The most recent mind-body-spirit connection I have discovered in my own life is one between my spirit and body. It is so recent that I am far from understanding all that is happening. But even as I’m only experiencing the beginnings of this connection, it’s impact on me is by far the most profound. I believe you can grow significantly in your healing journey as you understand and appreciate your mind and body as separate and distinct aspects of your being. When you acknowledge the connection between these two parts and harness their powerful influences on each other, you can heal on a new level. But there is an even greater level of healing within our reach—one that connects us to Spirit.*
I previously shared some examples of a spirit-mind connection such as a peace that goes beyond an understanding of your circumstances. The peace I experienced in my soul was as real to me as the pain of a broken heart. However, I acknowledge that an internal peace, or really any connection between spirit and mind, is difficult for others to see evidence of. We can’t read each other’s thoughts and most of us can’t discern another’s spiritual state. The body-spirit connection, however, can provide visible validation of the healing taking place.
My first experiences of a healing connection between my body and spirit were during holistic bodywork sessions with Mary Ruth Velicki (you can check out the footnote on my previous post for more information). One experience came during a session which started when a familiar bible verse popped into my head: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6 KJV). After it replayed a couple times in my mind it occurred to me to share this aloud. Mary Ruth responded, explaining how God’s presence is with us always. As she started this explanation I felt a tingling sensation in my body and a flood of emotion that felt like a wave rushing from my head to my toes. Immediately afterwards I could feel a significant tension release in my right hip, which was where she had her hand during this body-spirit experience. Aside from this immediate effect I also noticed lasting postural changes after sessions. Instead of walking with most of my weight bearing on the balls of my feet as I had for many years, I started walking more grounded into my heels.
This body-spirit connection has also manifested as myofascial unwinding. I could probably do a whole series explaining myofascial release through unwinding, but here is a brief description. The “myo” means muscle and “fascial” is pertaining to the fascia or connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, bone, ligament, and organ in our bodies. Unwinding is a form of releasing restrictions in the muscles and fascia through involuntary movements of the body. John F. Barnes is considered a leading authority in the current practice of myofascial release if you want to learn more on his website, myofascialrelease.com. I have not personally taken any of his courses, but I know some physical therapists who have found them very beneficial.
My first unwinding experience came on my own during a yoga class. There was nothing mystical about the class, but yoga is one of the few times that I calm the busy thoughts in mind enough to focus on my body and spirit. It began when I was in child’s pose with my forehead resting on the mat. My head slowly started turning to the side completely on its own. My mind was not telling my head to move, but it kept moving—slowly looking to the left then to the right, and continuing this gentle back and forth motion. I admit I was a little freaked out in the moment. Thankfully, I knew what unwinding was because I had read about Mary Ruth’s own unwinding experiences in her book, Healing Through Chronic Pain. This knowledge allowed me to experience the moment freely without feeling a need to stop it from flowing.
You may be wondering how some random head movement can have a healing impact on pelvic pain. This is where I am still learning about the “how” of a body-spirit connection. But, what I can tell you is that I noticed a change in my posture that same night which allowed me to lay on my back without the usual increase in pelvic pain. Normally the curve in my low back is so pronounced that it causes a painful pressure point which exacerbates my pelvic pain and forces me to sleep on my side rather than my back. Somehow that slight unwinding movement in my head and neck had released tension in my spine to improve my posture in a noticeable way.
I have experienced much more myofascial unwinding and healing through this body-spirit connection. The physical changes that have come from my own body-spirit healing process are evident from increased muscle tone to improved flexibility and correction of my lordosis (swayback) to the point where I am actually taller than I used to be (seriously!). I believe the healing I am experiencing through a free-flowing mind-body-spirit connection is just beginning and I believe it is possible for you too. Your journey may look different from mine, but I hope that it too will lead you to experience and appreciate your own mind-body-spirit connection. It is not a process that can be rushed, and it is only possible if you are open to receiving it. My hope is that you will be open to receive!
*The only lens I am able to share from is that of my own beliefs and experiences. You are free to receive this information through your own lens, but the Spirit that I have described here is the Holy Spirit. There are a number of verses in the Bible that describe the Holy Spirit, but here are a few for quick reference: John 14:26, Genesis 1:2, John 3:8, Acts 2:1-4, I Corinthians 12:7-11.