A friend just forwarded me this research piece from the NY Times. It talks about a study done within the military, and ends up affirming the work we are doing in massage therapy. It is a great reminder for us all to be careful not to be defensive when a client becomes emotional. So often when a client is acting out it is just simply an old pattern, that they now have the opportunity to decide if it is something they want to hold on to. Does it still serve them?
Lets keep clean with our languaging, and open our hearts as we assist students in navigating this new sense of awareness. Clearly this does not mean we need to, or even want to join in on their emotions, instead we can offer them a clean mirror to look at themselves.
“In the past two years, an Army researcher, Steven Burnett, has overseen a study into human perception and bomb detection involving about 800 military men and women. Researchers have conducted exhaustive interviews with experienced fighters. They have administered personality tests and measured depth perception, vigilance and related abilities. The troops have competed to find bombs in photographs, videos, virtual reality simulations and on the ground in mock exercises.”
“The study complements a growing body of work suggesting that the speed with which the brain reads and interprets sensations like the feelings in one’s own body and emotions in the body language of others is central to avoiding imminent threats.”
“Not long ago people thought of emotions as old stuff, as just feelings — feelings that had little to do with rational decision making, or that got in the way of it,” said Dr. Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/u/university_of_southern_california/index.html?inline=nyt-org> . “Now that position has reversed. We understand emotions as practical action programs that work to solve a problem, often before we’re conscious of it. These processes are at work continually, in pilots, leaders of expeditions, parents, all of us.”