Conversing with Your Body
- Y’all should really do lunch.
|Conversing with Your Body|
Questions This Answers
Conversing with your body involves learning how to communicate with your body in a reliable manner, without interpreting vague signals or making assumptions. Reliable communication has two components: clear-cut action intentions that your body can understand, and clear-cut sensory responses that direct or discourage the clearly intended action. If you intend an action, your body will understand that action intention. If you pay careful attention to a single body part when you intend that action, your body can respond with behavior-directing sensations that encourage or discourage that intended action.
The following are lessons on how to get this communication working, and the associated difficulties and risks.
The Language Your Body Understands
The body does not understand English. You are part of your body. You understand English. Your body does not.
There is a language that both you and your body understand: the language of action intentions. It understands what you attempt to do to take care of yourself. It understands when you think about food. It understands when you think about your bodily needs. It understands your physical intentions to go for things that it needs. These are actions, things that you do, so the language has been dubbed Dolish. You can speak to your body in Dolish by doing any one of the following:
- Perform an action (e.g., reach to pick up a bottle of water, to drink it.)
- Intend to perform an action (e.g., look at a bottle of water with intent to reach for it, without actually reaching for it yet.)
- Imagine performing an action (e.g., picture yourself reaching to pick up a bottle of water, to drink it.)
That is how you speak Dolish. Your body understands the intentions underlying the action that you perform or intend to perform, not just the action itself. Picking up an apple to throw it at someone’s head is interpreted by your body in a very different way from picking up an apple to eat it.
Your Body’s Responses
Just like your body does not understand English, it also does not speak English. It cannot verbally tell you to go drink some water.
The body responds by either encouraging and directing an action, or by discouraging the action. This feels different in different body parts. In your hands, it can feel like a light tingly sensation that moves closer to or further away from performing the intended action. One moment it might be near your fingertips. The next moment it might have moved back to your wrist. The sensation moves to direct movement towards or away from performing an intended action.
Sensations like this can be triggered all over the body. An encouraging sensation in the feet can feel like they desperately need to move, while a discouraging sensation can feel like you are being grounded in place. Responses in the abdomen tend to take the form of noticeable muscle contractions. The positive abdominal response is a weak form of the encouraging downward pull of needing to scarf down food like crazy, while the negative abdominal response is a weak form of the discouraging upward pull of needing to vomit.
These sensations appear to be weak muscle contractions throughout the body, amplified by your attention. The abdominal response appears to be further amplified by also being a reflex. However, using the abdominal area is not ideal, as the discouraging response from the abdomen is a weak form of the vomit response. The body does not like triggering a weak form of the vomit response hundreds of times per day.
Variations & Trouble Starting
If you have trouble finding the sensations, no need to worry. That’s happened with about a quarter of the people that I’ve taught body communication to. It may take a little more time, but you can get it working. Your body may have found, at some point in your life, that these default responses were ineffective at getting you to take care of your body the way your body wanted you to. As a result, your body may have completely abandoned activating these behavior-directing sensations. In some cases, your body may have switched to providing alternative responses, such as aches or pains. In other cases, there is no noticeable, reliable alternative communication method being employed. Either way, it’s not hard to get it working again.
One of my friends had an issue like this when I taught them body communication. They tried to get their body to respond in their hand, like I usually taught people to start with. The sensation, however, wasn’t the normal, light tingly sensation. Instead, it was an ache. It wasn’t even in their hand. The sensation appeared in their arm. It was extremely unusual. They later tended to use their leg for these responses, as the sensations were easier to trigger and use in their leg, for some reason. It was a reliable way to query, but not ideal. A few years later, they did work on and quickly fix this issue, resulting in normal sensations working rather than having to rely on these pain sensations that their body had been using. Their body needed to run a rebuild to get it working.
The next lesson will teach you how to get information from your body. If you have trouble starting, continue to attempt to trigger and watch for the response sensations. However, only do so until you have triggered a rebuild. These are noticeable by a sudden need for reduced lighting, a reclining posture, often with elevated feet, and an aversion to particular behaviors, likely what you were doing at the time. Light sensitivity is usually the easiest to spot. It may feel like sensory overload, or it may just feel like you can’t think about this anymore. This rebuild state may last a few minutes to a few hours. If this rebuild is expected, it is often better to trigger it before going to sleep, as rebuilds are conducive to sleeping and sleep does not interrupt the rebuild process.
Do not continue to attempt to communicate with your body during this rebuild process. Your body is attempting to restore body communication functionality. Attempting to use body communication during a rebuild of body communication functionality itself can result in increasingly negative cognitive symptoms, will increase the duration of the rebuild, and may damage the functionality that the rebuild was activated to fix. It may also create a temporary aversion to body communication itself. Please see Author’s Story: I ignored a rebuild.
After the light sensitivity has passed, you may resume attempting to communicate with your body. If another rebuild is expected, it may be a good idea to wait until just before bedtime before you do that though, just in case it happens again.
Even after learning and getting used to these responses, a rebuild state may still be triggered at any time, as your body expands its ability to communicate with you through these sensations. This is perfectly normal. Rebuild states are common and not dangerous. However, not respecting rebuilds of the functionality of this new ability can cause aversions to using this ability. In extreme circumstances, ignoring a rebuild can temporarily mess up its functionality. Rebuilds are perfectly safe if you listen to them and avoid the behaviors that you are suddenly averse to. Decreasing lighting and putting your feet up during the process will also make you more comfortable and speed the rebuild process. For more information on rebuilds, see Rebuilds.
You will be warned throughout this website about respecting rebuild states. Please use the reminders as a chance to check yourself for any symptoms.
A Beginner's Guide to Hand Responses
Preparation: Go into a closed room without distractions or air currents. The sensation you are looking for can feel a bit like light wind, so it’s a good idea to minimize air current interference when you first start out.
WarningDuring the learning process, if you suddenly feel an increased sensitivity to light or a preference for a darker environment, stop immediately and go lay down. This is a rebuild. Let the system rest and adapt. You can get back to the lesson later. Do not attempt to keep using these internal systems in that state.
Lesson 1: Finding the Sensations
These steps will help you discover the weak sensations in your hands that attempt to direct your hands.
- Place your hands close together but not touching. Hold them in that position.
- Pay attention to one hand for a few seconds. You are looking for a weak sensation that feels like it is either pulling your hands closer together or pushing your hands further apart, sort of like holding a magnet in each hand, close to each other.
- Move your attention to the other hand. Keep your attention on that same sensation.
- Move your attention back and forth between hands, noticing how the strength of the sensation moves with your attention.
- Slowly move your hands closer and further apart. Pay attention to how the sensation moves from one part of your hand to another part of your hand.
These sensations that direct your hands are often mistaken for energy, also referred to as life force, ch’i, qi, or ki. It may feel like wind or like your hands are glowing or radiating. They aren’t. These sensations aren’t energy at all. These sensations are weak muscle contractions that attempt to direct your movements. They are not energy or life force or anything of the sort. Your action intentions and imagined actions provoke these weak responses in your muscles. The responses are your body’s attempt to either direct or discourage your intended or imagined actions. When you try to do something, your body either tries to show you how to do it or tries to stop you from doing it. This is the clearest and most reliable way for your body to communicate with you.
Lesson 2: Using the Sensations
These steps will teach you how to use those sensations to ask your body a question, worded in the form of an action.
- Hold your hand in an open and relaxed position in front of you.
- Pay attention to that subtle sensation in your hand. Where in your hand do you feel it, specifically?
- Imagine or intend to reach for water. Do not actually reach for it. This is a query. You are asking your body a question.
- Notice how the sensation moved. Where did it move to?
Practice: Asking Questions
Repeat lesson 2 with different items until you are comfortable with it. You are looking to identify and get used to, in order of importance:
- A baseline positive response. Try water, common meats, or citrus fruits. In a positive response, the sensation in your hand will move towards performing the action. As actions tend to be in front of you, it tends to move toward your fingers.
- A baseline negative response. Try coffee or candy. In a negative response, the sensation in your hand will move away from performing the action.
- A baseline null response. Try an item that you have never eaten and have nothing against. In a null response, the sensation in your hand will stay spread out and basically do nothing.
Alternative Body Parts for Receiving Responses
Your hands are not the only body parts that you can use to receive your body’s responses. You can learn to use any part of the body in a similar way. If you are having trouble finding the responses in your hands, you can try another body part. Any response to any question can be received in any body part.
Some areas are more convenient for certain types of questions. For me, feet are convenient for body positioning instructions and hands are natural for massage instructions. If both your hands and feet are busy, you can use your face to ask your body a question. Any body part can be used to query any question. It’s usually a good idea to avoid using your abdominal muscles, the first responses that were discovered, because their negative response is a weak form of the vomit reflex. However, it can still be used sparingly, if necessary.
If you are doubting the sensations you are receiving, check to see if it is getting difficult to focus on or trigger those sensations. This can be a symptom of a rebuild being triggered, causing an aversion to you triggering those responses. Once again, respect the rebuild and stop using these methods for a while. If you attempt to continue asking your body questions in this state, you are likely to create a longer-term aversion to asking your body questions. This should all feel easy. If it doesn’t, something is likely wrong that needs your attention.
Verification of Correct Sensation Identification
If you are teaching body communication to someone else, you may want to determine if they have located sensations that their body can respond through, that they cannot affect. It is helpful to ask the individual to run queries with results that an experienced individual would expect but an inexperienced individual would not. Coffee is a particularly good choice for this.
Most Americans like the taste of coffee and/or drink coffee regularly. It also has an addictive quality that tends to provoke cravings for coffee. For this reason, most Americans appear to expect drinking coffee to be encouraged by their body when learning this method. Everyone’s body that has been queried so far about coffee has produced a negative response to it. Not a single positive result yet. This makes coffee a useful option for determining if someone is querying their body or wrongly interpreting some other sensation.
Often, the individual’s description of the sensations that they are interpreting will also give away whether they’re working with the right sensations or not. If you ask about what a person is feeling when looking for these sensations and they describe sensations associated with physically performing the action, such as a warmth sensation from coffee, they are not yet aware of the correct sensations for facilitating communication with their body and should keep looking for the weak, movement-directing muscle contractions.
For clarification regarding coffee, caffeine itself is not completely discouraged. Several individuals, including me, do get requests for cacao nibs, an ingredient in chocolate that does have some caffeine. My body requests a small amount of cacao nibs per meal. Cacao nibs are tiny and are measured to contain 12mg of caffeine per tablespoon, or less than one milligram per milliliter. That adds up to less than a milligram of caffeine per meal. It is a small amount, but still, it is requested; not completely rejected.
There are few absolutes in the world. Communicating with the body is no exception. While an individual does not appear to be able to force a positive response from their body with their own preferences or positive beliefs about an action, individuals can force a negative response with their own fears or negative beliefs. If you believe water is contaminated, but you are thirsty, your body will discourage drinking the water, even if there is nothing wrong with it. This concept seems to apply to all needs that the body communicates. The block is on the source of the need fulfillment: the water, the person, the activity. The need itself will still be there, seeking a non-contaminated source of relief. Beliefs like this block certain sources of need fulfillment, but they do not usually block or change the needs themselves.
As an example, if your body is asking for you to eat meat, but you believe that the meat in front of you is contaminated or poisoned, your body will provide a negative response when asked about eating that meat, even though it otherwise would provide a positive response for eating it. This does not depend on your senses. If the meat is perfectly fine but you believe it is not, you will get a negative response where you would normally receive a positive response.
- Your body understands your actions, not your words.
- You can do something, intend to do something, or imagine doing something. That is how you can talk to your body. That is Dolish.
- Your body responds by directing or discouraging your physical movements when you intend to do something.
- To listen to your body’s responses, you need to pay attention to a single body part that it can reply to you through.
- Any body part will work for any question. The same replies are received anywhere. Different muscles do not represent different organs, different parts of your body, or different decision makers. The same answers are returned anywhere on your body that you can attend to and receive them.
- It’s common to have trouble finding the sensations of your body communicating with you. Your body may have switched to providing alternative responses, such as aches or pains, or it may have stopped providing these responses at all. It’s not hard to get it working again.
- Getting it working again will likely involve rebuilds, evidenced by a sudden need for reduced lighting, a sudden need for a reclining posture (possibly with elevated feet), and a temporary aversion to behaviors such as body communication. You should respect the rebuild process and do what your body seems to want.
- Do not continue to attempt to communicate with your body during this rebuild process.
- This rebuild state may last a few minutes to a few hours. If you expect it to happen, wait until just before going to bed to trigger it.
- The sensation you are looking for in your hands can feel a bit like light wind, so minimize air current interference when starting out.
- If you place your hands close together, the sensation you are looking for feels like it is either pulling your hands lightly together or pushing your hands lightly apart.
- As you move your hand, the sensation moves around in your hand to continue to direct you in a consistent direction.
- These sensations are often mistaken for energy (ch’i), wind or like your hands are glowing or radiating. They aren’t. These sensations are weak muscle contractions that attempt to direct your movements.
- When you focus on the sensations in your hand and intend to perform an action, you are asking your body a question, or rather, running a query in Dolish.
- It can take practice to get used to communicating with your body like this.
- Your body can respond positively, a yes response, encouraging the action. Your body can respond negatively, a no response, discouraging the action. Your body can also just not respond at all, a null response.
- You can learn to use any part of your body to receive a response from your body.
- Some body parts are more convenient or feel more natural than others, depending on the question you’re asking.
- The abdominal response was the first discovered, but the least useful. The body doesn’t like triggering its negative response, a weak vomit reflex, hundreds of times per day.
- If you are doubting the sensations you are receiving, check to see if it is getting difficult to focus on or trigger those sensations. If so, you may be in a rebuild. Stop immediately. Take a break or a nap.
- When teaching body communication to someone else, it can help to ask them what response they are getting for intending to eat items that tend to produce negative responses in everyone.
- Coffee tends to produce negative responses for everyone who isn’t starving, even though some sources of caffeine produce positive responses, such as cacao nibs in small amounts.
- When teaching body communication to someone else, it can also help to ask how the sensation they are using feels. If they describe heat, pleasure, or something like that, they have not found the right sensations.
- You can’t force your body to respond positively to something it would normally respond negatively to.
- If you think something is poisoned or bad for you, your body can respond negatively to it when it would normally respond positively to it. This does not, however, affect your body’s need for what it is responding positively to. It just blocks that particular source of need fulfillment that you think is bad.