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The body is the medicine.
Imagine young women with breast cancer finding calm and joy and sense of community through a collective experience of dance. Imagine a group of residents walking very slowly in the hospital cultivating body awareness and patience, as their colleagues rush by. Imagine newborn babies teaching medical students how to dance and touch empathically. Imagine doctors doing a one-minute meditation after rounds -- focusing on the sensations in their own bodies before examining their patients. Imagine surgeons using the 5 principles of Tai Chi in order to minimize tissue trauma during surgery. Imagine caregivers learning how to synchronize their breathing with loved ones in pain. Imagine a team of nurses, doctors, and students meditating together at the bedside of a patient to help lower her blood pressure. Imagine blindfolded residents learning how to do obstetrical forceps using only sense of touch. Imagine an anesthesiologist and a patient dancing together moments before surgery.
This is Embodied Medicine.
Embodied medicine involves honoring the body as a source of mindfulness, wisdom, and deep healing. Through movement, meditation, and other exercises in primary sensory awareness, embodied medicine helps patients, caregivers, and medical providers explore, express and transform their inner landscape. There is a liberation and some degree of responsibility that goes along with conscious, freeform movement including making "decisions" about how to position the body in relationship with others and the space, how to move or be in stillness, how to follow the beat and tempo or not. There is healing that can happen as music enters not only the ears but touches the skin, enters the body. When people are dancing in the same space, they often spontaneously (consciously or not) begin to mirror each other's movements -- this can cultivate empathy and a sense of safety and being witnessed by another is a powerful gift. The Embodied Medicine philosophy is based on a deep recognition of the multidimensional nature of healing. This healing includes not only the physical, which dominates the current biomedical paradigm, but also the psycho-emotional, energetic, and spiritual growth that is possible when one feels safe and adequately resourced to explore opportunities for deep transformation and liberation from suffering.