On many early mornings when sleep has been elusive, I have experimented with a combination of placing the fingertips of my index and middle fingers in different places over my ribs, facial and skull bones, forearm bones and pelvis. I then swapped between moving the fascia in small, very slow small circles resembling a Tellington Touch style or actually gently directing some intention for a little movement through the bone. I allowed time for 2 or 3 breathes before moving to a different spot. It triggered automatically many fuller breaths. I think because it intrigued me and asked for some focus, it was deeply relaxing but not sleep inducing. A mixed blessing at the time.
Perhaps it triggers the ” relaxation response” which I was reading is thought to be one of the key positive effects of mindful type practice. Some of my Feldenkrais colleagues and I have wondered if Feldenkrais is actually a form of mindfulness. Feldenkrais encourages one to be accepting, curious and inquisitive and to notice oneself without judgement as movements are explored.
Bone, fascia, muscle, senses…. there are many places to direct ones awareness towards in order to find a way into the nervous system and offer the chance to vary a habit.
Key Points of note:
- Using ones’ own hands to enhance awareness of an area is an easily taught and available possibility which could be used briefly and subtley in many situations to provide an opportunity for mindful focus. The ribs, facial bones and collar bones are relatively easy to find even for the novice.
- The notion of making small circles is simple and easy to remember, this could be circles on and around the bone or even exploring clock circles around a joint.