The Body Blueprint
When a human being is stressed to the point of overwhelm, in any way, physically, emotionally, mentally, from the environment, etc, especially if the stressor is extremely chronic or persistent, then the body will develop a patterned response. The body will take a new shape internally and externally, physiologically and muscularly. Hormone levels, rate of blood flow, body posture, range of movement, muscular tension levels, etc. will change to new set levels.
This new shape is influenced from the head to the body (from the mind downwards) by the meanings and stories that are created in the mind in response the overwhelming and/or chronic stress. The mind tells the body “Be afraid..” etc.
It also goes the other way: the body being imprinted by the stressor and influencing the mind (from the body upwards). This body pattern or body blueprint is not just held in the mind or what we normally think of as a person’s blueprint or ego. It is not just cognitive memory. It is muscle and physiological memory, as well. Hence the term “muscle memory”. The body is patterned below the level of language and mental function (as well as through the mind).
For example, before a child has language skills, it’s body can be directly impacted and patterned by it’s environment. Later a severe stressor or very chronic stressor can have the same impact directly on the body. This is a type of “dumb” (if you will) body patterning because it is not thought out, has never been thought out and is not maintained by what we normally think of as the mind. Rather it is the “bodies mind” or simply the body holding this pattern.
So the body blueprint functions at the level of the mind (our mental conditioning patterning our bodies) but it also functions at the level of the body holding a pattern simply on its own. This is one reason why therapeutic approaches that are simply verbal are only partially effective. We have to address the body directly as well as addressing it through the mind to access and change it’s blueprint.
To make this clearer let’s look at an examples. A person might have undergone bullying as a young child and hence has a body posture that is hunched over in fear. This is held at the level of the relationship blueprint (in their mind) sending signals to stay hunched to stay protected, regardless of who they are interacting with later in life. But that hunched posture is also held at the level of the body minus the mind. The body took a hunched posture during one or many traumatic incidents and simply stays that way because the stressor (the bullying) was so severe or chronic. The body simply got used to that position because of the shock or repetitive shocks. The same thing happens to the bodies physiology. For example, the persons fear and pleasure hormones, brain neurotransmitters, and so on, get reset into a “bullied” state.
In summary, for self-development and healing we have to deal with
- the mind
- the minds impact on the body
- the body
- the bodies impact on the mind
Examples of techniques:
- Body sensing (pure and simple)
- Bodywork (Reichian or Rolfing, for example)
- Corework /meditation (with strong body focus)
The body blueprint is extremely relevant to romance and sex because physicality is so central there. Examples of stress states during sex like: erectile dysfunction, lack of sensitivity, lack of engorgement, premature ejaculation. All of these can be not just from the head down but also from the body up.