Send Your Replies to Connie


I know exactly what you are talking about. For us, being in the body is very difficult at times, and only recently have we noticed a cyclical pattern. One thing that has helped us to gain more body awareness is swimming. I think that any type of exercise is good for this basically. Also, sitting still and taking “stock” in how our body is feeling or feels that particular day, remembering to breathe.

We have one added problem with body awareness in that we are working to be more aware not only due to our multiplicity but also because we had gastric bypass surgery a year ago and have lost over 250 pounds. The body for us, at least, is very foreign.

The Crew


Dear Connie:

I just want to say that you are not alone. Most of us feel disconnected from our bodies. I remember when I was mostly numb. What body?

Although I have healed, or I consider myself healed, I still have a insanely high pain tolerance. I have to be careful to take good care
of myself.

Massage helped me, although I will say I could not have done that during treatment. Only after I was integrated! But that's me. I found a safe woman my own age who had just graduated from massage school. A good match is important. (Drinking lots of water afterward is critical to flush out the toxins from the lymph system.) I got through intense grief with massage and swimming. Being supported by tenderness and in water.

Years earlier, by the way, this would not have worked for me. So do what feels safe for you, and what fits for you.

One sibling of mine, who is not diagnosed as dissociative, has done similar things to "connect" with his body as you have. He also does breathwork. I think it has helped him with that sense of disconnection.

I suspect that disconnection is very common among those of us who have experienced great pain. Pain kind of "lives" in the body. Those muscle memories are useful when playing music or an instrument (we remember how to), but when the muscles remember pain and grief, we can tend to dissociate.

I wish you healing!



Hi Connie,

Give yourself credit for beginning the search back into your body with yoga. I took yoga with an incredible instructor. We did Kripalu (gentle) yoga. She felt so safe that I told her a bit of my history before we starte, in case, I became triggered, as this was new. After the second session I realized that there was a body connected to this head :). Wow I had not felt my body in years. I have continued with her doing Reiki, Shiatsu and crainosacral. All body work/ energy work. For me, it's been incredible. I've been able to move thru feelings and figure oiut what is happening in my body. It has taken quite awhile. She feels and is very safe and I would not feel safe letting anyone else touch me. Arms. legs, neck, back. It's a huge trust issue, I had to deal with first. Now it feels like coming home to a safe and gentle parent.
I wish you luck in your journey and thnk that you have started at a great place. If you can't find what you need, find another class. Go on line and search until you find what you need. You deserve it.
Namaste my friend



Hey Connie,
I know just what you mean about feeling that you are not in your body...although I wasn't aware of this feeling until I, quite by surprise, showed up in my body one day. It was during a Continuum Dance class which I had been taking for several months and experiencing huge leaps in my healing. We were practicing micro-movements of the face, little tiny movements that would really seem not to accomplish much at all. During this process I became overwhelmed with a feeling I had never experienced before and was of course, at first, frightened. I thought, "Oh my gosh, where I am I now? What's going on?" And then realized, that for the first time in a LONG time, I was actually in my body...that through the many healing practices I was engaged in, I finally felt safe enough to return there.

Continuum is a wonderful practice that combines breath, sound and movement...specifically free movement, allowing for an inner journey that each participant discovers on her/his own. As a yoga instructor, I like to incorporate free movement in my classes as well, during certain poses that would welcome such an inner exploration. While it is important for survivors of abuse to work with structured movement as in yoga and tai chi, I feel it is even more important for us to find and to follow our own rhythms and direction so that we might inevitably accomplish the same miracle in our daily follow our own unique wisdom and to, over time, become our own healers and guides. I hope this helps and wish you much success on your journey toward increased self awareness and self discovery!

Wishing all of us hope and wholeness on our journeys.
Lynda Wisdo, CYT, CCH


Hi Connie,
It was such a pleasant 'surprise' to me that other people have experienced a lack of body awareness, not just me. Even though my therapist has told me it's not unusual in people that dissociate, it still was affirming to me to read your question.

I am becoming increasingly aware of my body, not because of anything in particular that I'm doing.....other than getting older. I am having hot flashes that could provide heat for an entire city in the midwest for the week. I ache and hurt now when I didn't before....this isn't anything unusual...getting older happens.
The miracle here is that I'm willing to do something about these discomforts of life. I've told someone about them and want to do what I can to feel better. I want to feel better and I deserve to feel better. I am consciously trying to be more aware of my body and what it is trying to tell me. I go to a fitness club three times a week for strength training and aerobic exercise. It helps me become aware of my body as I improve in both areas because it shows me that my body is really there for me, no one else...just me. Wow, what a concept!

Hope this helps.
Terri B.


Hi Connie,
You are pursuing some EXCELLENT ways to feel reconnected to your body. I would also add trying meditation with guidance from someone
experienced. Having to concentrate on your breathing helps your body relax and quiet "monkey mind" when thoughts are bouncing all over the
place like a bunch of ping pong balls. You are definitely on the right track and just remember it takes time. Hang in there...!
Best wishes!



Hi Connie -

My two recommendations would be dancing (lots of different kinds, from polka to square dancing, modern dance etc.), and reading Babette Rothschild's book, "The Body Remembers," published in 2000 by WW Norton. It's been awhile since I read it, but we have a review in our February 2002 issue. She points out that some abuse survivors feel anxious when they're relaxed, and may find muscle tensing exercises more helpful. Lots of other helpful information too.

I am sure others will have some useful comments for you.

Good luck!

Lynn W.