Whole Body Integration
Whole body integration is the energetic and physical engagement and connection of the body as a whole. The goal is to bring together and smooth the flow and interaction of the whole body to help internally integrate systems, feelings and physical tissue while also assimilating life’s external experiences and challenges. Whole body integration helps the body to return to a para sympathetic nervous system, release ways of bracing, holding and constriction from a person’s physical, mental and emotional body to integrate movement into a flowing whole body experience where blockages to energy, clarity and purpose are removed. Effortful habits are replaced with feelings of comfort, ease of movement and posture, and a sense of whole-body coherence.
In response to acute stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated by the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system then stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines (including adrenaline and noradrenaline). This chain of reactions results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.2 After the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels.
You can probably think of a time when you experienced the fight-or-flight response. When faced with something frightening, you can feel your heartbeat quicken, you may start breathing faster, and your entire body becomes tense and ready to take action.
The fight-or-flight response can happen in the face of an imminent physical danger (such as encountering a growling dog during your morning jog) or as a result of a psychological threat (such as preparing to give a big presentation at school or work).