As a child, I would run barefoot through the grass, my hair wild and flapping in the wind. I would giggle and yell, fearless and free, always wanting to stay outside just a little bit longer. Yet, I would always come back inside when I was hungry or tired, listening to the subtle cues of my body, reminding me of what I needed at any given time. My body always knew what I needed.
As I got older, it seemed harder to stay attuned to my body’s needs. I would stay late in the office, ignoring my body’s signals to stop and rest or eat. And I paid the price with lower back pain from hours of sitting in a hunched over position, ignoring my body in order to “get the job done.”
Our bodies are always here for us, guiding us, throughout the day. Infinitely wise, the body is often the best—but most overlooked—life coach we will ever have. Those twitches and pain, the sense of exhaustion or tension, even that nagging sensation in your mind when you just can’t let something go, are all signs that you are off your path and your body is physically trying to guide you home to your truest, most authentic self. Its limitless wisdom, the same wisdom that innately heals cuts on your skin, guides our lives in many ways.
The body holds memory and experience—like layers of an onion, we carry past joys and pain or trauma in our bodies.
To tap into the body’s built-in guidance system, Dr. Chad Sato, founder of Infinite Body Awareness, has created a unique practice. Based on training in Network Spinal Analysis Care (NSA), which uses gentle, precision touch on specific spots along the body to release tension and create clearer mind–body communication, as well as meditation and other practices, Dr. Sato teaches his members to breathe, be present, and release the innate intelligence of their bodies. In doing so, Dr. Sato says a patient’s body can literally shift, adjust, and align itself without the force or cracking of regular chiropractic practices and without the needles of acupuncture.
Over the years, Dr. Sato has seen firsthand how stress is reflected in the body. Whether it’s a slight leaning or shift to one side as we try to gain a sense of balance and stability during difficult times or a hunching of our shoulders due to sadness, our bodies are a life map, reflecting the choices we make each day. The more aligned we are emotionally and physically to our inner truth, for example, the brighter our smiles are, the more upright and open our posture is.
Dr. Sato’s precise and gentle touching at specific points in the body, along with breath coaching, help the brain connect and communicate with the spine and the rest of the body. The touch points and Dr. Sato’s breathing guidance brings patients—or practice members as they are also called—to a quiet, meditative state that releases tension areas as their body intuitively unwinds. Many practice members say emotions they’ve been holding on to rise up and pass through them, leaving them with a grounded sense of peace.
By paying attention to the physical responses your body has, not just the emotional ones, you become aware of how your body is like a life coach that is constantly working to guide you to a state of wellbeing.
Reiko, a physical therapist and long-time practice member of Dr. Sato’s, was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager. She came to Dr. Sato looking for a way to decrease the corkscrewing of her scoliosis, as it was adversely affecting her breathing and, she believed, possibly affecting the oxygenation of her cells, contributing to brain fog.
“At the beginning of a session, you lie face-down on the massage table as Dr. Sato asks you to breathe,” Reiko says. “His touch is featherweight as he gently taps specific points on your body. The occasional tapping of nerve points on your body naturally accesses the nervous system response, and combined with breathing, your body begins to relax.”
For the last 20 years, Reiko had tried different therapies, such as Pilates, rolfing, marital arts, and energy work, and though she learned a lot, it’s her work with Dr. Sato that has empowered her the most and enabled her to relax and adjust, allowing her body’s natural intelligence to help her progress and heal.
“Remarkably, Dr. Chad did not go running after my symptoms, trying to cure them. Rather, he continued to address it, gently touching the cervical and lower spinal regions, and allowing for my breath to return and effect a global body response,” Reiko says. As she became more aware and able to release tension, Reiko found she could breathe more fully. Her left rib cage is now moving and expanding, whereas before her treatment, they were rotated, collapsed downward, and immobile. As she explains, “My spine is straightening as it de-rotates naturally. I sense a greater ease and flexibility in my spine, ribs, shoulder girdle and pelvis.”
According to Dr. Sato, the body holds memory and experience—like layers of an onion, we carry past joys and pain or trauma in our bodies. By accessing those places that are holding tension and using the body’s innate intelligence to release and realign, we return to a state of balance and wellbeing. Spending time in the first session with a patient, Dr. Sato asks questions about key life points, which are often reflected in different symptoms within the body. This brings forth the connection of what may be happening in a person’s life—or even what remains from the past—to greater consciousness and awareness to how her body’s symptoms are signs of what in her life needs to shift or be released.
Health itself is essentially a state of homeostasis, of balance.
The body often knows what it needs to healthy, such as the way our cuts naturally heal and our bodies shift and adjust to compensate for various stressors. Health itself is essentially a state of homeostasis, of balance. Even on an emotional level, your body gives you signals to tell you when you are off track. You’ll often notice how your gut instinct rarely steers you wrong, another example of the body’s own guidance system linked to your emotions. By paying attention to the physical responses your body has, not just the emotional ones, you become aware of how your body is like a life coach that is constantly working to guide you to a state of wellbeing.
“As soon as we breathe and relax, taking cues and guides from the body’s own system of nerves and energy, allowing the breath and space of a quiet, meditative state to occur, we allow and give permission to our body to adjust itself and release old tensions, to bring up emotional states we may not have realized we were holding on to,” says Dr. Sato.
Like a child who listens to a grumbling tummy or is lulled to sleep in an instant, we are born with the ability to hear our body when it speaks. Our bodies do so much to signal not only what we need physically, but also emotionally. As yogis, we know this—that creating space in our busy lives for a moment of awareness can mean the difference between living our lives as one big to-do list and something with meaning and intent.
Kara Fujita Jovic believes in the power of the breath to center the soul…that love is a super power—for it always speaks the loudest…and that dancing in the kitchen while singing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” may just infuse a meal with magical powers. When she’s not getting caffeinated on fresh air, sunshine, or the sea, you can find her creating, exploring, writing, and helping people find their own personal om.