By Hadi B. Marcher and Kristina V. Marcher

I stared to learn about Bodynamic when I was a child. My grandmother, Lisbeth developed the system and my mother was teaching it.  A lot of the work was about how to heal after various types of trauma.

I used the system and its methods and understanding a lot, consciously to make myself better in different areas. Unconsciously it was used by my parents and grandparents to heal my personal traumas as a child, as I had a serious health issue.

I remember clearly how often Lisbeth would remind me to put focus on my center. I thought it was very irritating. She would often say: “sense your center, sense your center”.

As a grown-up man today, I rely on sensing my center in many situations. I use this ability to connect and sense my center to make decisions about all important aspects of my life, in private and in my professional spheres. It gives me sense of calmness and clear sense of direction.

There are many things I use today that help me connect my mind and body in challenging circumstances. For example, I once had to attend a family gathering where I am not particularly fond of a certain person. I am not able to fully relax when I am in that environment, yet I made the choice to be there. So how can I support myself in this situation? What can I do?

First, I sense my container muscles, the iliotibial tract together with the TFL (tensor facia lata). These are muscle/fascia on the outside of the upper part of the legs. Using this muscle/fascia influences my ability to be able to pull myself together and to contain.

In the picture below – the red part represents the containment part of the body. There is a large difference between being able to contain something or to suppress something you don’t like. In containing you are sensing the unpleasant and staying present with it; it does not overwhelm you and you can react appropriately.

When using the suppression method– we often try to push the feeling away, so as not to stay in contact with it. After suppressing the feeling for too long of a time, it can have the effect of having emotional or psychological explosions inside of you or perhaps towards other people. Because it takes energy to suppress an unwanted feeling, it means you will have less energy to respond appropriately to a given situation.

After practicing containment, I put focus on my center which when I am triggered may feel tensed and hard. This leads me to consider what other resource I could use to sense my center in a more relaxed way. For me I know I can only sense myself well if I also have good and clear personal space boundaries.

So because I do it so often, this kind of checking in, it becomes automatic, I fill in the personal space boundary, with energy from my center. And from there I see what would help me in the current situation. The situation is, my reality in the here and now, and the fact is I will be in the same space with a person that I don’t trust.

Another resource I have access to is the ability to tense up the upper muscles on the front of the legs. I activate my boundaries muscles, by tightening up in the front thighs.

  • Vastus intermedius
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Rectus femoris

After containing myself, sensing my center, and preserving my boundaries I notice that I would like to have a sense of additional support now. In more challenging situations, I believe most of us can use a little extra support. So, I tensed up my latissimus dorsi a large muscle on the lower back part of the body – and this helps me to give my body more support and that helps to open up my diaphragm on the front part of my body – so my energy can flow better with my breathing.

I can also choose to diffuse my focus and become more relaxed and less judgmental. Because I know there is no point in sitting there and judging this person. I will just feel worse if I do that.

To assist in this process, I bring my shoulders down, and there I activate little bit of my rhomboids, that help me to stay in a role. I do that my putting my shoulder blades towards each other. This helps me be better in my current role with the integrity from my center.

In the picture below you can see the rhomboid muscle, it consists of 2 parts, and each is important.

After I choose to point both my feet outward, we like to call it autonomy feet. It is how a small child starts walking; by having the feet more outward rotated and butt tighter. I don’t keep my feet in that position all the time because then I would dissociate too much. So, I move them back and forth between pointing straight and outward.

Later, when I go to the bathroom, I do the ‘this is my space’ exercise. For this exercise I activate the deltoid (middle, front, and back part) muscles in my upper arms. I do this by raising my arms and hands in a stop motion in front of me, then pointing my elbows out to the sides, and then as if creating space push my elbows back behind me. This helps me to take my own space. It helps me to remind myself how I am, where my personal space boundary is. So, when people come too close to me, I can sense that I end not at my physical body, but I have an energetic space as well. This creates a bigger buffer zone.

Summary of muscles used here:

Muscle Psychological Function
the iliotibial tract Self-containment
TFL (tensor facia lata) Self-containment
Vastus intermedius boundaries
Vastus lateralis boundaries
Rectus femoris boundaries
latissimus dorsi Self-support
rhomboids Staying in the role with your center and integrity & Self-assertion
deltoid (middle, front, and back part) Social space boundaries

What I want to show with this example is that you can decide how you want to be, and you have the power to do that.

The important thing here is keeping the sequence. Starting with energy management and ability to contain yourself energetically. Then connecting to the center. After, activating the boundary muscles and only after this starting to add what you want in the given situation.

To me it was the sense of support in the back muscles for example and staying in my role. For you it might be something else. If you have questions or want to share something related to it, please do so. Together we learn best!