How are you today?
It’s a question most of us get asked every single day, and more often than not our response is: “I’m fine”.
But how are you really feeling today? Unless you can feel a physical pain such as a stiff neck or a headache, you may not be fully aware of what’s going on inside your mind and body. Learning how to tune into your body is a great way to help you maintain a better sense of health and wellbeing by identifying which areas you may need to focus more on.
When you come to see me for a treatment, I will also ask you how you are as it allows me to personalise your treatment and give you the best possible results. Some clients will explain any health and wellbeing issues in great detail which is really helpful for me to see which essential oils would be best to use, which reflexology points need boosting or which muscles need more attention, for instance. Other clients say that they feel good or that they don’t think there are any areas that they would like me to focus on. There’s nothing wrong with this response; in fact, I think we have become so used to saying that we feel fine or not bad that we have forgotten how to be in tune with our bodies and pay attention to how we really feel. Learning how to do this will not only allow me to deliver a more bespoke treatment, it will help you to boost your health and wellbeing as well.
Body Scan Mindfulness Meditation
Body scanning is a great exercise to do to become more in tune with your body. It is a form of mindfulness meditation, so as well as being beneficial to your health, it can help you to relax and switch off as well since your mind has to focus on other things. This technique may feel a little strange at first, but once you get the hang of it you can practise it daily (or as often as suits you). When you have learned to regularly tune into your body, you will begin to notice when something feels out of balance.
- Sit or lie quietly and close your eyes. Starting at your head, scan down your body and all of its systems, inside and out. Notice signs of physical pain or tension, or any emotions or feelings that come to mind.
- As well as during the present moment, think back to whether each area has had problems in the past or is prone to weakness. Use the prompts below to think about how you are really feeling.
- Once you have completed the body scan meditation, slowly open your eyes whenever you feel ready and bring your attention back to the room.
- You may like to make a note of your observations; daily journaling is another great way to keep track of your wellbeing.
- How would you describe your current mood?
- Do you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, nervous, angry, sad, worried, annoyed?
- Are you tired, drained, fatigued, exhausted, burnt out, energised?
- Do any feelings that you have been suppressing come to light?
- Are there any life stresses or worries that have been troubling you?
- Does your head feel clear or foggy?
- Are you prone to headaches or migraines?
- How are your sleep patterns?
- Do you suffer from anxiety or depression?
- How would you describe your stress levels?
Hair, Skin & Nails
- Is your skin and/or hair in good condition or is it more dry or oily than usual?
- Has your hair been falling out more than usual?
- Do your nails look dry and brittle?
- Do you suffer from any skin conditions?
Muscular & Skeletal System
- Do any muscles feel tight, tense or achy?
- Is there pain anywhere in your body?
- Is there an area that often gets a build-up of tension?
- Do your joints feel stiff and achy?
- Is your heartbeat steady or is it faster or slower than usual?
- Do you have any problems with your blood pressure?
- Is any part of your body swollen or puffy?
- Do you suffer from palpitations?
- Do you feel cold or hot and in which areas?
- Can you breathe easily or are there difficulties?
- Do you suffer from asthma or other conditions?
- Have you been coughing a lot recently?
- Do you suffer from sinus problems?
- Do you suffer from frequent colds or infections?
- Do you have any allergies?
- Do you feel run down?
- How does your stomach feel? Do you feel hungry, bloated, sluggish, heavy?
- Have your bowel habits changed recently?
- Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?
- Do you feel any pain or tension in this area?
- Do you know whereabouts you are in your menstrual cycle? How does that relate to how you are feeling?
- If you are menopausal, how have you noticed it affecting you?
- Do you (or do you suspect) you have a hormone imbalance?
- Are you prone to PMS or painful periods?
- Do you ever suffer from urinary infections?
Once you have identified an area that perhaps may need more attention, you can address it by asking yourself what could help you to feel better? For example, if you notice that your head feels foggy then you will want to focus on clearing it. Different things work for different people, but you could try drinking some water, getting some fresh air, or diffusing some essential oils like peppermint, basil or rosemary. If you feel tension in a certain area, perhaps you could do some stretches, apply heat to the muscles or apply a warming massage oil. If you are in a bad mood, do something that you enjoy and that you know will help you feel more positive.
But what if you’ve done the body scan and you feel perfectly well and happy? If you are already feeling good, then that’s brilliant! This exercise isn’t designed to make you think of things that are ‘wrong’ with you, it’s all about helping you to become more aware of the current state of your body and mind in order to help you feel your best.
If you feel good when you come in for your treatment, you will probably benefit from a general relaxation treatment in order to maintain your sense of wellbeing. Try tuning into your body before you come in for your next treatment and see if you notice a greater benefit.