I came across Sophrology when I was going through a lot of change in my personal and professional life. In a previous life, I worked as an occupational therapist (OT) and have over 20 years’ experience working with people of all ages and disabilities. Due to redundancy, I reviewed my career path and decided to do a coaching course where I met Florence Parot. We talked about health and wellbeing and Sophrology. I found that some of the principles of Sophrology, I was already using in my role as an OT. So, I decided to do the course.
The principle of being body conscious using gentle movement, struck a chord in me. My conversation with Florence confirmed that many people are not body conscious or body aware. Life is so fast these days that people are constantly thinking about the “next thing,” “the future” rather than being in the present, the here and now and are therefore, not able to fully focus on the present task at hand. I realised, from my observations as an OT, that many clients were not body conscious. For example, many clients had no idea of the placement of their feet on the floor while being seated. When they got up to walk, they would lose their balance as they had not altered the position of their feet. It was my role to train people to do safe transfers on/off seats to a standing position by becoming more aware of their body parts. Being more aware of their breathing helped them to “centre” themselves. Having greater awareness of their physical surroundings helped them to do safe transfers.
As an occupational therapist I was also very aware of how disability could affect the quality of sleep, concentration levels, mood, memory and emotions. Disability can affect our relationship with our self and others. It can also affect the roles and responsibilities that we do and expose people to anxiety and stress. In my role as a social services OT, I was not able to explore these areas with my clients fully. So, I trained to become a Sophrologist.
As a Sophrologist, my interests focus on sleep disorders, anxiety management, stress issues and preparing for an event. I use the Sophrology techniques on a regular basis and I feel I get a lot of benefit from doing them. Sophrology helps me to pause and stop for a short while. Pausing, being active and pausing again with these techniques on a regular basis throughout my day, has helped me to maintain my energy levels, listen to my body more, relax my mind and sleep better.