The Freedom from Within: physiotherapist's experience with Vegetative Training

Reading about Vegetative Training on Oliviers blog I got interested. I am very curious about the body, movement, therapy, etc.

Then I met Olivier at a Fighting Monkey workshop and asked him about the system/method and he explained. He gave a lot of his time and explained sincerely about the reasoning behind and that just clicked with what I already knew from my background in physiotherapy and movement.

So I started with some sessions via Skype. Via Skype? How would he teach me I wondered a bit. But I wanted to try it, feel it and embody it. About the method you can read more on his blog but some of the things I took away was: seeing the freedom in my 18 month daughter.

I know we say that kids move a lot. But the variability in their movements is huge. I can see the “same” movements I do when I go through a session, in her while she is eating, playing or relaxing. And the freedom in her body and breath. Wauw. She is shaking her head, lips and stretching without thinking about it. She is not thinking this would be good for me or I need to do this stretch my physio showed my. Her body intuitively knows what it needs. And that is something I got from vegetative training.

After a session I would find myself on the bike shaking my lips (making sounds like brrrh brrrhh). While reading a book I would, without thinking, begin to shake around my hips and pelvic area. While walking my arms are swinging a lot more freely (imagine an African man walking, I always noticed that they have very loose arms).

I've learnt to better allow these movements to come out. And when I hold them back, it is now more clear to me. So now I can be aware - and I can choose whether I allow it (and feel the freedom like a child again) or the norm of society wins.

It as a great gift and one that can be enhanced and be with me as long as walk this earth. I like that it is not Olivier who tells my what to do. Yes he instruct, but the movements come from within and with it freedom. It is hard to explain in words. It is something that one must experience in one's own body.

Old habits, injuries, inactivity, phycological processes and cultural tendencies all influence the way we move and what we express with the body. Through Vegetative Training I found some deep hidden tension no other therapist would have found. Vegetative Training as I see it is a very potent tool to tab in into self healing and self regulation of the body.

- Thomas Pretsch, physiotherapist