Body Scans

I took a short break in the lead up to the festive season – my mind was well and truly diverted elsewhere. It is the first day of 2012 and it seems a good idea to kick off the new year with my third post.

I was introduced to the art therapy technique of body scanning in two workshops I attended in 2010/2011.

The purpose of the body scan is to bring the mind to the present moment and to focus inward. In doing so, we develop our awareness of bodily and emotional sensations. We learn to be sensitive to the information our bodies are giving and  make decisions about how to respond.

In the workshops, participants were asked to represent bodily sensations and feelings using colours, shapes and lines within a simple body outline and to consider some questions.

Workshop 1

After drawing a jelly baby outline, we were asked to consider the following questions:

  • Scan the body – what is there and where?
  • What does your body need to do?
  • Is your body giving you a message? What?  

Winter Blues

This picture was drawn on the 6th of June 2010 at a time of the year when I tend to be more vulnerable both physically and emotionally. I was clearly having a hard time of it that day.

Workshop 2

Using a simple body template, we were asked to show:

  •  what is happening physically
  •  what is happening emotionally
  • the ground I am standing on
  • what the world feels like now in the background.

Life is Pretty Good Today

I drew this picture on the 23rd of July 2011. My experience of life was somewhat more upbeat compared with the year previously.

  • The head buzzing with stimulation
  • The eyes feeling heavy from too many late nights watching The Tour de France
  • The stomach comfortably full after lunch
  • Knees and heels a bit sore and stiff
  • The body feeling calm and settled
  • The fertile ground supporting lush growth reflecting the day’s environment
  • The background reflecting a mixture of optimism and heavy dreariness.
I intend including body scanning in my own workshops in the future.
I would appreciate your comments on the usefulness of this art therapy technique.



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