Trust is a body thing. Can I lean back and be held? Can I fall forward and be caught? Can I rest, without needing to protect or defend? We feel trust in our bodies. We feel it in our bones and in our bellies.
As a Movement Therapist and Bodyworker, as I make contact with the person I’m working with there is much to trust. I trust in the other person, in what they tell me. That I will be safe with them, and that I can do all I can for them to feel a sense of safety with me. I trust what I can sense and feel. It is an active, on-going process. Tuning in, gently exploring, feeling my way. Making contact, losing contact, regaining contact.
I trust in my own ability to do this work. Trusting in my teachers, in their knowledge and experience, I trust in the theory and information I’ve read about, and am told about by others. I’ve learnt about the anatomy of the body, what is under the skin that I can’t see myself, with my own eyes – I marvel at images we now have, of the delicate, intricate beauty of scans of the body. The finer and finer detail, way beyond what I can really know, but can be a resource as I trust in the body of experience I have from my own explorations and from supporting others in theirs.
We often talk about putting our trust ‘in’ someone. Somatic Movement Therapy, and my training in Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy encompasses this, but also invites us to trust ourselves. Can we put our trust in our selves? In what we know? In what we feel, sense, imagine and think? This can take time, as we explore our layers, release defences, and find a new awareness, perspective and resources.
Receiving touch and hands-on bodywork can help with this process. As I rest may hand on the person I’m working with, I have in my mind an image of the structures, tissues, and cells underneath my touch. I bring my awareness – what I notice, what I can feel. Moving and sensing. We can all practise this – beginning with noticing the larger structures, the position and shape of our body as a whole, our limbs, muscles, and tissues. Touch can help us notice the finer detail too, helping bring sensation and awareness, so that we may know ourselves. And in knowing ourselves, we may know what we might need. A stretch in response to tightness. A rub in response to soreness, rest in response to tiredness.
As I work with others, I bring with me the images in my mind of what I have seen in anatomy books. I bring with me key ideas that I have explored and embodied, that make sense to me in terms of my own experience. Ideas that I have sensed through movement, shifting weight, changing positions, shape and direction of my body. I bring with me a clear intention, of what I’m wanting to offer, of what might be needed.
I use my hands and my words to convey this to the person I’m working with. And I trust the simplicity of making contact with another human being. There is much we know about this – our bodies are called to do it – to ourselves as we rub a bumped shin – to others, as we open our arms to welcome and cradle a loved one. Trusting our responses to what feels right.