14 Jun 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.