In my book I talk about how I listened to the body by tuning into the gut when I needed to take action, and how I calmed down the heart to think more clearly. I also share the neuroscience which proves that our heart and gut have intelligence. They are filled with neurons and neurotransmitters whose function is to think and transmit communications to the rest of the body.
When we calm down and relax and receive, our bodies can give us the answers we need in the moment. Our bodies can tell us yes or no, if we should continue in a certain job, meet a certain friend. It is all in energy. Are we energized after we meet with someone, or are we exhausted?
Body Answers and Applied Kiniseology
Years ago, a friend gave me a pendulum. He used his pendulum to get answers to questions about health, friendships. Somehow the pendulum would swing towards the food he needed or the answer to the question he was asking. I never got the hang of using the pendulum, but something about his success with this object intrigued me.
This idea that our bodies can give us answers has been in modern healing practices for over 50 years with the invention of Applied Kinesiology. Dr. George J. Goodheart began teaching this practice to other chiropractors in 1964. The basic premise is that when you ask the body a question about a food, or a healing method, or anything, the muscles of the person will either get stronger or weaker.
I learned about Applied Kinesiology in high school when I spent the summer working at a chiropractor’s office as a teenager in Medford, MA. He used it with each patient to learn if the medicines, herbs, or vitamins he wanted to give them would work. This made perfect sense to me. When you put a food next to your body, do your muscles get stronger or weaker? Simple.
Of course, you probably want to use conventional medical wisdom alongside it, but for me it trumps a textbook pharmaceutical prescription because it takes into account the whole body and the innate wisdom within the unique person in that unique moment.
Why do we question the wisdom of the body so?
We question body and natural wisdom because of the separation of brain and the rest of the body over the ages. The cerebral cortex is certainly important, but the neurons in the rest of the body play an important and mysterious role in truth telling.
I saw this with my students all the time. They couldn’t use their logical thinking (neo-cortex) brain to talk themselves out of anxiety. They had to use their body, their senses, their breath, or their imagination to go beyond their thinking brain that had established these fight or flight patterns to begin with.
Practical Applications of Applied Kinesiology
Applied Kinesiology is practiced frequently by chiropractors and other physicians and in other healing professions, but I use it too.
I use it when I go the grocery store and I have a question about a certain food. I have shown my husband how to test my muscles and we will take time out in the aisle of the market to ask my body if it will get stronger or weaker when I eat a certain food. It has prevented allergic reactions to food and saved me money on food and medicines which don’t help.
Animals do this. They know instinctively what to eat. It still bothers me that my dog will stop and eat stranger’s chicken bones if they are lying on the street, but they are good for him.
The truth pendulum of the body can work for so many things.
I remember one job I had, I just got so tired every time I started to approach the building. My body was becoming allergic to the atmosphere of that job. Where it had started out my first few years as a place that supported innovation, and supported other teachers, it became a very politicized institution. For me, it was no longer about the pursuit of truth and ethics and the diverse paths to learning but about power and control. The sense of power and control I felt in my very own department gripped me energetically that it became difficult for me to function. I had to leave.
A school or college needs to be about learning and teaching excellence. The whole structures of administration need to support the learning that goes on. But sometimes it becomes about rules, control, power, and a few persons’ agenda.
So the gut, the heart, the whole body, the nervous system can help us live our passion. But how?
Stay tuned for the next installment. And if you enjoyed reading this, tell a friend about it below.