Our body is our best guide in any healing process. Whatever we are experiencing on a psychological level is always manifesting itself in the body. Wherever we find ourselves in our lives, we can consider ourselves to be the sum total of our life experience. In other words, our sense of who we are is the result of the accumulation of all of our experiences.
Where is the accumulation of our life experience stored? In our bodies. Of course, our body includes our mind and our brain. However, the great majority of therapists and therapies do not acknowledge and emphasize how crucial it is to work with the body in the therapeutic process.
If we picture the human body from top to bottom (or head to toe), most therapies use what is known as a "top-down" healing model. A top-down model views mental processing (top) as the primary means towards psycho-emotional-biological change (down). In this model, the mind initiates change, and most sessions are spent talking and mentally studying our experience.
A "bottom-up" healing model, on the other hand, consists of working directly with bodily and emotional processes as a means to transform the mind, which includes our core beliefs, and our way of thinking about ourselves. In this model, the body initiates change, and time is spent studying sensation, feeling, movement, and posture.
In the therapy that I practice, I use both top-down and bottom-up processes of healing. They are both equally important for therapeutic change. Unfortunately in most cases of therapy, the mind is given precedence over the body, which is a deep loss of healing potential for the client.