As you may notice, over the last few weeks in this blog I’ve been focusing mostly on structure/energy, art/science and their integration in bodywork. Bit-by-bit I want to assemble a position paper that helps brings clarity to these things and helps our field take a closer look at integrative healthcare. Thanks for listening and your feedback.
Here’s the next installment:
What is Structure? What is Energy?
When we think about structure, it includes:
Generally, the physical aspect of the person
Structure may also be thought of as objective, tangible, palpable, and visible.
Energy, most broadly defined, is the entire realm of experience beyond just the physical. It may be thought of as subjective, intangible, not necessarily palpable, and not necessarily visible.
Energy includes then:
It also includes the realm of sensation, emotion and mind:
And the realm of spirit:
Some of these of course can be described in the language of neurological and endocrine processes. The autonomic nervous system is in many ways an energetic system, responding to feelings, thoughts, sensations, etc. by changing the overall energetic and physical state of the organism. Other energetic phenomena, particularly associations we may have with given sensations, may be described in terms of activities within the limbic system (hypothalamus, amygdala, etc.) in the diencephalon of the brain and then affecting the whole person through the neuro-endocrine response.
Indeed we can use anatomical and physiological language to describe human structure and energy, and that is extremely helpful. However, to reduce ourselves only to that language would be to lose the full richness of life. Poetry is as good, and as valuable in its way, as science in capturing the living quality of experience.