There’s a new mind/body practice about to hit the mainstream. The perfect blend of East and West, Sophrology borrows from the disciplines of Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, and Japanese Zen, and sprinkles in the more scientific practices of psychology and hypnotherapy. It combines relaxation, visualization, and movement exercises to achieve a state of balance in body and mind. Sophrology can help you manage both daily and circumstantial life stressors, enjoy deeper and more restorative sleep, quell anxiety and depression, and prepare for events such as childbirth. Let’s look further into this eclectic discipline.
The Origin Of Sophrology
Professor Alfonso Caycedo, a specialist in psychiatry and neurology, developed Sophrology in the 1960s as a way to treat patients suffering from depression or trauma without having to rely so heavily on prescription drugs. Sophrology spread to Switzerland in the 1970s, when Dr. Raymond Abrezol applied the techniques with sports teams, and to much success! Over the last 30 years, Sophrology has been widely used in France and Switzerland in schools, businesses, hospitals, and sports. While there are only a scattering of practitioners in America and other parts of the globe, Sophrology is steadily growing in popularity.
What It Entails
There’s no set protocol for the Sophrology practitioner, as she bases her prescription on her client’s individual needs. Sophrology typically combines a set of breathing and relaxation exercises with a simple movement in the form of a guided meditation. During the meditation you reach a state of deep relaxation while remaining alert and aware. Should you opt for a one-on-one session versus a group class, the practitioner will tailor the program to your specific needs, whether you need to work through a physical or emotional block, or prepare for a future event. For instance, Sophrology can help you focus and allay your fears before a big exam or presentation, and can help women more easily adjust to the changes brought on by pregnancy, as well as manage their pain and energy levels during labor. Sophrology is also used to treat…
- Anxiety and depression
- Self-image issues
Sophrology isn’t a one-and-done deal. Rather, the session will arm you with the tools you need to tackle life from a balanced state of mind and body. You will learn how to listen and attune with your body’s needs, and fight off illness and disease. Sophrology helps root you in the present, so that you are no longer playing out your past and can look forward to the future with positivity.
If you are interested in exploring Sophrology but cannot find a practitioner in your area, the Internet offers a wealth of resources, from YouTube videos to downloadable PDFs that can walk you through a particular set of exercises.