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Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering

Date: November 22, 2013 Category: , , ,

Bonnie Bainbridge-Cohen is a movement artist, therapist, educator, and researcher. Drawing largely on her experience in the areas of dance and physical therapy, she developed experiential teachings called “Body-Mind Centering,” and opened a school centered around this approach in 1973. What I love about Bainbridge-Cohen’s method of embodiment is that she works with different bodily systems—nervous, skeletal, etc.—as centers from which one can experience feeling and consciousness. This vision of a body’s innate intelligence and communicative capacity provides a stark contrast to the commonly held belief that discomfort or illness are dysfunctions, mechanical failures, or that we must “declare war” on our ailments. From the perspective of Body-Mind Centering, bodily symptoms are not “good” or “bad” per se; rather they are articulations of what is happening within us. So, to silence “sick” or uncomfortable feelings without considering their causes is like killing the messenger. After years of being told that I was physically malfunctioning, it was radical medicine to learn that when we tune into our bodies with curiosity and interest, they can be tremendous sources of information and guidance. —Jesse