Emotional Bodily Connection
In my studies specialising in movement therapy and fascia, I have learnt that our 12 fascial meridians affect or even house particular emotions, behaviours and even personality traits.
Fascia is a connective tissue that is continuous throughout the body and wraps, envelops and connects muscles, organs and bones. It affects movement and posture and supports the body. There are 12 lines of fascia that flow from head to toe, which we call meridians, and these each have a life of their own.
I recently experienced this in my own body when I was up at midnight rolling my hips to get some relief from some leg discomfort that intermittently keeps me up at night.
This night followed a day of feeling completely ‘off’. In particular, an energy where I couldn’t move toward my simple goals of the day, I felt stuck in mud. It was so strong that I decided to give into this inertia and simply accept that my day would be unproductive and focused instead on the sweetness of playing with my children.
As I continued to work on the muscles of my hips, I had a vision of my notes on the fascial meridian that I was currently releasing, and the word “impetus” flashed in my mind. Impetus meaning the force at which a body, process or activity moves, or in my case, lack there of it!
It is always enlightening for a therapist to experience first-hand the information they have been absorbing, and so, here I am at midnight, rummaging through my notes to read further into this theory.
How can our muscles and posture affect our emotions?
My explanation thus far, from my western view, is through the fascia.
When we touch something we are receiving sensory information that travels to our brain into an area responsible for processing information about touch, proprioception (feeling our body in space), pain and temperature.
However, when we affect the receptors or nerves in the fascia through manual therapy, movement or acupuncture, they send information to another part of the brain which is involved in a beautiful variety of functions including, feelings and emotions, decision making, and bodily self-awareness.
Our fascial meridians are connected to muscles, organs and bones throughout the body, so it makes sense that the tension in our muscles or the position of our bones, or even the health of our organs, will affect the fascial planes, creating tension, slack or imbalance in the fascial meridians.
So our very posture, and the areas we hold tension in the body, could be an integral influence defining our day to day mood.
What is your body and mood telling you?
This theory is wonderfully complex, but lets take a look at some of the superficial lines through the body, and how these might be affecting you on a deeper level.
Do you feel tension, pain or imbalance along the front of your body? The front of the neck, chest, belly, front of the thigh, shin or top of the foot? Close down your eyes and scan this front line, feel without thinking.
Emotions connected to this line are: Protection, pride, will, going forward and bravery.
How about the back of the body? Do you hold pain or tension in the scalp, base of the skull, spine, hamstrings, calves or the underside of the foot? Close down the eyes, sense and feel, no thinking.
The emotions connected to this back line are: Groundedness, retrospection, backbone, perseverance and courage.
Or how about the side of the body? Side of the ankle, leg, hip, side ribs, side of neck to jaw. Close the eyes and light up each area with your awareness, your inner eye.
The emotions connected here are: Intuition, sensuality, receptivity, self-awareness and subtle energy.
There are many myofascial meridians and their attachments and paths are complex and interconnected, so do not be discouraged if you do not see a connection to yourself here. It’s simply a fun body-mind awareness activity to explore, and I hope through it you have gained a deeper self-awareness, and maybe even a subtle feeling of peace or bliss.