you to move back into the new pattern/posture? Find the new pattern. What needs to happen for you to shift into the new pattern. List the benefits of the new pattern. Anchor this new pattern by getting familiar with it and by appreciating what it can offer you. Next, walk with this new pattern and gain deeper familiarity with it.

To further this exercise, you can imagine yourself in a difficult situation that brings you back into your old pattern. Practice shifting into your new pattern by using a word or image to resource yourself. Keep practicing this exercise to build confidence to maintain your new pattern.

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