How trauma led me to hypermobility movement therapy

hypermobility

by Jeannie Di Bon, June 14th, 2023

How trauma led me to hypermobility movement therapy

“English is my second language. Movement is my first.” Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. I heard this a while ago and it really resonated with me. I’m not sure where I’d be if I hadn’t found movement therapy. For me, movement is so much more than exercise. It’s so much deeper than simple mechanics.

I don’t talk much about my childhood trauma – I am conscious of not triggering our community. The strange this is – until I started studying trauma, I didn’t even consider what had happened to me as a trauma. I now know this to be disassocation. After my parents’ divorce, I wasn’t offered any kind of support. So, at 18, I took myself off for talking therapy. It felt good to be able to express myself at last and let out years of pain. I’ve dipped in and out of talking therapy as I’ve needed it over the years.

At 26, I trained to be a Samaritan because I wanted to help others release the emotional pain and by having someone just on the end of the phone listening to you can really help. I undertook the Samaritans intense training course and manned the phones day and night.

But the talking therapy didn’t help with my physical pain or the feelings of not being connected to my body. It was a bit like a vessel I didn’t know how to control or drive. I was drawn to yoga in my twenties but was pretty much always in pain because I didn’t understand my hypermobile body. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 48.

When I discovered Pilates and then my subsequent research into other disciplines and movement practices, something shifted. I was drawn to understanding everything I could about how the physical body works. I attended human dissection courses – I wanted to see inside and really start to feel my body in a felt sense.

And that’s how the Integral Movement Method was born, bringing emotional, physiological and physical aspects together – hence the name integral.

Today I use this not to teach mechanical exercises to people or how “to do” an exercise. I teach how to feel, experience and sense real connection of the body – something that many of us maybe don’t sense in our disjointed bodies.

Finding this community was life changing for me. At last I felt heard, included and part of something valuable. I thank everyone I have met along this journey – I have learned from you just as much as you may have learnt from me.

6 Comments

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Amber Buscemi - 15th June 2023

Beautiful! I’ve been awakened to this “felt sense” of being in my body thanks to you. Trauma had shut down that ability for me years earlier. I’m so grateful to you and this community for being so supportive and helpful! 🙏🏻🦓💪

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    Jeannie Di Bon - 20th June 2023

    Thank you Amber – I am so very happy to help.

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Sonja Jarman - 15th June 2023

I am so glad to have The zebra club as my guide. Most of my experiences with physios or trainers have left me feeling inadequate because I couldn’t follow their programmes because their programmes made me worse not better.
I have felt heard before by a pilates teacher and she really helped me to understand the importance of movement but although I felt heard I still didn’t feel fully understood.
When I first watched your introduction video for the first time I felt understood- someone who knew how slow our bodies need to go, I learnt something in that first video that noone had ever said before – the importance of relaxing my muscles first – sounds so simple and obvious but makes a real difference.

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    Jeannie Di Bon - 20th June 2023

    Thank you so much – I am delighted to hear The Zebra Club is helping you. Thank you for being a member.

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Mischa Brown - 14th June 2023

Thank you for sharing this. TZC is amazing community of respectful, supportive people who share such valuable information.

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    Jeannie Di Bon - 20th June 2023

    Thank you for your kind words.