Movement to Destress and Express

 
Photo Credit Saksham Gangwar

Photo Credit Saksham Gangwar

As I learnt in Biology many moons ago, everything that is alive moves. Yet somewhere along the way, we get stuck. Sitting for hours all day, driving to and from the gym and then being directed how to move in an exercise class. It’s little wonder that the intelligence of the body becomes hard to hear.

I was never sporty. Netball, hockey and the dreaded cross country running just weren’t my thing. I’ve always loved to move though. Walking, dancing, yoga, pilates, and more refined methods such as feldenkrais and gyrotonic.

Over the last 15 years of practice as an osteopath I’ve learnt (the hard way) that there’s a sweet spot of hands-on work that is stimulating but not depleting. If I treat too much, I’m vulnerable to burnout. And yet I still have a desire to help more people to lead healthier lives.

Movement has been one of the ways that I take care of myself and my boundaries after hands-on work, especially after more emotional sessions. When you hold the space for someone to be in their process, it’s important not to take on their story, which can happen all to easily to empathic people.

I came across the Non-Linear Movement Method through a good friend who went through a challenging time. Instead of caving in to the pressure, she seemed to bloom. It was one of those “I’ll have what she’s having” situations.

What is the NLMM?

The Non-Linear Movement Method was developed by Michaela Boehm, an international teacher, therapist and lineage-holder of a form of Kashmiri Shavaism.

You can do non-linear movement in any position, whether standing or sitting, but it’s ideal on hands and knees so you can access freedom whilst being stable. The movement is guided by what you feel and sense in your body, so it’s different every time you practice.

There are only two simple rules:

  1. Keep on moving.

  2. Keep the eyes closed.

What I like about NLMM

Most of all I value about that it is safe. This is important to me as many of my clients are in the midst of fertility treatment or pregnancy or have recently given birth. It’s also great as a daily practice to release the stress of the day. Over time it helps to address trauma in a safe and simple way. I wish I had had access to this method at times in my life when I’ve felt frozen or stuck. Even in the most heightened situations, movement is available.

I’ve had a meditation practice for many years, but I often feel that it’s the movement that really helps me to express myself. When I am trying to write a blog or do some work, movement helps to connect with my body and clear my mind.

Workshops

I’ve run workshops using this method for Moving Through Loss and also at Fertility Fest this year. I use verbal prompts to help people to feel their bodies, and hold space to go deep.

Having a room of people moving in their own way in their own process, yet a feeling of shared experience is a beautiful thing to behold. If you’d like to experience the Non-Linear Movement Method, my next workshop is on 5th July in Central London.