Why Body Centred Healing Is Vital For Health Anxiety

May 22, 2020

Why allow our emotional bodies to dictate how we think and who we are, when we can work with the body instead, right? I mean for how long have you been pushed around by your body? Your body telling you what to do and what not to do, who’s a threat and who’s not, basically deciding how you live as a whole.

It’s time we co-operated with the body in order to bring about long term healing for health anxiety.

Body centred healing for health anxiety is quite a new approach to healing if you ask me. For years the goal was to learn how to think through our problems, even our somatic ones. The problem with strictly cognitive ways of healing health anxiety is we default back to ‘positive thinking’ which in turn puts us right back into the loop of dread and catastrophizing.

This happens because the body is the largest part of the subconscious mind.

The brain is just one part of this deeper part of us and without a somatic approach coupled with a cognitive one there will only be minimal improvements. This is why I’ve found that hypnosis for example without bodily engagement leads to minimal improvements long term for health anxiety (my personal story).

When we convince the body that a threat is no longer present, we in turn convince the heart.

When the heart is convinced of a new meaning over something life becomes a smooth and pleasant ride. So the question then becomes ‘how do we engage in body centred healing techniques for health anxiety?’ Before we go there we must first understand the mindset of this approach.

The 3 keys to making the body centred skill sets work for you:

  1. Embrace vulnerability – You will feel uncomfortable. But no more running, only facing.
  2. Practice patience – Avoid being led by your impatience and instead be led by your inner trust in what you’re doing.
  3. Stay relentless – Keep doing the skill sets while being open to the new insights about you and this world that come from them.

The techniques for health anxiety

Health anxiety sufferers who’ve dedicated themselves to healing either have a mindset problem, a skill set problem, or both.

A mindset problem says…

“I know all I need to do and have an abundance of techniques, yet I don’t know how to begin.” This mindset problem usually goes hand in hand with a hidden fear of change and the upcoming unknown world they’re stepping into. There is also undeservedness and potential disconnect from others that they feel may come to play here.

A skill set problem says…

“I’m inspired but I don’t know what to apply from moment to moment when things get challenging.” These people many times don’t believe they can change, therefore they sabotage the skill sets given to them. They also feel a sense of belonging and comfort within health anxiety that leads them to talking themselves out of finding and applying the necessary skill sets.

When you have both a mindset and skill set problem it may mean that…

You need more time around the Youtube videos, Apple podcasts, and Facebook Members Lounge. When a health anxiety sufferer is presented with new options on how to respond to their physical symptoms there is hesitation at first. After this hesitation there is the act of changing their regular responses to their patterns, which comes with more inner resistance.

More time with the proper knowledge, self care, and people will help you to leave the world of hoping and trying the new changes, and lead to committing and receiving.

So what is the body centred healing approach for health anxiety

In the most simplistic way of explaining how to engage in body based healing we can consider these components:

  • To feel the worrisome symptoms of anxiety fully therefore naturally having a separate interpretation of them
  • To move our attention slowly from one concerning area of the body to another
  • Looking to synchronize the thoughts towards the sensation and the neutral emotion together

Many people today promote the idea of acceptance of what is concerning to us but leave a few steps out. These steps that must be practiced prior to naturally feeling a certain level of acceptance include:

  • Fully experiencing the very thing we’ve been looking to avoid through body focused healing for health anxiety
  • Understanding why it’s important to fully accept these sensations as natural reactions to the environment
  • Replacing self hatred and self sabotage with self love

inspiration for health anxiety

These are essential components to naturally allowing acceptance over the things we fear to arise. Remember, you are not your mind, your emotions, your bodily sensations or your imagination. These are unconscious reactions that have become habitual so you think that they are the real you when this is not the case.

Your true authentic and divine self recognizes the difference between a reaction and a response.

In the health anxiety world this means that a reaction is led by irrational fear and a response is based around self love. If self love is to come into our lives again and overtake irrational fear we must practice this body centred healing for health anxiety exercise daily (sitting or lying down, either one is fine):

Along with somatic mapping daily we must consider pendulation.
This term coined by Dr Peter Levine in many of his trauma based healing books is the result of going within and coming out. This requires the health anxiety sufferer to experience the physical sensation fully, prior to turning their focus back onto the outside world when the experience becomes too uncomfortable.
This video explains pendulation for health anxiety:
In conclusion, we can begin understanding the importance of staying with and experiencing fully what we feel in our bodies, and accepting the rewards for our efforts. These rewards come in the form of shifts in interpretation and meaning. So when a physical symptom of anxiety arises we won’t feel as powerless, rather we will see past the initial sensitivity and can swiftly focus our attention elsewhere.

Comment below on your greatest insight on this post for health anxiety sufferers. I read every response and would love to help in anyway I can.

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14 comments on “Why Body Centred Healing Is Vital For Health Anxiety

  1. Avatar joshua May 22, 2020

    Love it!! Allowing self love to take over irrational fear!! YES!!!

  2. Avatar Samantha May 22, 2020

    Great article, Dennis. I couldn’t agree more that this body based approach must be implemented. We cannot simply think our way out of anxiety. I also think it’s important to do the inner child work and look at our symptoms as our inner child trying to get our attention. They just want to be acknowledged and comforted.

  3. Avatar Jesus May 22, 2020

    Hi Dennis, I’m so frustrated with my anxiety, I think this pandemic sat me back cause I felt I had momentum, but now I feel depressed and anxious worrying about everything, I bought both of your programs but my computer is broken so I need to fix it before I download the programs, I also came across a woman who does hypnotherapy here in Salt Lake City where I live, but how do I know if she’s good?
    Would really appreciate your feedback Dennis, God bless you for everything you do

    • It all starts with a decision to change your inner life, followed by the mindset and skillsets to begin shifting things at an emotional level. I would highly suggest getting started on reading my latest book which touches on the crucial aspects of healing anxiety long term: https://amzn.to/3bVJyKh

  4. Avatar Claudia Bloom May 23, 2020

    I have been practicing these on my own, it is so nice to rest into this guidance!! Thank you so much <3

  5. Avatar Rachel May 25, 2020

    Hey Dennis! Can I just admit that this is by far the most helpful blog I have ever read? I have been dealing with some seriously bad anxiety issues for a couple of years and have tried almost everything to calm myself down but nothing worked much fruitfully. Then I came across the body-centered healing approach and since then I have been practicing it. I have been following this religiously and I guess I am getting better at handling anxiety now.
    I have read about several such blogs about self-care and body-centered healing but none of them were well-presented as this was. So glad I found this one.

    • Yes, out of the many healing modalities this would be right up there for healing anxiety at the root I believe Rachel. ❤️

  6. Avatar Steven Crowe Jun 30, 2020

    Great continent. The most important part I got from this is to believe and accept trust in the body again. So very true. Balance between the body and mind is key.

  7. Avatar Jonelle Jul 18, 2020

    A friend recommended listening to your podcast, and I am so glad that I did. For the first time this morning, I listened and felt that everything you said, described me. That then led me to your website and now your blog. You’re an amazing writer and an encouragement! I have reached a point of being so tired of letting my anxiety and “what ifs” dictate my decisions and it is time for a change. My head is spinning with where to start, but at least I know that I need to start somewhere. So a few questions about this blog specifically…are you saying that we need to allow the bodily sensations that we feel when we are anxious to just happen (as they do anyway) and acknowledge them? I guess I am specifically thinking about how I feel like I am going to pass out or can’t breathe when I am in a crowd or around a group of people I don’t know. The fight or flight instinct is intense and not a fun feeling to just stand there and absorb. Are you saying we need to just take those feelings in? In some cases, I couldn’t just “flight”, so I did just take them, but what they did do is make me not want to put myself there ever again.
    Any suggestions on which book, blog, youtube video, program, etc I should look at first?
    Thank you so much for what you do, it is inspiring to see someone take their lemons that they have been handed and turn it into lemonade.