Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy is a mind-body therapeutic approach created and designed to teach basic skills in “interoceptive awareness”, which helps individuals develop fundamental skills in connecting to their inner body’s sensations. Becoming dissociated from bodily sensations is often a coping mechanism to avoid suffering, to “numb out” areas of the body which has experienced stress, emotional- or physical- pain or trauma. Naturally, we want to avoid pain, and the fear and anxiety that accompanies pain. Unfortunately, this becomes an unhealthy coping strategy- the healthier way to address pain is to turn towards it, using curiosity, self-compassion and importantly, guidance from a coach to learn mindful methods on how to stay connected inside, how to be guided by the wisdom inner body sensations. Learning to trust and to listen to the body as a source of insight, rather than as an adversary, can be transforming.
Mindfulness is a key component in MABT, as it increases the ability to maintain present-moment experience with an attitude of openness, curiosity and self-compassion, can increase our tolerance of our thoughts and feelings, particularly the uncomfortable ones. We are embodied beings. From the moment we are born, out bodies are essential to our learning, emotional growth and relationships to others. Our bodies communicate more clearly than words. Learning the ‘language’ of the body can greatly enhance emotional regulation and resilience. Mindfulness meditation methods, such as practicing the “body scan”and “breath awareness” can facilitate re-connection of the mind and body.
MABT is a therapy that is most often offered by a healthcare professional. As a licensed massage therapist Ellen has been certified to teach MABT. Recently, Ellen has worked as a research assistant for Cynthia Price (see below) in a research program funded by the NIH to help tackle the opioid crisis. Ellen has a medical massage practice in Port Townsend, WA called In Balance Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork. Please go to her massage website to schedule a consultation: https://inbalancebodywork.com
Cynthia Price, PhD MA LMP. Research Professor. Research Assoc. Director, UW Osher Center for Integrative Medicine created MABT. Please click here for more information: