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What is the Unspoken Voice of Your Body?

What is the unspoken voice of your body? This is the question Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. explores and answers in his seminal book with the title, In an Unspoken Voice. Your body stores and knows the terrain of your past experiences. It is from this history, whether pre-or post-verbal that you are facing the world today. As a practice of truly listening to the voice and language of your body, you can experience new awareness to bridge the connection between body and mind. Becoming familiar with the vocabulary of the body can give you clues as to how to monitor and potentially change outcomes where you have felt disconnected from the intelligence within and to learn to trust what you are experiencing to create positive change.

Accessing the Unspoken Voice of Your Body with SIBAM

Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. in his book, In an Unspoken Voice goes into more detail about working with self and others that paint the picture of this process of identifying what your body-mind-spirit system is reporting based on your somatic experience. SIBAM is a way to bring awareness to the channels of communication your body-mind system is offering you at any moment.

Sensation Channel

These are physical sensations that arise from within your body. This includes the tension or relaxation of your muscles. These sensations are stored in your joints, in the position of your body in space as well as in the velocity or speed of your movement. Additionally, this includes your visceral sensations including your gastrointestinal function as well as your blood vessel condition related to circulation. Your gut (enteric brain) actually sends 9x more information to the brain than the “upstairs brain” sends to the organs of your body. Your gastrointestinal system is also responsible for 95% of the serotonin production to create more calm, flexibility, and a sense of peace.

All of this feedback gives you a report on how stressed, anxious, relaxed, frightened, energized, or de-energized you might be right now. Even the absence of sensation can give you feedback about what you are not experiencing, or what you are attempting to avoid.

Image Channel

This channel accesses all of your senses creating responses to the external environment you experience, and this gets translated into your sensory memory. The overall stimuli of color, movement, sound, taste, smell, and touch transfer information that gets interpreted through the lens of your perception and body-mind system. For example, the quality of light entering your eyes is impacted by frustration, fear, grief, jealousy, unfriendliness, or competitiveness. This can create tension and have an impact on your vision when your ciliary muscles, your iris, or the six extrinsic eye muscles are overstressed or distorted. Sensory input not only affects how you connect to yourself but also to others,

woman smelling the pink petaled flowers
Photo by Hi?u Hoàng on

Behavior Channel

Your body gestures, facial expressions, and body posture report on your intrinsic movement from within. This can translate into holding yourself in a fight-flight-freeze or collapse posture. Your behavior can also be observed through the quality of your breath cycles, heart rate, and the muscle lining of the blood vessels. Flushed skin can report embarrassment, shame, and even rage.

The pupil of your eyes reflects your state of being in the moment. When the pupil is wide open this gives a report on your arousal state and activity in your Sympathetic Nervous System wired for action. When your pupil is small this can give feedback on vulnerability, or even dissociation.

The position you take with your body when you are alone or with others can give feedback from archetypal postures. For example, pushing away, pulling toward, expanding, or collapsing your chest and shoulders, the position of your neck, standing or sitting in open or closed positions, and movement of arms, hands, and legs give feedback from the somatic perspective.

Our feelings and our bodies are like water flowing into water. We learn to swim within the energies of the (body) senses.” ~Tathang Tulka

Affect Channel

Your emotions give you feedback on your experience somewhere on the spectrum of this feels “good”, this feels “bad” comfortable, or uncomfortable. Feelings of joy, anger, disgust, sadness, or fear are all windows to what is alive in you right now. Becoming aware of your feelings allows you to register trigger moments, as well as the experience of pleasure, beauty, and return to calm.

Meaning Channel

The meaning you give to what is alive in you right now determines how you face the world. The attitude you have about yourself and others become labels that determine your experience. Your attitudes and beliefs are influenced by your life experiences over time. Premature cognition, as Peter Levine describes, is an embedded imprint arising from past trauma and early negative conditioning at a time when your body-mind system did not have the opportunity to complete a necessary recovery process. When a sensory or memory imprint is not resolved or released, the trauma body becomes the conductor in identifying the meaning your give to your experience in life.

Putting the Unspoken Voice of Your Body Together

Putting this all together: If you had a traumatic experience in your life related to an accident or verbal abuse, for example, your body-mind system might still be registering this information in the present even though the threatening event has passed. This happens based on your earlier experience, If you believe that the world is dangerous, or that you are powerless. You might hold yourself in a different way than you would if you believed that the world is safe and you have the power to initiate the optimal movement toward or away from the direction you choose in your life. Your eyes might be wide in expression or you might look down when you speak with another person. Your shoulders might be held tightly or curved toward your chest. You might feel more rigidity in your muscles and your breathing pattern might be shallow or held in response to how you interact in triggering social or environmental situations. In response, your gut might feel knotted, and you might feel nauseous. All at the same time, you feel anxious or fearful, and your hands feel clammy or cold.

These detectors are indicators of your state of mind through your body’s voice, and it is good to become more familiar with your body’s vocabulary. Issues can arise over time when chronic stress, immobilization, fear, depression, and fight-or-flight patterns become the norm. The over-activation of your Vagus Nerve and Sympathetic Nervous System over a long period of time can lead to illness, depression, and loss of energy for your positive intentions for life.

When you acknowledge what is happening within you it is then that you have greater access to the point of choice. Changing any of these patterns: breathing, posture, movement, attitude, beliefs, facial expressions, pace, etc. can create windows to new possibilities for inner change.

Resonance Repatterning®sessions work with all of these somatic channels within the process. Resonance Muscle-Checking gives direct and particular feedback response on the physical, emotional, mental, and spirit (core essence) levels. This method accesses every muscle, tissue, organ, and gland in the body. This is done with the language your body truly understands: color, light, sound, movement, breath, aromatherapy, consciousness science, and energetic contact. And, as illustrated in the SIBAM Model, the mind goes hand and hand with what is happening in the body reflected in limiting beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. This awareness builds the pathway for letting go of limiting patterns in your life.

Kimberly Rex

Kimberly Rex, MS is an Advanced Resonance Repatterning practitioner, Person-Centered Expressive Therapist, and Wellness and Well-being Life Coach. She works with people all over the world via Skype, phone, and proxy.

Find out how Resonance Repatterning benefits your life. Set up a personal session or sign up for a free monthly newsletter with articles, natural healing modalities, and exclusive group sessions here.

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