Importance of embodied self-awareness

by Cinnamon Cranston, Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner, originally published in Mosaic Magazine, November 2018 Issue.

“Embodied self-awareness is as important to our survival and well-being as breathing and eating; it helps us to self-monitor, self-regulate and respond flexibly and adaptively to the present moment. To maintain our well-being throughout our lives, we must actively cultivate embodied self-awareness.”

-Ivy Green, Relaxation, Awareness, Resilience, Rosen Method Bodywork Science and               Practice, (Fast Pencil, 2016)

 Modern life has steadily increased our taste for instant gratification. Now we can collect information, purchase whatever we want and pass judgments all at the click of a button.

When it comes to looking after our health and well-being the same expectation and desire for a quick fix can often be present: “I want whatever is going wrong to be fixed right now!” Often people want to be on the other side of whatever uncomfortable experience they are having instead of actually allowing what they are experiencing to be fully felt. I have often wished this myself.

What my experience both personally and professionally, as a Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner and Movement Teacher, has taught me is that healing the mind and body takes time. By slowing down long enough to listen to what is really happening inside our bodies, to feel our sensations, emotions and movements in the present moment (without the interference of judgmental thoughts), we develop a practice of embodied self-awareness. With this new awareness, integration of unconscious reactions that are unresolved from past experiences can happen gradually, a little bit at a time.

Through embodied self-awareness our bodies become an important link to accessing the unconscious and ancient part of our brains that govern the fight/flight/freeze response. This type of awareness is like a waking up of sorts to the sensations and feelings of the past that have not yet resolved, while at the same time taking in sensations that let us know we are here in the present, safe and sound.

The neural pathways that provide this type of awareness move much more slowly than our other ones. There are also a lot more of them. This means our capacity for embodied self-awareness is great, even though it takes our brains a while to integrate the information.

Coming from a background with above average adverse childhood experiences, I had a lot of trauma to recover and heal from. This healing has happened over several years, one step at a time. Although I have been frustrated at times over the slowness, I have come to appreciate the effectiveness of the healing offered by somatic therapies such as Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement.

My capacity to self regulate during times of situational or emotional stress, as well as my capacity to allow myself to feel the experiences of love, joy and satisfaction in my life have all increased steadily over time. I have a sense of trust and safety within myself that I didn’t believe possible.

I am now grateful for the steady pace of progress over the drive for instant perfection because it is sustainable, real and safe, and it has meant that I get to grow and learn at a pace that feels kind and gentle to my core self.

Cinnamon is a Certified Rosen Method Bodywork Practitioner and the Co-owner of the Rosen Method Institute Canada. Contact her at or 780-203-5159.

 Note: This information is for educational purposes only. It’s intended to supplement your current health program, not to replace the care of a licensed medical doctor. Thoroughly research all topics for yourself.


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