Access Mental Health Through the Body

The world in which we live today is changing. 

We are becoming more and more aware of the continued growth in complexity and persistence of the constant stimuli outside our own bodies from long to-do lists, colorful advertisements, and seemingly endless streams of information and opinions to subtle yet complex forms of communication from loved ones and lessons in parenting from our greatest teachers, our children. 

As these stressors mount, they can feel heavy and overwhelming, but from deep within they are calling us to turn inward and see the landscape of our being in its beauty as well as its dark, unexplored valleys we may want to avoid. However, this last year or so of compounding, collective stress highlights the need for loving attention to the self. Navigating its vastly complex aspects, including physiological, emotional, spiritual, and psychological, can most certainly require assistance. 

The many taboos, misconceptions, and misinterpretations of “mental healthcare” can create barriers to proper and complete assistance for many people. The vulnerability necessary to take a closer look can reveal a real solution because it comes with the realization that the self requires more than just “mental help”. The Hakomi Method is one of these real solutions because it is a body-centered form of therapy that combines the scientific and the spiritual to address the human being as a whole. It helps people access the “core material” held deep within the subconscious that shapes their unique behaviors, perceptions, and beliefs about themselves and the world, some of them self-expressing and some of them self-limiting. Thus, a Hakomi practitioner does not assert his or her own agenda but follows each of Five Principles and the intelligence of the client’s own body to discover and explore their core material and transform the material that is limiting. 

The 5 Principles of Hakomi

  • Mindfulness is a meditative state accessible by any human, in which one takes notice of his or her own inner experience. These days, the arena of our conscious thoughts can feel chaotic, pinging with worry, habitual thought patterns, and to-do lists. Mindfulness practices usually begin by teaching a person to simply notice and observe these thoughts rather than become attached and carried away with them. Taking this role as the observer is a valued tool in the practice of Hakomi, as it leads to a path of discovery of the truest and wisest inner self.  
  • Nonviolence. Exploration of the inner world of the self usually encounters some resistance or learned defense systems that have developed in response to trauma or chronic stress. Hakomi aims to meet resistance with compassion, knowing that these defenses do not have to be “knocked down”, pulverized, or defeated. It fully accepts the existence of these defense systems and respects them for the teachings held within. 
  • Unity. This principle helps a person see the many layers of the self with the understanding that everything living exists as a whole made up of many interconnected parts. For example, the cells of the body are microscopic parts that make up the whole tissues, and the tissues are parts of whole organ systems. This thread continues through the whole body, the community, the planet, and the entire Universe. Hakomi methods help a person to follow this thread within and get to know him or herself on emotional, psychological, spiritual, physiological and many other levels interwoven. Thus, the unification of all parts as one whole is integral to the self-exploration process involved in Hakomi. 
  • Organicity. Each person has unique parts to their whole person along with unique barriers, blockages, and defenses. Thus, the Hakomi method recognizes that each person will have a unique process of discovery and transformation of this resistance. The practitioner has no agenda of his or her own, but works together with clients in their unfolding, trusting their unique direction and inner wisdom.
  • Mind Body Integration Hakomi deeply recognizes and utilizes the mind-body connection because it is through this connection that we feel, know, and express ourselves. The beliefs we host about ourselves and the world are the source of this self-expression. With various methods, Hakomi explores the mind-body connection to discover core beliefs, how they were created, and helps the client integrate transformation of their belief systems when necessary.

By integrating every one of these principles, the Hakomi practitioner honors his or her client’s wholeness, even the pieces they have wished to leave unexposed. Stepping into this vulnerability occurs in a safe space where the client can address their shadow, being guided by the wisdom of the body. For more information, please visit the website for the Hakomi Institute. To book a session locally, please call the Mind & Body Connection in Sioux City, Iowa. (712) 252-1157

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