Why Touching Your Belly Matters

Transcript of video:

Today I want to talk about something that I beat around the bush about a lot or that I allude to, but then pull back because I don’t want to overload you with so many things to do. I will often just talk about the physical aspect of the belly work we’re doing. Yet over these last couple weeks it keeps coming up in my sessions with clients (both the in-person clients and the people who are working in the self-care live program) that establishing your connection to your belly is as, if not more, important than any physical work that you’ll do.

I know it came up in the belly health Facebook group (no longer active) over the last couple weeks, and it comes in and out of my awareness how afraid a lot of people are. Especially when you have experienced so much trauma in your belly or your abdomen. Really it is so hard to even want to lay your hand on your belly, much less try to find out new information. I certainly cannot stress enough how important it is to find a way through that resistance, and to find a way through that hesitation.

Practitioners and your doctors are so important. We all can provide you with outside perspective, with all of the learning that we have done over the years, bring you information, and put names to things that you may be feeling. We can  teach you about the structure of your belly to give you a better understanding of it. All of that is in service to you and can be very useful to you. Yet in the end, as much as practitioners and doctors are important,  without you simultaneously having your own deep connection to your belly, it can all be less effective than if you really are feeling like you have ownership over your own body.

I know that when we get medicalized through exams and tests, and all of the imaging and the blood work, and everything that goes into this (not to mention the surgeries themselves and the recovery from that), and any pills you may be taking for whatever reasons, all of that can can really get in between us and our experienced “felt” sense of our own bodies. In this case we’re talking about our bellies and our whole abdomen and a lot of what happens in our belly and our pelvic floor.

I just wanted to use this time today to really encourage you to weather the storm of laying your hands on your belly. I know and I have seen time and time again that when you would first begin this work (especially when you’re beginning the self-care) it really can trigger a lot of the grief, the rage, the sense of betrayal, and the sadness that comes with the trauma that you have been through. I encourage you to remember that it’s triggering these things, and that if you can stay with these crummy emotions long enough in order to start moving through them (and moving through, they’ll always come up in cycles, but the longer you’re with them the less impactful those cycles of emotion can be), if you can weather that and keep your hands on your belly and keep the faith that connecting in to your own belly in this way really is truly a huge piece of the healing process, I think you’ll see results that you won’t get otherwise if you don’t have that connection.

Even if you already have a practitioner please use the self-care in whatever way you can to maintain your own understanding and your own sense of your belly. Practitioners are so important, but we cannot provide the full picture because we’re not you, you’re you, and you know best! We’re here here to help guide you into what will be most beneficial for you.

For anybody who’s worked with me or any of my programs for very long, you’ve heard me talk about a book called Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson. I have found this book so useful time and time again in my own understanding of these emotional washes, and how to really let them be a positive force in my life instead of feeling like I’m always being drugged down by any negative emotions that might come up. Constructive Wallowing by Tina Gilbertson is a great resource. 

This video is a little longer than the rest of them will hopefully be, but this is just so important and will probably come back to it time and again.

Have a good rest of your day!

Author Profile

Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.

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